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EGUSD in the Spotlight
EGUSD’s Math Initiative
West third grade teacher Catherine Brink explains the vocabulary of multiplication to her students.
Preparing students for higher level math is a priority at the Elk Grove Unified School District. For the past three years the district has had a math initiative in place to scaffold student learning so that they are prepared to take higher level math courses.
“Our math initiative builds upon a clear focus for student achievement and a strong collaborative professional development platform,” said Superintendent Steven M. Ladd, Ed.D. “Through everyone’s hard work we are seeing very positive growth.”
Two West students work together on their multiplication skills through an interactive activity.
The math initiative has involved a plan of professional learning to support teachers in the classroom. For the past three years third through seventh-grade teachers have had the opportunity to participate in professional development that focuses on using strategies to improve student learning and in making the connection between grade level standards and success in algebra. For secondary schools this means instructional coaches working with school administration and teachers to ensure that resources, professional learning activities, and students’ needs are tightly aligned and coordinated.
“I am encouraged at the number of teachers that have participated in the training over the last three years and am looking forward to expanding professional learning efforts to more teachers as we prepare for all students being enrolled in 8th grade algebra,” said Karen Zumwalt, EGUSD’s mathematics curriculum specialist.
West teacher Catherine Brink helps one of her students with a multiplication exercise.
Since the math initiative began, the students have had great gains in their mathematics test scores. Between 2005 and 2007 Algebra I California Standardized Test scores have increased by 22 points for eighth graders and seven points for ninth graders. The district has also seen progress in mathematics for our subgroups and in the number of students passing the California High School Exit Exam on their first attempt.
A West student works on a multiplication activity in Catherine Brink’s class.
The district’s work to strengthen the teaching in learning that takes place in mathematics has only just begun. In July, the California State Board of Education voted to begin testing all eighth grade students in Algebra I in three years. The Elk Grove Unified School District is analyzing what changes will need to be in place to meet this new challenge. The district will be looking at a variety of tools to enable both students and teachers to be successful in algebra during the middle school years.
“In EGUSD, we have a long history of commitment to rigor, strong professional development and a can-do attitude,” said Nancy Lucia, associate superintendent of Education Services. “Our teachers are well-prepared and provide quality, standards-based instruction on a daily basis. Our Board of Education and Superintendent constantly support our efforts in closing the achievement gap. I am confident that together we will build on this strong foundation to meet this challenge.”
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June 16, 2008 - EGUSD Goes Gold – Celebrating 50 Years of Educational Excellence
June 6, 2008 - Kaiser Permanente Rewards EGUSD Elementary students with perfect attendance with the gift of a two-wheel ride
May 30, 2008 - Sheldon High School Student Matthew King wins Elk Grove Auto Mall 2007/2008 Graduating Seniors Attendance Drive
May 20, 2008 - Harriet Eddy Middle School student wins pair of round-trip tickets from Southwest Airlines
May 21, 2008 - Elk Grove Unified and the Elk Grove Education Association Celebrate the Day of the Teacher
May 6, 2008 - Elk Grove Unified School District’s 2008 Employees of the Year
April 28, 2008 - Sacramento County Educators Host Budget Forum at State Capital
April 16, 2008 - EGUSD Launches New Attendance Campaign Videos
April 4, 2008 - Winners selected for 3rd Annual Superintendent’s Art Contest
March 26, 2008 - Megaconference Jr. 2008 - Arthur C. Butler Students Take Their Voices to the World
March 17, 2008 - Elk Grove Unified Joins Call to Fix Governor’s Proposed Budget
March 4, 2008 - Elk Grove Unified Hosts Sacramento County Superintendents’ Press Conference on State Budget Cuts
Feb. 19, 2008 - 4th Annual High School Conference helps train the leaders of the future
Jan. 16, 2008 - Laguna Creek High School hosts ConnectEd Policy Site Visit
Jan. 02, 2008 - Senior Attendance Drive returns for second year
Dec. 12, 2007 - John Ehrhardt Elementary students combine academics and community service
Dec. 03, 2007 - EGUSD’s Commitment to Service Learning Honored
Nov. 15, 2007 - Winners announced for No Excuses – Go to School Rhyme & Poster Contests
Nov. 13, 2007 - Veterans Day celebrated at Elk Grove Unified
Oct. 23, 2007 - Time of Remembrance Project and Website
Oct. 15, 2007 - Markofer Elementary offers “Donuts for Dads/Muffins for Moms"
Oct. 3, 2007 - EGUSD elementary schools participate in Walk to School Day
Sept. 18, 2007 - Options abound on new College and Career website
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