RANCHO SANTA FE — Last month, the Rancho Santa Fe School Board adopted a new math program for both its elementary and middle schools. The new mathematical direction is aimed at a more vigorous, challenging and structured platform.
According to Superintendent Donna Tripi, elementary students will be introduced to Everyday Mathematics while the middle school will be learning Open Up Resources by Illustrative Mathematics.
Tripi said about a year and a half ago, the board asked then Superintendent David Jaffe to conduct a review of the R. Roger Rowe’s curriculum and instruction in math and literacy.
“So, he (Jaffe) began this initiative with the principals, and they asked the county for some support with it,” said Tripi, noting there were focus sessions with parents and staff. “They brainstormed some guiding questions, and we then started with the math because they felt that was the greatest need.”
Tripi said the current curriculum needed some work — some of the topics offered in the classroom were thought to be out of grade level. Additionally, Tripi pointed out a lack of guidance surrounding lesson timing.
The San Diego County Office of Education took the project reins and integrated every math teacher at R. Roger Rowe in its assessment. Math experts were utilized in the review process.
Tripi described the now former math program as a homegrown curriculum. The end goal for the review was to determine if the program was in line with the Common Core Standards and meeting the educational needs of students.
The county performed an in-depth review of the homegrown curriculum. It included classroom observation and evaluation of the teachers and math department for both the elementary and middle school.
At the end of the review, the county provided its summary, which encompassed the strengths of the district’s program and areas of need.
“What came out of the review was that while we had a very good homegrown program, with really meaningful tests and in line with the standards, the downfall of it was really the program organization,” Tripi said.
At that point, the district explored the available mathematical curriculums for both its elementary and middle schools.
“We looked at what was currently available in a curriculum that we felt would meet the needs of our high-performing students,” she said.
Tripi said they researched a total of five programs at the elementary level and three at the middle school level. These program recommendations were from highly rated programs.
“We narrowed it down, and at the elementary school we chose Everyday Mathematics, and at the middle school we chose Open Up Resources,” Tripi said. “We felt that these programs had all of the pieces that were important, so we are going to have a new (math program) adoption for next year.”
Tripi said the new math program for the upcoming school year will provide an excellent classroom experience for R. Roger Rowe students.
New math curriculum slated for 2019-2020 school year