EATON — During the Eaton Community Schools Board of Education meeting held Monday, March 11, math teachers in grades six through 11th presented information regarding the district’s math curriculum.
High School Math Department Chair Kevin Kochensparger led the presentation.
“Superintendent Jeff Parker has been working with us to try to work on communication between the Math Department, parents, teachers, and administration. The goal of the mathematics teachers of the middle and high school at Eaton district is to serve our students in a manner that meets their needs,” he said.
“We follow the philosophy that we want our students to be challenged, not overwhelmed, as they weave their way through the course offering at the middle and high school. In the spirit, we have to recognize two things: that mathematics, unlike a lot of different subject areas, is progressive in nature.
“In Algebra I, the students first encounter with abstract thinking, is the foundation that must be achieved to make the following courses make sense, enhance their learning experience, and prepare them for the challenges of post-high school education. With the support of Mr. Parker we have met as a vertical team of mathematics teachers in hopes of improving the communication of the community regarding our course offerings.”
He added, one of the biggest debates in mathematics across the country for many year has centered around when to first offer Algebra I to students. It has went from eighth to ninth grade, with some accelerated eighth graders taking the course early.
“We have students who are definitively ready to take Algebra I as eighth graders. This puts them on the tract to take Calculus as Seniors. We also have felt placement in this class should not be taken lightly and teachers in our middle school have worked hard developing guidelines for placement in this class,” he said.
“A large majority of our students take Algebra I for the first time as ninth graders. This puts them on a path to take Pre-Calculus as a Senior. For most students, this is plenty of mathematics to satisfy needs. This puts them on a path to take Calculus in College, if they so choose.”
The third option is to take the Algebra I curriculum over a span of two years. This gives students an opportunity to learn at a pace which serves their needs. These students will still take Algebra II prior to graduation.
After explaining the group’s philosophy and vision, Kochensparger added, he was asking for the board’s support.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH