State Board Receives the 1-2-3s of West Virginia's Math Initiative

November 21, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. – The state’s Math Plan is adding up for the West Virginia Board of Education. Revamping West Virginia’s math curriculum has been a focus for the Board over the past year and during its November meeting members received an update as to how the new standards-based math curriculum is being implemented in the classroom.  

According to a report submitted to the Board, leadership teams have been established in all 55 counties throughout West Virginia. Teams consist of K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 mathematics teachers and one administrator from each county.  

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) conducted its first Mathematics Leadership Institute last December with two follow-up sessions in January and February. All 55 counties were represented at the institutes which focused on leadership, research, standards-based instruction, questioning techniques, analyzing tasks and building learning communities.  

A second Mathematics Leadership Institute was presented in July with 52 counties participating. The groups fine-tuned their focus with more presentations on standards-based instruction, questioning techniques and using student work in learning communities.  

A third Institute is slated for next month in Charleston and Morgantown with the focus being on changing classroom assessment to match the standards-based instruction. Counties will continue refining their mathematics plans and work to make it a significant part of their county’s Five-Year Strategic Plan.  

The state Legislature funded the mathematics initiative with an additional appropriation to the Center for Professional Development for work with the mathematics initiative in its Governor’s Summer Institute. The Governor’s Summer Institute focused its attention on developing vertical teams of mathematics teachers in each county using professional-learning communities.  

Title I has expanded its reading coaches workshop to include mathematics in order to fill the need for mentors and coaches at the county level. On-going professional development continues for the coaches with four workshops scheduled throughout the year. The WVDE is partnering with the Coalfield Rural Systemic Initiative to work with math coaches in 12 of the southern counties.  

For more information regarding mathematics in West Virginia schools, contact Larry Lamb, WVDE mathematics coordinator, at (304) 558-7805.

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