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Hampton OKs purchase of 'Math in Focus' program

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Hampton Township School District officials have approved the final large piece of the puzzle to implement a new math series in the elementary schools next school year.

On Monday, March 11, the school board approved the purchase and implementation of the “Math in Focus” curriculum for kindergarten through fifth-grade for the 2013-14 school year.

“We've had several lengthy discussions about this,” said school board President David Gurwin.

The school board started discussions of the new math program last month, after the district administration and a committee of teachers researched the curricular options with the goal of aligning the district's math standards with the state's new common core standards, which outlines grade-level academic benchmarks.

Since the district decided to pursue the new math resources, the district has had the “Math in Focus” materials available for review by teachers and the public for 30 days, and the school board canceled classes district wide on Friday, April 26, to provide an additional day of professional development for the teachers.

Last week's approval was the last step in implementing the new curriculum.

District administrators have called the new math series “a significant change” in teaching style that will require considerable training for teachers. “Math in Focus” follows the “Singapore math” model that teaches concepts through real-world examples and hands-on experience.

The estimated cost for the series is $150,000 with an additional $10,000 to $15,000 for teacher training and professional development and potential recurring costs to cover the purchase of workbooks each year.

The workbooks for the 2013-14 school year are included in the estimated cost.

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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