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Posted by: Sue Chamberlin
Introducing Rebecca Keller, YCHS Math and Science Division Chair
Academic Boosters Program - January 15, 2015
At the January Academic Boosters meeting Ms. Rebecca Keller, the YCHS Math and Science Division Chair, gave an overview of news from her department.
Current topics of note included:
- The science department will be adopting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) over time. Look for future updates from the district/YCHS on this process. For information about NGSS see their website at
- Ms. Keller addressed questions/concerns regarding the math program and led a discussion of departmental changes in the near term as well as down the road.
- Regarding PARCC testing, the school is getting close to finalizing its general plan and will share information in the near future.
- Ms Keller reviewed course sequencing for current students as well as for the class of 2019 and briefly discussed the path for current 7th grade students.
Current 8th Grade REACH Students: The 8th grade geometry students took the freshman geometry final exam. Teachers from the middle schools as well as YCHS participated in a team grading session using a common grading key. This approach provided an opportunity to engage in a standardized grading activity and resulted in very positive collaboration between the middle school and high school teaching staff.
The middle schools responded to the request for more help for 8th grade geometry students and offer study sessions after school for extra help. Additionally, Churchville hired an aide to help with questions in its geometry class of 32 students.
Course Sequence Highlights: Ms. Keller reviewed course sequences for current YCHS students as well as the Class of 2019.
- The group reviewed the plan presented at an October 21st meeting for REACH parents prior to the 8th grade Activity Fair as well as an updated plan with AATH freshmen taking calculus as seniors. (CLICK HERE FOR FLOW CHART) Ms. Keller pointed out that the middle group of REACH geometry students was of greatest concern. Therefore, junior year coursework for this group which had formerly been listed as AP Calc AB is now listed as TBD. The math department will evaluate the progress of these students to determine appropriate junior coursework. As a general departmental policy and, in particular given the change in math sequencing for the class of 2019, Ms. Keller stressed York’s commitment to responding to students’ needs and abilities and placing them in a classroom setting that would give them the best chance for thorough understanding and mastery of material.
- The flowchart presented at the October presentation at York had a course named “Accelerated Advanced Algebra Trig Honors” which is no longer a name that will be used. Rather, there will be one course which will fold in the current Advanced Algebra Trig Honors course for juniors, the current Sophomore Advanced Algebra Trig Honors course, and the corresponding course that freshmen will take. The new course will be called Advanced Algebra Trig Honors. The teachers pointed out that there were minimal differences in curriculum between the two classes. There will be a freshman only section which will allow teachers to tailor the class to these freshmen who are the first group to take geometry in middle school and go through this new YCHS course sequence.
- Algebra 2 Modeling should not be viewed as a repeat of Algebra. It is designed to be an intermediate algebra class with the goal of providing students the opportunity to achieve a deep understanding of algebraic concepts. The contexts used to study these topics are often new.
More Changes for the Coming School Year: Algebra A will have new supplementary materials to give the class a more hands on conceptual approach. Topics and the approach are shifting for Algebra AB based on Common Core. New materials adoption is anticipated in response to these shifts. YCHS hired an ELL certified Spanish-speaking teacher. He developed an ELL math program which is very well received. A Sheltered Algebra AB class will be offered to help Spanish speakers who would benefit from additional help.
Summer Math Classes: The YCHS philosophy on summer math classes is that these classes are generally taken for remedial credit and are not offered as a path for acceleration in course sequencing.
Middle School Students Taking Geometry at YCHS: This idea is still in its conceptual phase. Logistics are an ongoing issue with funding, length of classes at the high school vs. middle school, missed middle school coursework, and scheduling among the topics of conversation.
The Academic Boosters thank Ms. Keller for joining us for our January meeting and sharing the latest news from her department.
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