June 2019 Update

Math Program Work Continues Through Summer

Over 1,200 hours have been invested in the math program review since May 20, with more than 80 staff members contributing to curriculum work, participating in professional learning, or leading professional learning sessions.  

Many revisions and enhancements will be ready for teachers and students this August.  Additionally, the program will continue to be studied next year, which will result in additional changes that will be implemented in the fall of 2020.  The goal is to more specifically align curriculum with the Common Core Standards and the tests that rely on that content, such as NWEA MAP, Illinois Assessment of Readiness, and PSAT 8/9, which is used for high school placement. 

Enhancements that will be ready for the start of the school year include:

Revised Pacing Calendars

This process provides clarity to teachers on what to teach and when to teach it. Every unit in kindergarten through eighth grade will be aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards so that each grade is spending the appropriate amount of time on the major concepts expected for the year.

Revise Assessments

Assessments for every unit in every grade are being reviewed and revised to ensure they are measuring the appropriate learning standards.

At the junior high, screening assessments are being developed to help determine if students are bringing in the necessary skills they need to be successful at the level of math in which they are enrolled.

Homework

The Homework Task Force is working over the summer to create a homework bank with differentiated homework opportunities. Two parent forums were held June 26 and 27 to help shape the guidelines for K-5 homework.

Informing Parents

Teachers are creating parent letters explaining content for each upcoming math unit. Homework will also be used to help communicate to parents what students are learning.

At the junior high, a parent workshop is being planned for September to share information regarding the PSAT8/9 with a representative from the College Board, which authors the test.

Professional Development

The Math Instructional Specialist for the junior high has been hired and begins work July 1. (see more information about Ms. Penherski in new staff article). She will spend about 70 percent of her time side by side with teachers and students in the classroom, 10 percent working with students who need interventions, and 20 percent of her time leading curriculum enhancements and professional development.

Full Program Review

The Math Program Review team will continue work through next school year on researching curriculum, text resources, and instructional minutes. The math curriculum has been in place for six years and is part of the curriculum cycle for a complete review. The first phase will begin with a review of expectations and standards from early childhood through eighth grade. Part of the review will include examining math instructional time.  At the junior high, the review will include looking at whether additional time should be allotted to math and what impact that would have on other subjects, how other middle schools schedule their math time, as well as parent feedback.

View the board presentation slides for more information.