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Parents’ input considered in ‘new math’

Cristina Lynn Worcester is among Madison parents studying the best math approach for Madison children to study.

The Alabama State Department of Education sets curriculum cycles and “has adopted the national, common-core standard as our mathematics course of study,” Worcester said. “We’re reviewing new math programs to match the new course of study.”

Worcester represents Horizon Elementary School and accepted principal Rodney Richardson’s invitation to serve. “I’m interested in helping the system and our kids,” she said.

Each Madison school has a parent representative: middle schools — Robby Taylor, Liberty and Becky Kidd, Discovery; and elementary schools — Priscilla Foster, Heritage; Beth Clemens, Mill Creek; Brooke Jones, West Madison; Angie Jones, Madison; Mia Dempsey, Columbia; and Celynn Ballard, Rainbow.

The textbook committee “includes all stakeholders. We include individuals from diverse backgrounds,” Worcester said. Principals usually appoint the parents on the committee.

Worcester earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and worked as a registered nurse and in pharmaceutical sales. She now is self-employed as a singer-songwriter.

Compared to the current curriculum, the national common core is a more rigorous course of study that emphasizes student understanding of mathematical concepts and then using these concepts in practice, Worcester said.

“The new curriculum aims to help our students become knowledgeable in how mathematics really works,” Worcester said. “It stresses concepts as opposed to a body of knowledge.”

All parents are welcome to participate. The schools have public viewings of all programs under consideration and provide evaluation forms that parents can complete.

In the Horizon library, several math options are on display. “The more feedback the better,” Worcester said. “I know we’ve all helped our kids with their math homework and have had thoughts as to how we would be better equipped to help them at home.”

“Here’s your chance to share your needs as a parent,” she said.

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