About this site

This site describes our free Math Coaching program for under-resourced middle and high school students. It is a ministry of New Life Church, Cupertino, CA. We ran this ministry until mid 2015.  

All our leaders and coaches are volunteers.

This website is designed to:

  • Provide an overview for prospective students and coaches.
  • Provide a tool for current students to invite their friends.
  • Describe our program to others doing something similar, as a way to trigger connection and collaboration
  • Provide our coaches a resource to include in resumes and referrals

To discuss any of this, please contact Tim Isbell.

Why Math?

When students improve in math, at least four things follow:

  1. Self-esteem grows.

  2. Students improve in science.

  3. Students become better "problem solvers," well beyond the areas of math and science.

  4. Career opportunities emerge.

Math skills are a gateway to many good things in life.  Math Coaching not only improves students' math skills, but it also provides personal connections to older students and technical professionals who serve as role models and resources for the future.

Our students

Our program is available to middle and high school students who want help in math, and meet one (or both) of the following:

  1. They cannot afford a tutor.
  2. They are regular or occasional attendees in New Life Nazarene Church Sunday worship (whether or not their parent(s) attend).

Math Coaching at a glance

In 2010, we began meeting once-a-week in the community room of an "affordable rental housing" apartment complex in west San Jose. Today we meet at the nearby New Life Church.

We live in a strong school system where most students come from professional families and routinely use professional tutors. But our kids' can't afford tutors.

Most of the work ranges from pre-algebra through algebra 2/trig. Sometimes we venture outside of math into the sciences, especially where we already have competent coaches. We've even done a little ESL, focused on the language needed to succeed with math word problems.

We like to have one for each student, though if there are multiple students in the same level of math we may put two of them together with one coach.

We meet one evening each week for 1.5 hours. If a student needs extra help, such as for a difficult test, a coach may meet with that student another time in the week (usually at the local library).

Occasionally we take the time to have dinner together, do an activity, or participate in a service project. We also work with our older students  on college and career strategies.

For details, including a list of current coaches, click on Math Coaching Overview.

Math Coaching Posts

  •   Click to subscribe to RSS Feed.  If you don't currently use a news reader (or news aggregator), first watch this 3 minute video.

  • Test post This is the first line of a paragraph.This is the first line of paragraph 2. This one has some bullets:bullet 1bullet 2bullet 3This is the ...
    Posted Nov 4, 2017, 7:36 AM by Tim Isbell
  • Word Problems In the summer of 2014, some of our coaches and English speaking students helped four incoming immigrant students learn enough English and math to survive in a Cupertino high school ...
    Posted Nov 20, 2015, 7:42 AM by Tim Isbell
  • Browser Based Graphing Calculators High school and university math students have used hand-held graphing calculators for years. More recently, on-line, browser-based graphing calculators are on the rise, perhaps because they are ...
    Posted Nov 9, 2015, 2:43 PM by Tim Isbell
  • Crib Sheet for factoring higher order polynomials Algebra 2 is a difficult subject for most high school students. Factoring, graphing, and otherwise working with polynomial functions is an important part of Algebra 2. Early in the course ...
    Posted Nov 6, 2015, 11:21 AM by Tim Isbell
  • Math Equation Families This time of year Algebra students learn to manipulate linear, quadratic, and other equations in a wide variety of ways. Common Core math especially pushes students to develop an intuitive ...
    Posted Nov 2, 2015, 11:43 AM by Tim Isbell
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 21. View more »


Math Coaching has always been a ministry of New Life Nazarene Church, Cupertino, CA. Several of our coaches are members of this church and our students all live near the church. Our weekly coaching sessions occur at the church.

We used to coach at an apartment complex near the church. One benefit of moving to the church is that we can now expand our coaching to under-resourced students living in other housing, and we have far greater access to facilities for supplemental activities.