ShareThis Page

West Jefferson Hills' math curriculum to be fortified

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

West Jefferson Hills School District is updating its math curriculum.

Bonnie Dyer, district director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, is working with teachers to make the math curriculum more compatible with the Keystone and Common Core Standard assessments.

The overhaul is taking place not only in kindergarten through third grade, but also at higher grade levels. She plans to have a new curriculum ready for grades kindergarten through grade 8 by next year, she said at the March 25 school board meeting.

By the fall of 2015, high school students will be offered algebra, pre-calculus and additional courses. Algebra also will be offered in the eighth grade.

An update to the math curriculum was exactly what some parents and students were looking for as they addressed the board at last month's meeting.

Gloria Shalles and her son, Mark, asked the directors to consider making math classes more rigorous.

The ninth-grader said he had never been challenged in any of his math classes and wasn't reaching his full potential. His mother asked for honors classes for students who need accelerated learning.

The education committee, made of up school board members, is working with Dyer and the teachers to change the math curriculum.

“We're looking at whether what we're teaching now meets the standards. What can we move or add?” Dyer said.

She added that students will spend more time on fewer topics.

“When the new math curriculum is implemented, one of the things parents and students may notice would be instruction on fewer math topics in a school year,” Dyer said. “By focusing on fewer topics, students will have the opportunity to delve deeply into mathematics concepts and their applications.”

Changes at the elementary and middle school levels will make for adjustments in the high school curriculum.

“Over time, there will be a focus on developing mathematical ‘habits of the mind' such as mathematical modeling, perseverance in problem solving and constructing mathematical arguments and critiquing the mathematical reasoning of others,” Dyer said.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.