Sleeping in past noon and lounging all day at the pool may sound like the ideal summer break to most students, but Mountain Pointe High School is offering math courses to keep students’ math skills sharp over the summer break.

Current fourth- through eighth-graders are eligible to take the Summer Math Academy with classes ranging from sixth-grade math to honors geometry. The courses are designed to help students who want to be challenged and get ahead, as well as students who are struggling with math.

“When students come here this summer and have a great time learning mathematics we want them to get excited about being a future student at Mountain Pointe,” said Stephen Heiser, the school’s math department chairperson.

Summer Math Academy will be taught by a group of teachers from the Tempe Union High School, Kyrene and Tempe Elementary districts.

According to Heiser, excelling in math will help prepare students for their future careers.

“In a global economy there is an emphasis on the ability to think critically, and the top jobs expected in the near future are mathematics related,” he said. “We have also found there to be a high correlation between students who get at least a year ahead in mathematics and those who pass the AIMS test on their first try.”

Heiser was initially concerned that the academy might not receive enough interest to hold the camp, but response from parents and students has already been strong.

“I have received e-mails and phone calls from enthusiastic parents for the past several weeks asking about the academy,” he said. “At this point I don’t know exactly how many students have registered, but I expect the numbers to increase as we get toward the end of the school year.”

The academy will be from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, from June 1 to July 9. Students will be issued textbooks, and tuition is $270. For more information, call (480) 759-6122 or e-mail Heiser at

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