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The Healdsburg Unified School District School Board of Trustees unanimously approved the adoption of new math curriculum and materials at Healdsburg Junior High School and new science curriculum and materials for Healdsburg Elementary School during their board meeting on April 15. The also considered the implementation of new history curriculum at Healdsburg Junior High School.

College preparatory math (CPM) will now take the place of Healdsburg Junior High School’s old math curriculum following a lengthy process with the school’s math innovation design team, which was tasked with looking at different curriculum options and visiting schools with higher academic achievement and similar demographics.

“What we found … was that the majority of those middle and junior high schools we visited used CPM,” said Erin Fender, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction. “That was a surprise to us.”

Math teachers at the junior high spent the past year piloting the print and online materials, and also received mandatory training. Fender said all three teachers would like to adopt the material.

Healdsburg Junior High School Principal Chris Miller said the junior high needs a math curriculum that is more rigorous and aligns more closely with common core standards and CPM delivers on that front.

“We looked really hard at all the different curricula out there, and this one rose to the top,” Miller said.

Healdsburg Junior High School math teacher Gloria Hurtado, who’s taught CPM at other school districts, said math teachers at Healdsburg Junior High like CPM because of the way the material engages students.

“I think one of the biggest reasons why the three of us (math teachers) want to use CPM, is just how our students are so willing to engage with the material. I think what CPM really does is make those connections between situations and the math concepts that we are trying to teach them,” Hurtado said. “And so they have a way of breaking down these complex concepts into these types of problems that every student can engage with.”

Hurtado said CPM is essentially problem based learning, which encourages students to make overarching connections with situational problems and math concepts.

For example, students can think about how a tree grows and gets its height through exploring concepts of graphing, like how to make an equation, use slope and identify the “Y” intercept.

She added that CPM will also better prepare students for high school math.

The CMP package is a six-year deal and the district has paid $2,500 for access to print and online materials for grades six to eight. The $2,500 will be credited towards the cost of full adoption. The district will also be purchasing materials in Spanish for Spanish speaking students.

The total fiscal impact for the purchase of all needed materials is $20,313. It will be funded with monies from the district’s lottery and general funds.

Updating history

The new history/social science materials and curriculum for Healdsburg Junior High is from TCI and features a robust online learning component — perfect for distance learning, and paper materials.

Fender said it is important to have multimodal curriculum since while some students may prefer online, others may prefer flipping through paper material like textbooks.

She said Healdsburg High School has been using TCI materials and they have been happy with it. Going with TCI at the high school also meant receiving updated history textbooks, where Ronald Reagan wasn’t listed as the most recent president.

The junior high has also spent the first part of the school year piloting the material and Miller said after looking at different curriculum options, teachers were unanimously behind TCI.

“We did go through our history department and they took a real hard look at both of the curriculum options and they are unanimously behind adopting TCI,” Miller said.

The switch to TCI will be a six year adoption of print and online materials. The fiscal impact from adopting the new materials amounts to $25,704, which will be taken from the district’s lottery and general funds.

Curriculum adoption will take place at the next board meeting.

Science at Healdsburg Elementary School

New science curriculum, materials and supplies for science activities for elementary students will be centered around the Full Option Science System curriculum (FOSS).

The FOSS science method was created by the University of California Berkeley and relies on more activities and inquiry and project-based learning.

The curriculum also falls in line with the state education board adopted, Next Generation Science Standards.

Elementary teachers have piloted the new FOSS system and Fender said she believes it will complement the school’s project based learning system nicely.

The cost of the package is $58,789.63 and includes print and online materials, activity materials and two, six-hour professional learning sessions.

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