Graphing Calculator Information

updated for school year 2016-2017

Graphing calculators are a key everyday tool for learning mathematics, so Lexington High School strongly recommends that all students purchase a Texas Instruments graphing calculator from the TI-83 or TI-84 family. These are the calculators most widely used by high school students, and having all students using similar calculators enables us to instruct students on how to use these devices.

A calculator purchased in 8th grade or at the start of 9th grade will be useful for class work, homework, and assessments in math and science classes through all of high school. Classes will begin using the calculators in early September. LHS is committed to using TI-83/84's with the Classes of 2017 through 2021, for whom there will never be a future LHS math course in which a different calculator is recommended.

There is a range of possible costs for a graphing calculator depending on your choices of specific model and of new-vs.-used. All TI-83 and TI-84 calculators are suitable for use at LHS, and it is not necessary to buy the most expensive model. Note that some newer models have rechargeable batteries while other models run on AAA batteries; you might consider whether one or the other would be better for your student. Also please note that the TI-Nspire calculator, although from the same manufacturer, is not a suitable purchase because it is not compatible with the TI-83/84 calculators that we use at school.

TI calculators are available from online retailers as well as local stores. Prices tend to rise near the start of the school year, so you may be able to save significantly by purchasing soon or by shopping around. TI-84’s typically sell for $100 to $130 depending on the model, but as of this writing on 8/18/16, a very prominent online seller has the TI-84 Plus on sale for $88. For a more affordable option, used TI-83 Plus calculators can often be found online for under $50.

Our school understands that some families may not be in a position to purchase a graphing calculator at this time. We have some calculators available for loan to students who are not able to get their own calculator due to need. If your student needs to borrow a calculator, he/she should pick up a calculator loan request form from the LHS Math Department office in room 711 and return it no later than Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Upon completing and returning this form, while our limited supply lasts, we will lend a calculator to be used for the coming year.

Your student's math teacher is looking forward to beginning an engaging and successful year of mathematics learning. Parents and students with questions about calculators should ask their teacher once school begins, or may write to Mathematics Department Head Kevin Kelly, kkelly@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us.

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