D203 to implement new AP Precalculus courses


Jay Deegan

Central math teacher Marissa Rakes teaches her Honors Precalculus class. Honors Precalculus will be converted to AP Precalculus BC at Central in two years, following District 203’s approval of new AP Precalculus courses.

Ziad El Bego, Staff Writer

District 203’s Board of Education approved the implementation of the new Advanced Placement (AP) Precalculus AB and BC courses at their April 17 meeting. 

The courses are planned to be implemented within the next 2 years, after curriculum planning is complete. 

AP Precalculus is a new offering from the College Board. The first AP Precalculus exam is set to be administered during the 2023-2024 school year. 

“We started having this discussion about implementing the AP Precalculus offering through the college board back in the fall,” Steve Jeretina, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction said. “It was a brand new offering and there was a little bit to learn about it, but as our math department chair and Naperville North’s took a look at it, they shared with us that there’s a lot of overlap between the existing Precalculus and Honors Precalculus courses already offered.”

The new courses would serve as replacements for the current courses, with AB taking the spot of Precalculus and BC taking the spot of Honors Precalculus. The new courses would cover similar material and be similar in difficulty to the current courses.

“I think it’s to the credit of the math department at both Central and North that there’s really not a ton that needs to be edited or modified,” Jeretina said. 

Before the new courses are implemented, teachers will be instructed on the new curriculum.

“Some of the changes will be based on some more mathematical modeling in the course than we currently have,” Math Department Chair Scott Miller said. “In terms of the concept areas that we teach and things like that [there will be] a little bit of change, but not much at all.” 

The offering of AP Precalculus AB allows for students who would have otherwise taken regular Precalculus to have the opportunity to take an AP math course. 

“[The new courses] allow students to experience an AP course,” Miller said. “A student [can] start in algebra one, then by the time they’re a senior in high school, be taking an AP course in mathematics without having to take a summer school class. For other students that are maybe starting with a geometry course or later, they’re getting an AP course that gets them prepared for what an AP Calculus course would be in the following year.“ 

Business Precalculus, as it is an alternative course from Precalculus, will be unaffected by these changes. A blended AP Precalculus course, while not confirmed, is a possibility for the future.

“Oftentimes, when we’re going through a curriculum writing, we don’t want to have too many changes,” Jeretina said. “Offering blended from the get-go might not be the best option, but it could be something that we work towards once we become more familiar with what the course ends up looking like.”

Though the classes won’t be available during the next school year, students in Precalculus will have the opportunity to take the AP Precalculus exam at the end of the year.