Vermillion school committee makes recommendations

Vermillion school committee makes recommendations by David Lias Students attending Vermillion Public Schools this fall will crack open new math textbooks and follow an updated math curriculum.

Liz Hogen, the school's curriculum director, told the Vermillion School Board of a curriculum review process undertaken by a committee of school educators last June.

The committee began its work by reading research, reviewing drafts of math education standards, watching "manipulative" videos and reorganizing local standards into seven areas identified by the state.

Those areas are algebra, geometry, measurement, number sense, patterns, relationships and functions, statistics and probability.

The committee concluded its work this spring. After reviewing several options for new textbooks, it decided that students in grades K-5 will implement Scott Forseman/Addison Wesley materials. Students in grades 6-8 will use texts published by Prentice Hall.

High school materials will be: Algebra I and Algebra II � McDougal/Littel; Geometry � Scott Forseman; AP Calculus � Houghton Mifflin; Pre-Calculus � Glencoe/McGraw Hill; Statistics � Glencoe/McGraw Hill, Integrated Math � International Thompson Publishing.

"The thing that took most of our energy and time (in the year-long review and selection process) was dealing with the state standards," Hogen said.

A factor that posed a challenge was the release of a draft of state standards last June, when the committee began its work. By last October, when the committee had made considerable progress, committee members were presented with newly adopted state math standards.

"There were some alignment differences," Hogen said.

Last December, the committee began the process of aligning the state and local standards. In January, it devoted half a day to work on the alignment project. It added some of the local school district's standards to the state requirements.

The alignment work was completed in all areas by the end of March.

In February, the committee identified the most important criteria for selecting texts. Texts were compared to local standards and curriculum in order to find the best match.

The final decisions were made after the elementary and middle school staff narrowed their selections of texts to two. Representatives of the selected texts' publishing companies presented their materials to school staff.

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