Annual Report Overviews
Systemic Reform for Rural Virginia Annual Overview
This grant provides support and professional development for: (1) middle school mathematics teachers in Albemarle, Buckingham, Craig, and Montgomery counties and Roanoke City and (2) high school mathematics teachers in Buckingham and Craig counties and at Auburn High School, Christiansburg High School and Shawsville Combined School (Montgomery County), at Patrick Henry High Schol (Roanoke City), and at Brooke Point High School (Stafford County).
During the 98-99 school year, we held biweekly 3-hour meetings in Buckingham, Craig, and Montgomery counties and Roanoke City with middle school mathematics teachers. During these meetings, we delivered professional development built around the curricula that they were implementing (CMP in Buckingham and Montgomery counties and MathScape in Craig County and Roanoke City), and the teachers received credit for a 3-semester hour graduate level mathematics course at Virginia Tech.
During the summer of 1999, we held 10-day professional development workshops in Albemarle County for middle school mathematics teachers, and in Buckingham, Craig, Montgomery, and Stafford counties for high school mathematics teachers. This professional development was built around the curricula that will be in various stages of implemention in the 99-00 school year: MathScape in Albemarle County, Core-Plus in Buckingham and Montgomery counties, IMP in Craig County, and SIMMS at Brooke Point High School in Stafford County. We also held 5-day professional development workshops in Buckingham, Craig, and Montgomery counties and Roanoke City for middle school mathematics teachers. This professional development was built around the curricula they implemented during the 98-99 school year.
Advisory Board meetings were held on October 20, 1998 and May 6, 1999.
We also held a Confernece at Christiansburg High School on July 28 and 29, 1999. All middle school mathematics teachers from Buckingham, Craig, and Montgomery counties and Roanoke City were invited to participate in this conference. These teachers had one year of experience in teaching their chosen curriculum - CMP or MathScape, and the purpose was to share experiences. The workshop leaders at this conference were Dr. Patricia Wright and Ms. Maureen Hijar from the Virginia Department of Education. Among other activities, the teachers were asked to give written responses to twelve questions and these responses were discussed.
During the current school year (99-00), we are holding biweekly 3-hour meetings in Albemarle, Buckingham, Craig, Montgomery, and Stafford counties, and at the end of this school year the teachers will receive credit for a 3-semester hour graduate level mathematics course at Virginia Tech. The meetings in Albemarle County are with middle school mathematics teachers while the meetings in the other counties are with teachers of high school subjects. These meetings are designed to provide the teachers with whatever assistance is needed as they implement the chosen curriculum. The meetings are a continuation of the profesional development that these teachers received in the summer of 1999. They also provide an opportunity for the teachers to share information.
During the current school year, we are also holding monthly 2-hour meetings with middle school mathematics teachers in Buckingham, Craig, and Montgomery counties and Roanoke City and with the high school mathematics teachers at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke City. These meetings are a continuation of previous professional development and serve the same purpose as the biweekly 3-hour meetings.
We have conducted more than 30 classroom observations of teachers in our LSC project this past year. Teachers in their second year of implementation are doing better adapting teaching strategies that are more aligned with the NCTM Standards than are teachers in their first year of implementation.
A technology survey was taken in Roanoke City's middle school program (seven schools), and in Stafford County's Brooke Point High School mathematics department. Teachers generally indicated an above average importance to their personal use of computers and a slighly above average knowledge of the Virginia's Technology Standards, but they rate the frequency of their students' use of computers in school below average and they rate how often they use computers during classroom instruction very low.
We measured student achievement by noting the change in the percent passing the Virginia Standards of Learning Tests for Grade 8 Mathematics from 1998 to 1999. On an average, grade 8 mathematics scores increased 10% in the middle schools after one year of implementation of the curricula. The average percentage change from 1998 to 1999 for Grade 8 Mathematics in the State of Virginia was 7%.
We gave a one-hour talk at the NCTM Regional meeting in Charlotte, NC on February 4, 1999, three one-and-a-half hour workshops at the VCTM meeting in Roanoke, VA on March 12-13, a half-hour talk at the MD/DC/VA Section of the MAA at James Madison University on April 10, and a three-hour workshop at the annual SIAM meeting in Atlanta, GA on May 14.