School Board Discusses Making Math A Priority for Students at WPS

By Kate Anslinger

The highlight of Monday night’s Winthrop Public School (WPS) Committee meeting was the ongoing attempt to make math a priority. Frank Woods, curriculum director, has been working hard to fulfill this significant goal in the district. “There are a lot of really exciting things going on with the curriculum now,” said Woods. A new math consultant has been working with the teachers to coach them on new techniques in math instruction. “Training has been extremely well received,” said Woods enthusiastically, as he updated the committee on the various groups that have been meeting with the consultant. Teachers from the Gorman Fort Banks School were the first group to meet with the consultant and the feedback has all been positive. While the consultant plan hasn’t been geared toward a specific program, it’s designed to coach the teachers in utilizing tools that assist with math instruction. The consultant will soon meet with the remaining teachers in the district, guiding them through various instruction tools based on the grade level of the student. Woods also announced the unveiling of the building blocks program for the preschoolers. The icon-based system allows the students to gain access to the program outside of school hours. They are currently working through expected bugs in the system, but so far the teachers love the program and it allows the younger students to get ahead. Principal Heraty joined the curriculum director in a meeting with Houghton Mifflin, publisher of Go Math, to ensure they were up to date on the most cutting edge programs. “It’s extremely important that we stay updated on the latest technology and programming for our students,” said Woods.

In other business:

The student council of the Arthur Cummings School has been granted permission to host a winter social on February 26th 4-6pm. The social is a chance for students to socialize and build confidence amongst peers. There are plans of having a dance contest, musical chairs and limbo at the evening event.

The committee is in the process of finalizing start and end times for the 2016-2017 school year

An SAT course has been finalized. There will be a 10-12 week course offered to students for a small fee. The course brings students up-to-date on the exam and offers a rigorous opportunity to get read for SAT’s.

The superintendent is working diligently on the upcoming budget. He will have a proposed budget to present at the Feb. 22nd meeting.

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