for five years and teaches part-time at David Starr Jordan Middle School,
is busy these days training middle- and high-school math teachers how to
teach the math covered in the exit exam.
Vinyard also is finishing the purchase process of new math texts for
kindergartners through eighth-graders.
She has been working with Mike Krose, a math specialist who teaches at
John Burroughs High School, to help teachers choose a curriculum that is
"We have so much to do," said Vinyard. "The biggest obstacle has been
working with the older teachers in proving that this is vital, but we've
had mostly positive response from teachers."
Vinyard said one of the focus areas is getting sixth-grade students
working with probability, statistics, graph reading, averaging, dealing
with X and Y variables and solving equations -- all of which will
reappear as they move into ninth grade.
Alexis Sheehy, director of secondary education for the district, said
students are given extra opportunities to learn the algebra necessary to
graduate. An algebra support class was introduced at Burroughs High
School last year for students at risk of failure, and a similar class
will be implemented at Burbank High School in the fall.
"It gives them a chance to catch up on deficits without having to put
them in remedial classes," Sheehy said. "And the kids are grateful."
At last week's school board meeting, board President Elena Hubbell
suggested to Vinyard and Krose that schools try to track students whose
teachers have received math training, as a way of checking results. The
math training is not mandatory for all math teachers in the district.