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Board of Education adopts new math resources for elementary students
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Elementary math students in all Dawson County schools will soon have access to a new, comprehensive math resource program.

During the June Board of Education meeting, the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt GO Math! Program was unanimously approved for all county elementary schools kindergarten through fifth grade for the upcoming school year.

"Having district-wide resources will allow us to better support teachers and provide targeted professional learning," said Nicole LeCave, director of teaching and learning for Dawson County Schools.

"There are no changes to the current math curriculum. The resources being adopted are aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence," she said.

Chief Academic Officer Rick Brown, and the elementary math assessment team, began work in the fall to align elementary instructional resources. The team included administrators and members of school governance councils.

The group attended presentations from three vendors and sample teacher kits were then distributed to all of the schools.

Every elementary teacher in the district was then afforded the opportunity to provide feedback to each of the vendors regarding their products.

"Early on in the school year, I really gave Mr. Brown and his team a charge that included aligning our resources for K-5 in mathematics. Along with that was the encouragement to only put products in front of our staff members that were proven by data in those school systems," said Superintendent Damon Gibbs during the June meeting.

Once the teachers went over the options and provided feedback, the principals decided to move ahead with GO Math! A follow-up meeting with the vendor allowed administration, teacher representatives, School Governance members and Roman Gaddis, the executive director of technology to meet and ask questions.

The upcoming school year will also see the roll out of the 1:1 initiative which will provide an iPad to every student and teacher in sixth through eighth grades. Other grade levels will be phased in over the next two years, according to LeCave.

GO Math! offers an app that will allow teachers, students and parents to access resources without having access to the internet-an appropriate fit for the 1:1 program.

The new, interactive curriculum offers write-in books that feature lessons and multiple pages of practice and homework.

There are QR codes in the print student book so that parents are able to scan the code on their smart phones and have immediate access to instructional videos for every lesson.

"Parent communication and support was a top priority when selecting instructional resources. The school system is committed to providing parents/guardians with resources that allow them to support their children at home," said LeCave.

Aside from the printed, write-in books, the curriculum offers an interactive student edition that uses online resources to develop lesson concepts.

The continuity will also benefit students and teachers as they converge at the middle school level.

"Middle school teachers will benefit from having students with a strong foundation of the same mathematical vocabulary, content and processes," LeCave said.

The program is being funded by the education special purpose local option sales tax (eSPLOST) and is currently in use by more than 7 million students in the United States.