ShareThis Page

Hampton schools to cancel day of classes for teacher development day

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Hampton Township School District will cancel classes district-wide to allow for one additional professional development day for teachers this school year in preparation for implementing a new math curriculum in the elementary schools next year.

In a unanimous vote, the school board approved changing Friday, April 26, to a professional development day primarily so administrators can introduce teachers to the “Math in Focus” math series.

“I don't like to do this,” said Gail Litwiler, school board member and chairperson of the education committee, of the change. “But we really need to provide the training on the new program, and this is a way to do it before the end of the year.”

The school district plans to adopt the new math program next month in an effort to align with the state's new common core standards, which outlines grade-level academic benchmarks.

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

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

The board delayed the vote of “Math in Focus” to allow for the books to be on display for 30 days in the administration center and elementary buildings for teachers and community members to review.

Superintendent John Hoover said canceling classes on April 26 for the professional development day was the “least disruptive” date in the district-wide calendar.

“We do think this is an important support we want to give to the elementary teachers,” Hoover said. “We want to give them every opportunity to feel comfortable with this, and this is a start.”

Though the day is primarily geared for elementary teachers, the teachers in the middle school and high school buildings also will take part in additional professional development that day.

Hoover said the change should not affect graduation or other scheduled days off. The district scheduled three school days in addition to the 180 required days to allow for snow cancellations.

“We may have to change this at the end if we get a number of snow days (before the end of the school year),” Hoover said. “But I'm being optimistic.”

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

click me