March 2019 Report to Board

March 2019: Math Program Review Plan

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kris Raitzer outlined an action plan to update the district’s math program at the Board of Education meeting March 19.  The plan includes adjustments to current practice this year, changes to enhance learning next year, and a comprehensive update the following year.

Northbrook Junior High is developing immediate enhancements intended to bolster eighth-grade students’ success as they prepare for high school, including drop-in tutoring during X-block. Additional group and individual supports for eighth-graders are being developed and will be announced as soon as possible to address some parent concerns over their students’ placement in math as freshmen. District 225 used a different assessment this year for eighth-grade placement, the  PSAT 8/9, developed by the College Board. District 28 is reviewing recently received results to determine what adjustments need to be made to support students.

Changes for next year will be:

1) hiring a Math Instructional Specialist (IS) for NBJH.  The Math IS will focus on collaborating with the NBJH math department to make real-time improvements to instructional practices, update assessments, analyze student progress and achievement, and coordinate intervention services for students needing extra assistance;

2) improvements to classroom math assessments at all grades to ensure students are understanding new content and retaining what they had previously learned;

3) a continuation of this year’s work aligning to Illinois Learning Standards that are assessed in the state assessment, now called Illinois Assessment of Readiness;

4) summer professional development for staff;

5) exploring options to best utilize the time allotted to X-block at NBJH; and

6) articulating grade-level homework expectations.

Math Review Committee

A math review committee will convene this summer to continue the improvement process.  The committee will include teachers from every grade level and school, district administrators, and a math educator from Glenbrook North High School. The committee will work with urgency to enact impactful changes along the way and complete implementation in the 2020-21 school year.

“We take this project seriously. It’s teachers’ strong voices at the table that ensure we work with the appropriate urgency and that will result in great learning experiences for children,” said Dr. Raitzer, recapping the plan after the meeting.

The committee will take a deep look at instructional minutes, content standards, the latest research, and new instructional materials.  Teachers, students, and parents will be surveyed to fully understand needs and expectations.

“We need a smart balance of immediate action and careful long-term planning to ensure the best outcome for students,” said Superintendent Larry Hewitt.