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Math Academy is a program aimed at radically accelerating the learning curve of PUSD’s mathematically gifted students by providing a curriculum that matches their abilities. Math Academy is a program developed by PUSD parents Sandy and Jason Roberts and incubated with support from the Pasadena Educational Foundation.


In the 6th grade, Math Academy students begin learning algebra, geometry, and trigonometry and complete everything up through AP calculus by the end of 8th grade. The standard high-school topics are supplemented by competition-level problem solving and rigorous proof-writing techniques. The high school program will consist of undergraduate-level pure and applied mathematics with a particular focus on individual research projects. Math Academy classes are University of California-approved sequenced courses that students take on site and during normal school hours in place of their grade-level math classes.

At the end of the 2016-2017 pilot year, the twenty Math Academy 6th-graders from McKinley and Sierra Madre Middle School took the MDTP (Mathematics Diagnostic and Testing Project), which is used by the University of California to place incoming students into the appropriate math sequence. If these 6th graders were entering freshman at UC San Diego, four would have been placed directly into calculus for engineering majors, eight would have placed into calculus for life science majors and the remaining eight into precalculus.

The goal of Math Academy is to prepare these students to excel in the honors math and science programs at the most elite universities in the world.

What They Are Saying

Candidates are identified at the beginning of their 5th-grade year based on their performance on a standardized mathematics test taken by all students in the school district. Families are informed of the opportunity and are invited to participate.

School Locations
Math Academy currently exists at three middle schools within the Pasadena Unified School District:

  • McKinley School (6th, 7th & 8th)
  • Sierra Madre Middle School (6th & 7th)
  • Washington STEAM Magnet Academy (6th & 7th)

The high school program will be housed at Pasadena High School.

Math Academy courses are taught by instructors with extensive training in mathematics and a deep love of the subject. The current instructors all have undergraduate or graduate degrees in math and physics, with two of the classes being taught by an active research mathematician.

Support innovation in our schools!

Math Academy is one of the many ways the Pasadena Educational Foundation helps to create a vibrant and enriching educational experience for all public school children in Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre.


This transformative program is supported by the Pasadena Educational Foundation along with the following community partners: