Desert Vista High School is offering a six-week summer math academy in various subjects and it is open to students currently in fourth through eighth grades.

The course runs from May 31 to July 8, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., and costs $270. Students who score 70 percent or above on all exams during the summer academy will have the opportunity to skip that math class and move on to the next level when school resumes in the fall.

Classes offered are sixth-grade math, seventh-grade math, pre-algebra, algebra 1-2 and honors geometry. At the camp last year, 444 students attended from 47 schools. All 16 teachers came from either Kyrene or Desert Vista.

"The teachers are really unbelievable," said Larry Strom, math department chair at DV. "The kids want to come back and learn and that's because of the teachers."

Enrollment has climbed from 250 students three years ago to 444 this year. Strom said that they try to keep the student-teacher ratio at about 25-1.

All coursework will be done in-class, which means no homework for the students. If, however, their family is taking a vacation, they are allowed to miss days as long as they make up the work.

It is left to the parent's discretion as to what course to enroll their child in. After a day or two, the teacher will make a recommendation whether or not to move the student up or down a level if needed.

DV is known for having one of the best math programs in the state. On the 2010 AIMS test, 90 percent of test takers scored a passing grade and 60 percent scored "exceeding." The school ranked second in both categories. Additionally, 30 DV students achieved a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT this year.

"Our program is very strong and we have kids who love to be here and learn," Strom said.

Classes will be at Desert Vista High School, 16440 E. 32nd St. For more information, contact Strom at (480) 706-7957.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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