New high school math plan involves community

September 8, 2009

By Staff

Issaquah School District officials announced a new draft timeline for a high school math adoption at the Aug. 26 meeting of the Issaquah School Board.District officials put the high school math adoption on hold in July because they felt there hadn’t been enough community input and because there was a lack of clarity from the state about recommended materials.

The school district’s Math Adoption Committee had selected Discovering Mathematics, by Key Curriculum Press, while the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction had recommended Holt Mathematics.

Several parents contacted district officials, teachers and board members about the lack of public involvement in the process.

For now, students are using College Prep Mathematics. To ensure students are still receiving math lessons that align with the state’s new standards, teachers spent the summer reviewing lessons and infusing them with new material, said Patrick Murphy, district executive director of secondary education.

At school curriculum nights in September, parents and students will be asked to take surveys about how they use the current curriculum and what they want to see in a new math curriculum, said Ron Thiele, district associate superintendent.

District officials will also hold several meetings with parents and students about mathematics, and include a community forum to gauge what aspects of a curriculum are most important to the Issaquah community. Those meetings and forum will likely be held this fall or winter.

Teachers will meet in spring to re-evaluate the current math curriculum and new ones, with the community’s input in mind, and then select one for adoption, Murphy said.

After a selection is made, the curriculum will go to the district’s Instructional Materials Committee, which analyzes the text for bias and readability and is a state requirement.

After that process is complete, board members will choose to adopt or reject the curriculum.

The money from last spring that was to be used to adopt the math curriculum has been moved to the new school year budget and will remain reserved for the purpose of purchasing new math materials.

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