USD 443 to decide on math options for fall 2021

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe

Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum Scott Springston gave an update regarding the K-12 Math Materials Adoption to Dodge City Unified School District 443 Board of Education.

Joining him were three teachers from the K-12 Math Workgroup Committee, Crystal Strobel from Beeson Elementary, Deb Lapka from Dodge City Middle School and Michelle Ochs from Dodge City High School.

Springston offered background on the updating of materials project.

A district workgroup was formed on Jan. 16 to review current math practices, alignment to state math curriculum standards and review materials so they could adopt other supportive arithmetic instructions.

Throughout the year, this work group made up of various USD 443 staff from every district building and grade level, including secondary math course, administration, ELL, special education, instructional coaches and district administration worked in collaboration to revise the tools used for K-12 math materials.

They were aided by an independent source in reviewing math materials and programs currently on the market and, through a thorough research-based set of vetting criteria, compared each program on the market.

Vendors from several textbook companies presented their material to the workgroup committee for review, who then subsequently narrowed the list down to about five curriculums.

The workgroup came up with a consensus ranking of those curriculums at their Dec. 8, 2020, meeting and by the ending of that meeting it was recommended that K-8 members of the workgroup develop a pro and con list for the Eureka Math curriculum.

Following that, a meeting was set up for Jan. 11 with all K-8 workgroup members to meet with Eureka Math representatives to discuss their curriculum.

After that meeting with Eureka Math representatives, the workgroup committee returned to review and submit their final rankings of the Eureka Math curriculum.

“Eureka would be our first choice currently,” said Strobel. “Something I really like about Eureka is, it’s such a rigorous program and I think that really helps deepen our students' understanding of math."

Strobel said that because Eureka aligns with elementary school standards, Eureka’s online component for students and parents, including being able to translate the curriculum from to English to Spanish, is important for the Dodge City community.

Help for teachers in learning, modifying and applying the curriculum is also based online, which will be beneficial to new teachers.

All online components are aligned with Google Classroom, making Eureka more compatible with USD 443.

Strobel appreciated the communication aspect of Eureka, where teachers are able to view student progression in math as they move on to the next grade.

Lapka spoke about another curriculum, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Into Math.

“It is the next generation of math that we are using right now,” said Lapka.

Lapka added the reason her committee of people chose HMH Into Math is that it supports all state grade-level standards.

Further consideration for HMH Into Math came from the fact that teachers would be able to view materials and curriculum two grades below what they currently teach and two grades above.

The technological component is compatible with Google Classroom and boasts a “Family Room,” where parents can find support to help their child and a “Teacher’s Corner” that does the same for teachers and their students.

Lapka said that the HMH Into Math curriculum possesses a strong component in math vocabulary.

Ochs based her support of the Reveal Math by McGraw Hill curriculum on that it aligns with what is currently taught based on state standards, is consistent with the current curriculum, and how user-friendly their products were.

Reveal Math offers a more independent online practice for students learning at different rates without impending overall classroom curriculum activity.

The textbook is offered both physically and online and chapters can be downloaded to view offline, should a student not have internet access.

Accompanying tools such as an online graphing calculator and a language resource book are also available in this curriculum.

Online lessons, assessments and assignments used and issued by teachers are customizable for class presentations and the curriculum is compatible with other online resources not part of McGraw Hill.

The next step after BOE approval of whatever curriculum they choose for the K-12 Math Materials Adoption at the Feb. 8 Board of Education meeting will move the district to implant the new curriculum by the start of the fall 2021 school year.