The Bradley County Board of Education discussed updates to the math curricula and schools’ energy usage during its meeting Thursday.
Supervisor of Secondary Education Dan Glasscock and math coordinator Amber Caldwell discussed the curriculum update going into effect at the beginning of the 2014–15 school year. The ASCEND integrated high school mathematics program will seek to provide students with aspiration, scholarship, creativity, excellence, networking and discipline.
“Our goal in mathematics with this program is student driven. It is always the question we keep at the forefront of our minds, whether it is in my position or with the high school math teachers in north Cleveland to implement this: ‘What is best for our students?’” Caldwell said.
It was emphasized the program is not the old class formerly called integrated math. However, the new program has the exact standards as the ones the students have now at a higher level, yet in a different sequence.
“I really believe this will help ACT scores. There is research and data to support that it helps EOC scores, but I believe it will help our ACT scores as well. That’s really critical to not only our students, but their parents as well,” Caldwell said.
Though the courses will be called Mathematics I, II and III, the Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II subjects will still be taught. The integrated classes incorporate each area of math to show how they work together, instead of having each course stand alone.
“In your discussion with teachers, part of the thinking is that there are gaps in math instruction. This is integration because you are covering the standards that are going from point A to point B, versus going through a course that is disjointed,” 1st District board member Chris Turner said.
For the parents, there will be a parents’ night held closer to next school year. Parents will be informed more clearly what the program entails and have their questions answered before the program goes into full effect.
“This program will move our kids forward and upward,” Glasscock said.
Angie Lyon of the architectural firm Kaatz, Binkley, Jones, and Morris also updated the board on capital projects that are underway at Walker Valley High School, Prospect Elementary School and Lake Forest Middle School.
At WVHS, the classroom additions are down to installing floor tiles and ceiling tiles. In the cafeteria addition, there are light fixtures and glass being installed. The projects are expected to be complete by the end of February. The metal work for reroofing Prospect will begin next week and be complete by the following week. Engineers are coming in next week to answer any questions they have about existing conditions of LFMS’s auditorium project. They will be placing all their information into the drawings and start the process in the next few weeks.
Johnny Mull, the school system’s energy manager, also gave the board an update on the Tennessee Valley Authority EnerNOC program and a program the school system will soon begin with Volunteer Energy. EnerNOC Inc. is a leading developer and provider of clean energy solutions.
In the TVA program, the energy company will call school systems and ask for a decrease in power consumption, and the school system has the option to comply by doing things like turning the heat down from 70 to 68 degrees.
“In times [of] power shortages or when we need a lot of power, we will take that power and curtail our energy uses by certain measures that we take,” Mull said.
In return, parter companies in such programs send money to the school system. The school system has so far received checks for hundreds of dollars for taking part in the program. Mull said both programs were ultimately in place to prevent blackouts in the community.
There are three schools in the programs: Lake Forest Middle School, Bradley Central High School and Walker Valley High School. BCHS and LFMS are taking part in TVA’s EnerNOC program, and WVHS is part of a pilot program with Volunteer.
Mull also said the cost of running a natural gas line to Charleston Elementary School, something that has been previously discussed by the board, had not been established. That cost will be stated next month once details are discussed more fully.