With teacher still in hiring process, students drop higher level IB math class

Stella Fetherston, Editor-in-Chief

Over 18 students dropped IB Analysis and Approaches Higher Level 2, the most advanced math course offered at Tualatin High School, as of mid-October. The problem wasn’t a lack of interest — over 30 students originally forecasted for the class. AA HL2 is essentially Calculus. Due to uncertainties regarding teachers and the rigorous coursework, many students began worrying that the stress wouldn’t just tank their mental health but their GPAs as well. 

One senior who dropped, Paige Lawton, shared her thoughts.

“We never knew anything that was going on because the administration wouldn’t communicate anything… I understand that there aren’t many teachers looking to teach in person right now, but they should’ve organized classes better to accommodate their most advanced math students in their school.”

After going through three subs, the class was taken up by another TuHS teacher, Brianna Younger, who was already teaching another class that period. 

Many students were in the class to keep up their math skills as college preparation and to earn college math credits 251 and 252. But with COVID-19, passing the IB test to get these credits — let alone taking the test— seemed unlikely. 

Principal Michael Dellerba explained that while there was a teacher qualified to teach this course, she decided to take a job at the virtual academy before the school year began. From there, the complicated logistics of posting a job and finding someone capable of teaching the class prolonged the hiring process. 

A qualified teacher has been found; however, when she was hired, she still had a three-week contract left in another district, meaning that the students had to trust the administration and wait. 

“As soon as she completes her long-term subbing in a different district, she’s already hired and can start right away,” Dellerba said. “There’s a shortage of subs, so finding a sub that could not only come in and cover but also had some math experience was a challenge.”

Some students who stayed turned to tutors in order to keep up their grades, a luxury not available to everyone. Others went to Portland Community College (PCC) to get their credits. Some aren’t taking a math class at all. 

“It was so frustrating, and if I wasn’t drowning in other advanced classes and stress, I would’ve stayed in the class. I wish I could have stayed in the class,” Lawton lamented.