The Johnston County Public School (JCPS) Board has approved a new mathematics curriculum. At their April 13th meeting, the Board voted 7-to-0 to purchase the enVision MATH. Since June 2020, various curriculums were tested and enVision MATH was chosen. The Board of Education has not purchased a standard countywide math curriculum in more than 10 years.
The conceptual set of learning documents uses modeling and concepts to teach math, versus the traditional procedural method that many parents are familiar with and understand.
The Curriculum, Instruction, and Accountability office stated the materials met the Mathematics JCPS core rubric Non-Negotiable Criteria: Alignment, Focus, Coherence, Rigor and Balance and Equity.
Board member Lyn Andrews questioned Curriculum Director Leanne Daughtry about having some inclusion of procedural learning and rudimentary math for the elementary learners. Daughtry stated that the non-negotiable element of Rigor does include both procedural and conceptual elements.
Andrews pointed out the data provided on the efficacy of the program were not from districts in North Carolina, and asked for data from the few N.C. districts using the curriculum. Daughtry replied that they did not have data to show because they have not been using it long enough.
Terry Sessoms stated, “The North Carolina course of study is the curriculum – that listing of standards. The reason I say that is because there’s been a misconception out there that we haven’t had any math happening in our schools in the last several years. Because teachers, and not just teachers, but you know that term curriculum has been thrown around and it’s like ‘oh we don’t have a curriculum.’ …If you go to the DPI documents you can see what the curriculum is. What we’re talking about with enVision, like with investigations and all these others, those are resources, support resources to teach the North Carolina curriculum.”
In accordance with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study defines the appropriate content standards for each grade level and each high school course. Standards define what students know and should be able to do. With these standards as the foundation, local school leaders make decisions about the comprehensive curriculum that they choose to deliver to students so that they can reach the content standards for every grade and subject.
Chief Academic Officer Dr. Nicholas King said they would like to adopt the documents for 5 years. Board member Kay Carroll requested Chief Financial Officer Stephen Britt confirm the first two year cost of $4,457,000 is available. Mr. Britt confirmed funds were available for the expenditure.
Andrews questioned the Professional Development, saying when the English Language Arts Curriculum was rolled out two years ago teachers were only given four hours of learning insturction. “There will be some Staff Development this summer for those who want to come – are we going to roll it out before training is done?”
The Curriculum Department reported they would use the Wednesday Staff Development days that remain in this school calendar to offer training. JCPS will also offer non-mandatory professional development during the summer, and will use a portion of the five mandatory staff days to train the week prior to schools opening for the new school year in August.
Dr. King added that continued staff training will occur by an assigned representative from enVision MATH during the school year, and online recorded professional development will be available at anytime for teachers.
Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy asked for the Curriculum Department to update the school board each quarter on the implementation.