Math presentations for both elementary school students and for secondary school students were featured at the Nov. 18, Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education public action meeting. Math in Focus, the elementary school report, was presented by Lakeville Elementary School principal Phyllis Feldman and John F. Kennedy Elementary School principal Ron Giomondo. Math Common Core Update, for secondary students, was presented by Joseph Bonvicino, North High, math department head; Joan Casazzone, math department head, South High; and Helen Kramer, math teacher, South High and secondary level math coach helping teachers with resources, planning and implementation of lesson plans for the new Algebra 1 Common Core Curriculum).
For Math in Focus, the elementary school program, first they mentioned the poor results on last year’s state testing, where neither students nor teachers had adequate time to prepare properly. As for this year, not all of the lesson plan are entirely new, but slightly different. It is a unified program, with all elementary students in all of the district’s elementary school buildings receiving the same lessons. The core of the program is problem-solving.
Superintendent of Schools Tom Dolan said that, though the JFK Elementary School was targeted as a school where students need help, the teachers’ scores in that school were very good. Part of the teachers’ scoring involves their students test scores … so the question remains that if the teachers scored so high, their students must have done well too.
For Math Common Core Update, the lessons are back into units. Parent complaints centered on the “rush to test.” And it was noted that the state has currently given the schools the choice of testing math in their eighth grade students though either the Common Core exam or the Regents exam. The Great Neck School District has chosen the math Common Core exam, as the Regents exam is being phased out.