BOE approves changes to math program

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Pike County Board of Education approved make changes to the high school math procedure and the math progression.

With the Common Core standards being more rigorous than the past way of teaching math, students are learning math while learning how to think the problem through instead of memorizing it.

“We think that we are preparing them to be better critical thinkers,” said Donnella Carter, the district office administrative assistant at the Pike County Board of Education. “Previous standards did not have that rigor. We are seeing a lot of growth. I think parents are struggling because its not the way we learned to do math.”

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“The math is not different,” said Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools. “If kids can’t apply what they have learned to solving a problem, them I’m not sure what good it is. We have always tried to teach kids to think critically.”

The update in the math procedure will require a mandatory meeting when students have not done well in Algebra I or geometry before they progress to harder levels of math. Students who have struggled in these courses will continue to struggle in the more advanced courses if they do not grasp the basics.

Furthermore, the board approved to officially add an Algebra with finance course to the math progression.

In other items of business, the board approved the Science, Technology and Math (STEM) Academy for the 2015-2016 school year.

Bazzell acknowledged that there are courses in the high school that allow students to take advanced courses in these subjects; however, it is time to allow younger students to begin learning these advanced skills.

“It’s time for us to start pushing opportunities down to the middle school,” Bazzell said. The board proposed to create a group for fifth and sixth grade students to study advanced math and sciences and create the STEM academy for seventh and eighth graders.

Other items of business:

Approved financial statement and bank reconcilements for March 2015.

Approved payment of payrolls for March 2015.

Approved permission for CNP to proved a summer feeding program at PCES.

Approved permission for PCHS to rent a copier.

Approved permission for the pre-engineering students, TPCT, and chaperones to attend Math and Science Day at Six Flags in Atlanta on May 1.

Approved permission for the GHS JROTC Cadets and instrutctors to attend the U.S. Army Infantry Museum in Fort Benning, Ga. on May 8.

Approved permission of the PCHS gospel choir to participate in the weekend celebration in the opening of a new worship center in Madison on May 1-3.

Approved permission for nurses to attend the Alabama Associate of School Nurses Conference June 3-4 in Trussville.

Approved permission for Thomas Powell and Major Lane of GHS to attend the CLAS Conference June 14-17 in Montgomery and the Mega Conference on July 20-24 in Mobile.

Approved Wanda Corley and Tracey Arnold of GES to attend the CLAS Summer Convention on June 14-17 in Montgomery.

Approved Shondra Whitaker of PCHS to attend the 2015 CLAS Conference on June 14-17 in Montgomery.

Approved Approved permission for Eric Weels of Bus Shop, to attend the ASPMA Classes on April 23 in Orange Beach.

Approved student transfers

Approved Wille Wright to attend the 2015 Class Conference on June 14-17 in Montgomery.

Approved Jennifer Hornsby, Mitzy Distel, Olivia Boyd and Rebecca Kelly to attend AASBO Spring Conference in Perdido Beach May 4-8 in 2015.

Considered student discipline matter.

Accepted resignation of six people.

Accepted to hire four people.