By Karen Billing
The Rancho Santa Fe School District adopted an advanced math pathway Oct. 2 for grades 4-8.
In meeting with the district’s team of teachers, math specialists and principals, Superintendent Lindy Delaney recommended they offer advanced math at every level, because they have students who are ready to accelerate.
The district will offer advanced math in fourth through sixth grade, with an assessment test given after sixth grade to allow students to skip seventh-grade math and go into eighth- grade math.
Between fourth and fifth grades, the district will do assessments to see which students are ready for the next step, offering a 5/6 accelerated-math class in fifth grade and a 6/7 class in sixth grade. The eighth-grade honors class is aligned with San Dieguito Union High School District’s pathway.
Identifying students who go into the advanced math program is always the biggest challenge, Delaney said. She said she always wants to give students a chance, but she wants them to be ready to succeed — if the district finds that students need more basics or if the program is too rigorous, they can always be pulled back.
At the Oct. 2 meeting, Delaney said that at the well-attended Common Core math information sessions held last month, she learned that parents need more support and resources to help their children with math. She said the district is discussing future meetings to offer more information and tools on the curriculum and possibly having teachers send home goals of the week for parents and offering after-hours help.
“I really appreciated the meetings; it really gives you an opportunity to hear where the parents are coming from,” Delaney said. “I learned some things. I love to learn how we can make it better.”