Board of Ed Discusses Renewing Everyday Math Program

Board members discussed the Curriculum Committees proposal to renew Everyday Math as the Jan. 17 meeting. Also discussed was replacing exterior doors for security.

During a meeting of the Curriculum Committee, math supervisor John Veninger and math teacher Charlene Hall discussed the program Everyday Math and whether the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education should replace or renew it.

Vice President of the Board of Education, Nancy Bauer announced at the Jan. 17 Board meeting that Veninger pointed out that many of the Everyday Math materials are from 2001 and 2004 and it has become increasingly difficult to replace journals, workbooks, etc.

Bauer said she was impressed by the amount of time Veninger and Hall put into researching different math programs and they ultimately suggested to renew the Everyday Math program.

“We’ve had very good math scores with this program,” Bauer said.

After researching the other two curriculums out there, members of the math department decided they were each missing something that Everyday Math already had.

“One of the benefits of the new version is a lot more enrichment and mediation that our teachers are really excited about,” Bauer said.

Bauer added that although not the reason, renewing Everyday Math would also save the Board of Education money, because if they were to institute a new program training costs would be involved.

Board member Jeanne Cleary who also sits on the Curriculum Committee said it was important to note that Veninger, Hall and their team took the time to see what other programs were out there.

She said that Everyday Math is, “meeting the goals we as a community decided were important to us.”

Veninger pointed out that in addition to math skills, Everyday Math also focuses on attitudes and practices, such as perseverance.

The Curriculum Committee will meet once more before the Board will vote renewing the Everyday Math program.

Also discussed at the Jan. 17 Board of Education meeting was the transfer of funds originally allocated to bathroom upgrades, to instead go towards exterior building doors.

At the previous Board meeting it was voted that $150,000 be spent renovating six middle schools bathrooms, but business administrator Deborah Saridaki asked this be moved to cover the door project.
Resident, Michael Lewis asked how the bathrooms became less of a priority and why the doors were in need of replacement.

Saridaki stated that the door project is an effort to increase security in the school buildings and that the bathrooms will still be renovated from money that exists in the budget.

The motion to spend the $150,000 to replace exterior building doors will be voted on at the Jan. 24 Board of Education meeting.

Ann January 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM
I also support Everyday Math. The way they offer various options for solving problems means that students can choose the method that works for them. They require the children to explain their thinking which is so important in developing higher level thinking skills. The spiraling curriculum means that the class always returns to a topic rather than "learning" it (short term memory) and then never addressing it again. The new version is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. I'm glad that SPF is staying with it.
Sue January 23, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Perhaps the Board should also discuss Park Middle opening school doors a few minutes early so that students don't have to stand around like sitting ducks in 10 degree temperatures! It's a security risk and just plain old mean!
Nicole Bitette January 23, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Thank you, Michael!
Barry Garelick February 02, 2013 at 10:08 PM
See http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/10/its-not-just-writing-math-needs-a-revolution-too/263545/ and http://www.educationnews.org/commentaries/13361.html
jacinda barrett March 17, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Not a fan of EDM either. They do not learn to mastery and often take longer to find the solution with their "new math" than I would. I do not know how this will serve them when they need these basics at their finger tips to compete with children on the national level.


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