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Saint Xavier University offers math class for gifted 7th graders

Chicago Public School students take class at SXU

Chicago (Oct. 13, 2005) – Saint Xavier University has partnered with the Chicago Public Schools to offer an honors algebra class to gifted 7th graders in its public schools.

Michael Hardy, assistant professor and director of the Mathematics Education Program at Saint Xavier University, set up the class to teach 9th grade honors level algebra to mathematically gifted 7th graders after being contacted in the summer by the Office of Academic Enhancement for the Chicago Public Schools. While Hardy set up the class and the curriculum, the Chicago Public Schools provided textbooks and calculators for the class and is funding the program.

“This is their first exposure to algebra. They’re quite astute. They’re fun to work with. It’s clear these children have a thirst for knowledge and are eager to learn,” Hardy said. “It’s been enjoyable. It’s nice to get an opportunity to work with young people and get a sense of what it’s like to be a practicing teacher.”

The 20 students attend the class every Friday morning from area Chicago public schools including Addams, Ariel, Caldwell, Cullen, Earhart, Finkl, Grimes, Hale, Hoyne, Lee, Peck, Pershing, Sawyer, Seward, Sutherland, and Woodson. The class will continue to meet weekly throughout the school year. 

To participate in the program, the students had to score at or above the 95th percentile in mathematics on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). The students and their parents or guardians are responsible for transporting them to and from Saint Xavier University, and students are expected to make up any class work and homework they miss as a result of participating in the algebra course.

 “There’s been a lot of parental support. There was at least one parent or guardian here for each student at orientation on the first day of class,” Hardy said. “Somehow they do it.”

The Chicago Public School system has had similar gifted programs at area universities for many years, but this is the first such partnership with Saint Xavier University, which is located in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood.

Founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier University is a Catholic, coeducational, comprehensive university grounded in the tradition of the liberal arts and offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 5,700 students from across the country at campuses in Chicago and Orland Park. 

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Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

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3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
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