Instructional strategies aimed at developing students' skills and ability in mathematics are showing positive results at both the elementary and collegiate level of Saskatoon Public Schools.
Trustees received an update on the division's mathematics core strategy, and the work being done by teachers to provide rich mathematical experiences for students, during the May 15 meeting of the Board of Education.
The mathematics plan has focused on developing computational fluency among students. Jennifer Brokofsky, the division's coordinator of mathematics, told trustees that computational fluency means students have flexibility in computational methods, an understanding of those methods, accuracy in identifying answers, and efficiency in arriving at answers
The update shared examples of leadership in mathematics and the impact on student learning. Since the spring of 2016, a pilot project on computational fluency among elementary students has seen a 16 per cent increase in students' ability to compute at or above grade level fluently. At the collegiate level, 89 per cent of Grade 9 to Grade 12 math courses attempted by students during Semester 1 of the current school year were successfully completed.
The enthusiasm of math teachers is contagious among both students and teaching colleagues, Brokofsky said. "We are changing some of the perceptions of mathematics."
Other highlights of the meeting were:
Students and staff from Bedford Road Collegiate highlighted opportunities available as part of the Practical and Applied Arts (PAA) programs in the division's collegiates. The variety of programs provide students with hands-on opportunities to display their learning. At Bedford Road, PAA classes include career education, construction and carpentry, drafting, fashion, food studies, information processing, pre-engineering and photography.
Information from the Saskatchewan Physical Education Association highlighted the work of a number of schools in meeting or exceeding physical education curriculum guidelines. Schools who took part in a SPEA application process and are being recognized through the Quality Daily Physical Education program are: Alvin Buckwold, Brevoort Park, Buena Vista, Dr. John G. Egnatoff, Dundonald, Holliston, Howard Coad, North Park Wilson, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, Silverspring, Sutherland, Sylvia Fedoruk, Willowgrove and Westmount.
Reports and information presented at board meetings can be found at www.saskatoonpublicschools.ca. The next meeting of the Board of Education is Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.