I attended the middle school math meeting on April 29th. I do not have a child in the middle school, but I believe that middle school is a critical time for students.
The burdens of common-core on the math program are obvious. I asked the middle school Principal Rich Leprine if the teachers were making their own curriculum or just using EngageNY. Mr. Leprine gave a fair answer. He said that the teachers were using EngageNY, but deciding how much time to spend on each module.
I think we can do better. Some very successful districts take the common core as a guideline and develop their own curriculums. I believe our teachers and staff can do better than just using the state print outs.
If a student takes Math 8 as an eight grader, that student will not be on track to take AP Calculus. AP Statistics will be available. It seems there should be more flexibility. If we took control of the curriculum we could do more.
We need to assure that parents of 6th graders get the information they need early enough to understand the implications for the future.
Mr. Leprine called something a “high school problem.” It may have been an off-hand comment, but with a lack of a leader in the Superintendent role, there is no one emphasizing the K-12 view.
There is confusion over teaming in the middle school. It is not clear if there is an ongoing “pilot” program with a few kids or not. I would be happy to talk to other involved parents about this.
My cell is 914-218-7696.
A few words on middle school:
I think that middle school is the hardest age and a time of big transitions. 6th grade is when kids need a lot of support. Guidance counselors, proper class sizes, and a plan for each student is critical. In middle school, there must be opportunities to develop new interests and to discover new talents. Every student should have a chance to thrive in middle school. Every parent should be informed of the impact of curriculum decisions in middle school that set the course for their child’s future.