Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nothing common about new math books

New Richmond Exempted Village School District students in grades kindergarten through six will be greeted with new math text books when they return to school Aug. 18 when the district switches to enVisionMATH.

New Richmond EVSD math teachers (from left) Michele Jackson, Kelly Gabriel, Jane Bevins, Rena Snouffer and Lauren Lindsley watch a presentation during a two-month long evaluation of math programs.

“It’s the first time we have upgraded our K-6 math text books in nine years,” said Adam Bird, superintendent of schools. “Our math teachers have had to shoe-string everything together because the math books they were using did not reflect the demands of the state tests.”

“The fact that we were able to pass the state math tests is a reflection of the job our math teachers have done.”

The enVisionMATH program is designed to meet the national Common Core math assessment standards that begin in 2014. The new math series has interactive and visual learning components and designed for both gifted at at-risk learners.

The new math series was selected by a committee of math teachers from the district’s three elementary schools who consulted with teachers in their buildings.

“It’s a program that our teachers believe best fits out district and our students’ needs and best prepares our district for the new common core national math standards coming out this fall,” said John Frye, director of pupil and staff services for New Richmond schools.

More than 25 teachers were actively engaged in the evaluation process which took place in April and May.

“We looked at districts that had excellent with distinction math scores and looked at what they were using,” explained Frye, who invited enVisionMATH, Everyday Mathematics, Math Investigations and Think Math to make presentations to the committee. “The evaluation process was really intense and I’m really proud of the work of our teachers.”

The new math series will cost $125,000.

“That’s about average for a K-6 math program,” noted Frye. “In addition to math books, it will include work books for students and materials for teachers plus online access to multimedia delivery that will be part of the daily lesson plans.”

Next up for New Richmond will be the adoption of a new reading program by the end of the 2011-12 school year to meet the new Common Core reading standings.

“I expect that evaluation process to take the better part of the school year,” said Frye.