The USD 253 Board of Education adopted a new set of math core resources during a regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday. The seven-year curriculum purchase totals more than $720,000 and covers all grade levels.
Judy Stanley, interim executive director of teacher and learning, said the district found out earlier in the day that $371,144.20 of the $723,578.04 purchase would be covered by ESSER III funds.
Jared Giffin, interim associate director of teaching and learning, said tier 1 resources were not meeting the current needs of students in the district.
“We’ve identified math as one of the areas we’re most concerned about,” Giffin said, adding that current mouth resources across the board were receiving poor ratings in EdReports.
Additionally, they are no longer aligning with state standards. Giffin said conversations revolved around the need for vertical alignment — or how lessons, skills and assessments are linked across grade levels — with Emporia High School staff.
“Along with this, teachers are doing a lot of extra work because the resources aren’t meeting the needs [of the students],” he said. This also creates gaps in instruction from classroom to classroom and grade level to grade level.
The goal with implementing the new resources is improving math readiness to 50% of all students, measurable by reaching levels 3 and 4 on state assessments by 2026. Currently, district students have a math readiness rate of 19%.
The Pre-K level selected Eureka/Engage NY for its curriculum because of its “rigorous” standards and age appropriate lessons.
Elementary school teachers selected enVision for its consistent vocabulary and opportunities for real world connections. The feedback was overwhelmingly in support of the program.
Emporia Middle School teachers were in favor of Reveal Math. The workbook incorporates Cornell Note-Taking, which is an AVID strategy utilized throughout the middle school. It also contains a strong and consistent vocabulary and offers resources for multiple English language learners.
Emporia High School selected Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Algebra 1/Geometry/Algebra 2 because it offers clear and consistent tier 1 support for all students. It also includes a physical textbook with steps out examples for parents and guardians helping their students with homework.
All of the resources shared similar challenges for students and teachers regarding implementation, readiness and making sure students have time to have a “productive struggle.”
The board also heard an update from Riverside Elementary School regarding its redesign plans for next school year. The plan, according to interim principal Katie Adams, is to start prototyping their plans in the fall.
The redesign team has come up with three goal areas:
F Increase attendance by making sure families understand the value of education;
F Increase math scores by increasing fluency;
F Decrease behaviors with clear procedures and language as well as expectations on proactive and reactive interventions.
In other business, the board approved the guaranteed maximum price of $16,021,814 for Emporia middle School construction, plus $2,676,471 in other project costs, for a total of $18,432,594.
That puts the project over budget by $265,691 — or 1.4% — from the initial estimates in 2020.
Eric Woltje of McCownGordon Construction said the district is still in good shape, with about $500,000 in confirmed master budget savings and coming in $81,686 under budget for the total bond so far.
The board also approved a $30,000 contract with Hays Companies to provide financial analysis, including HPI reporting, marketing, renewal assistance and montly claims reporting, to assist the district in bringing down health care insurance costs to its employees.
Other projects are moving along with Logan Elementary about 35%, Emporia High School 84% complete and the Jones Early Childhood Education Center 98%.
The board also:
F Approved a $97,809.36 from Navrat’s Inc. for special education furniture, fixtures and equipment
F The purchase of two new buses for the district for $212,715.00 — less a $40,000 Clean Diesel Rebate
F Heard a staffing update