Class helps students prepare for college math

TUPELO – Lee County’s three high schools will each offer a non-credit pre-college-algebra class this spring to better prepare seniors for higher education.
The classes at Mooreville, Saltillo and Shannon high schools each will be taught by teachers who have spent time as adjunct instructors at Itawamba Community College.
“It is such a problem area for some people, and I believe it is because they don’t practice it enough,” said Mooreville High School math teacher Jan Stembridge, who will teach the course at her school.
The class will be available only for seniors, and all three schools have space for about 30 students. Because it is not an official course sanctioned by the Mississippi Department of Education, credit cannot be offered.
What will be offered instead will be the chance to prepare for a college course that traditionally causes trouble.
Lee County Superintendent Mike Scott cited national statistics that indicate that 40-60 percent of students enrolled in college algebra classes either fail or withdraw.
That’s why he asked Stembridge, Saltillo High School’s Brenda Spearman and Shannon’s George Gregory to teach the class.
“If that is the course that is holding kids back in the college ranks, we want Lee County students to have the best opportunity they can,” Scott said.
Students will have one quarter to learn the material and take tests and will then learn what grade they would have made. During the second quarter, students will receive small-group help in the specific areas in which they struggled.
“You’re going to have a full notebook when you leave here that will really help you with college algebra,” Stembridge said.
Seniors or their parents can contact the school’s counselor or principal to reserve a spot in the classes.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio