Math Olympiads at Seawell 

Does your child enjoy math? Do they like to solve number puzzles and challenging math problems? The Math Olympiads Program for elementary and middle schools ( is a nonprofit public foundation which provides opportunities for children to engage in creative problem solving activities. It has been shown to greatly increase children's understanding of problems similar to the ones on the EOGs and SATs. Interested 4th and 5th graders are invited to join the Seawell team. 

Weekly practice sessions or contests will be held on Tuesdays, after school from 2:30 – 3:45 pm in the Seawell Media Center (Library) starting October 17, 2017 and going through March 13, 2018. The class size is limited to 35. We’ll have a second class if there’s sufficient demand and volunteers. We will have snack from 2:30-2:45 to give everyone time to congregate and regroup. 


 October 17 

October 24 

October 31 

November 14 (CONTEST) 

November 21 

November 28

 December 5 

December 12 (CONTEST) 

December 19


January 2 

January 9 

January 23 (CONTEST)** 

January 30

 February 6 

February 13 (CONTEST) 

February 27 

March 6 (CONTEST) 

March 13 (Party) 

** January 16 is the original contest date set by MOEMS, however due to the teacher workday, it has been postponed one week.


In these contests, Seawell “mathletes” compete against 4th, 5th and 6th graders throughout the United States and the world. Each contest consists of five word problems. Students are encouraged to read the problem, devise a strategy, solve it, and then double-check their answer. During practice sessions, we solve problems from previous contests and discuss general problem-solving strategies. Sample questions can be found at:
Math Olympiad rules state that the contest must be given to everyone at the same time so there are no make-ups allowed if a student must miss on a contest day. Please be aware that these contests can be very difficult and tricky and are not a repeat of what your child learns in your classroom math, though not totally unrelated; they are created with 6th graders in mind. It’s fine if your child is answering just one or two questions correctly! We want Math Olympiads to be challenging and fun. We want everyone who has an interest to feel that this can be a safe place to become a better problem solver.


The Math Olympiad at Seawell is organized by parents, so we need every participating family to help to run this worthwhile program! Each parent volunteer would help about 3-5 times during the year depending on how many volunteers we get. Volunteering can range from making copies, ordering team T-shirts, providing snacks, leading a small group in problem solving, or leading the MO class as a whole. There are opportunities both in and outside of class time. We will assign you a job that matches your interest and availability. If we have an overwhelming response of volunteers, we will prioritize by how quickly you return the registration form and by how willing you are to volunteer. The volunteer sign-up will be sent out to the parents of those who are accepted for MO. Up to 35 students are allowed to join each team. We shall have a second class if there’s enough interest and volunteers.

Teacher Recommendations Required

Math Olympiad is for those who love solving math problems and want to get better at it. Appropriate class behavior is expected. Please ask your child’s teacher (last year’s or this year's) for a recommendation to join the team. Again, the intention is to ensure that the students who participate are math students who will participate appropriately and eagerly. School-like behavior is required and, after a first warning, a student may be expelled from MO in case of disciplinary issues.


This year we ask families to pay $25 per student. This will cover the registration cost for the program, copies, and t-shirts for the team. HOWEVER, we don’t want cost to be a reason for anyone not to be able to join the club, so please contact Nanako Thomas at if your child would benefit from a scholarship. You can also make a donation to cover the cost of other students upon registering. ONLY AFTER YOUR CHILD IS ACCEPTED, PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO “SEAWELL
ELEMENTARY PTA” and WRITE “Math Olympiad” on the ENVELOPE. Please see step 3 under registration, below. All checks will be held until we finalize the team list. If we end up with more students than we can accommodate, we will return your check.


If you have any questions, please contact Nanako Thomas at or Sarah Milford-Beland (lead teacher) at


If your child is interested in participating in the Math Olympiad, please complete the following no later than Friday, October 6th.

1. Complete the online registration form, which will open at 9 am, Monday, September 18th at:
(please remember admission is first come first served with a recommendation from your teacher; we have a strict cut off of 35 unless we can find more people to help run the program).
2. Have your child ask her or his teacher for a recommendation to the Math Olympiad. The teacher may email the recommendation letter to Nanako Thomas at
3. Only after your registration is accepted, send in the enrollment fee of $25 (place envelope in your child’s classroom folder to be forwarded to the PTA).