New MAPS math curriculum training moving forward

MANISTEE — Administrators for the Manistee Area Public Schools told the board of education this week that the training for the new math curriculum that will be implemented for the start of the 2019-20 school year is going well.

Members of the Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education discuss the training taking place for the new math curriculum the district plans to put in place for the 2019-20 school year.

At a special meeting of the board of education on May 21 the board agreed to spend $100,441.77 for the new curriculum that would cover grades K-12. MAPS curriculum director Amber Kowatch made a presentation to the board to acquire the Bridges in Mathematics (K-5 grades) curriculum and the College Preparatory Math (CPM) for the 6-12 grade levels. The feedback from the teaching staff taking the training has been positive.

Superintendent Ron Stoneman said the elementary teachers have been working hard on the process.

“They have had some training and we continue to be pleased and happy with their response to this training,” said Stoneman. “The teachers are welcoming improving their craft and skills. It is really inspiring for all of us to enjoy working with these types of people.”

Kowatch agreed the process has been going well.

“The words I heard today were ‘we’re overwhelmed, but really excited,'” Kowatch said. “The teachers completely get this is exactly what our students need and they can’t wait to start it.”

Jefferson Elementary principal Julia Raddatz added that she can see the buy-in even at this early stage.

“You know teachers are serious when they go back to their classroom and finally harvest out things because they want it to work,” said Raddatz. “They feel really confident and are trusting the process enough to move on from all the tricks they had in their files for the old system. They realize this is what the kids really need.”

High school principal Andy Huber said it is going well at his level as well.

“It seems to us it is such a huge jump, but this has been coming the last 10 to 12 years,” said Huber. “This is the final piece of it and the comment I hear is ‘this might be a challenge to me personally, but it’s definitely going to be better for the kids.”

Under the superintendent’s report Stoneman said the Manistee Intermediate School District is having a superintendent’s retreat, but at a time when he is unable to attend.

“I spoke with (ISD) superintendent (Dave) Cox on Tuesday, and we are going to make a plan on how I can keep up on the conversations,” said Stoneman. “We may even have a time at the end of the day for a phone call where I can be debriefed on it.”

Another item that Stoneman touched on was he had received the resignation from Manistee Middle/High School principal Jason Traviss who is leaving to accept the position as principal at the Wexford Missaukee Career Tech Center.

Stoneman also updated the board on the former high school building.

“I continue to talk with the Manistee City Manager Thad Taylor about opportunities and things that are coming to him from Lansing with funding opportunities,” said Stoneman. “I continue to talk with him about funding opportunities and what he can potentially apply to the building.”

Stoneman also reported to the board that 25 MAPS staff members would be attending the Solution Tree PLC Conference in Detroit.

“It is to continue our professional development work,” said Stoneman. “We are really excited and the alignment of new resources and schedule are all coming together nicely.”

Food service director Keri Carlson reported to the board about the lunches the MAPS summer food service program served at the Forest Festival Kids Day. She also touched on the festival pancake breakfast the district puts on to benefit the track.

“We served about 250 to 260 kids that day at Lighthouse Park,” said Carlson. “I also want to thank everyone who volunteered for the Pancake Breakfast as we served about 350, so it was a busy weekend.”

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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