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Hampton school officials, teachers gearing up for new math series

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Hampton Township School District officials are putting plans in place to implement a new math series in the elementary schools next school year.

On Monday, the school board was slated to approve the purchase and implementation of the “Math in Focus” curriculum after the materials had been available for review by teachers and the public for 30 days.

Math in Focus follows the “Singapore math” model that teaches concepts through real-world examples and hands-on experience.

The new series will align the district's math standards with the state's new common core standards, which outline grade-level academic benchmarks.

The estimated cost for the series is $150,000, with an additional $10,000 to $15,000 for teacher training and professional development.

District administrators have called the series “a significant change” in teaching style that will require considerable training for teachers.

To prepare staff for the new curriculum, the district will cancel classes on Friday, April 26, to provide an additional professional development day prior to the 2013-14 school year to introduce teachers to the math series. Secondary school teachers will review the state common core standards by subject area during the extra professional development day.

All of the Math in Focus materials will be distributed to the elementary school teachers at that time for review, said Jo Welter, assistant superintendent.

Teachers already are working to become familiar with the new teaching style by reviewing what Welter called “problems of the day.”

“Once they knew that's the direction (we'll take the curriculum), they've really embraced it,” Welter said.

The district administration also plans to schedule a professional development day to address the math series in August before the school year starts, and again in October or November.

Superintendent John Hoover said teachers also will have access to instructional videos over the summer through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which publishes the Math in Focus series.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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