DECATUR - "Operation Calculus," a program started at Eisenhower High School in 2013, has seen a 98% success rate in helping African-American students succeed in their math courses.
The program began because of a statistic showing that African-American students were performing at a 30% lower rate in math than their white counterparts. School officials searched for a way to help out, and the solution they found was Operation Calculus.
The extra-support program targets, but does not limit its services to, African-American students who are taking any of the three following courses; Algebra 2, Pre-calculus, or A.P. Calculus. The program starts in the summer with a four-week-long boot camp which offers students an opportunity to "pre-learn" the material for the class they will be taking in the fall. At the end of the boot camp, students are able to take a weekend trip to a university where they learn more about opportunities for higher education. Last year, students visited a university in South Carolina.
Justin Hampton, Director of Operation Calculus, said "the success of the program lies within the relationship building students get to have with faculty." Hampton provides help to the program's students in four math classes a day, as well as help other students during class. Before- and after-school tutoring is also a program component, and while we were visiting, students even opted out of their lunch period to join Mr. Hampton for some help.
Before Operation Calculus existed, more than 50% of students were dropping or failing these math courses. Now, that number has changed drastically, and for the better.