School District reviews new math curriculum

The number of students passing the math portion has remained stagnant for years. The Oak Harbor School District is taking a new step to provide them more help.

After months of review, school district officials are narrowing choices for a new math curriculum for grades eight through 11.

Kurt Schonberg, school district teaching and learning director, said that the number of possible curricula being considered has been whittled down to three and the public is invited to view each option and make comments.

There are several factors driving the curriculum shift. The Washington Assessment of Student Learning, or WASL, results for high school students have been flat for the past five years while the school district has seen increases in earlier grades, Schonberg said. In addition, the new curriculum is needed because of changes the district is making to graduation requirements and changes in state legislation.

“We really need to increase alignment of math materials at those grade levels,” Schonberg said, adding that alignment needs to be made with state standards. The state recently increased, from two to three, the number of math credits students need to graduate. Generally one class for an entire school year equals one credit.

A committee — comprised of parents, teachers and principals — have been working since last fall to find a suitable alternative for the current curriculum, which was adopted around 2001. School district officials have to examine the curriculum and make changes to ensure it meets students’ needs.

The three curricula take similar approaches in teaching math by showing how math is important in other academic subjects in in the real world.

“The theme is to help kids see math in a lot of different places,” Schonberg said.

The three curricula being considered are SIMMS, published by Kendall-Hunt; CORE-PLUS, published by Glencoe; and College Prep Math, published by CPM.

Copies of the curricula are available at the school district administration building located at 350 S. Oak Harbor St.

Schonberg said he would like any feedback on the proposed curricula made by April 25. That way, any comments can be incorporated into the committee’s recommendations.

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