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BLOOMINGTON - District 87 junior high students may see changes in how they are taught math next school year, and their younger schoolmates may get a new science curriculum.

Curriculum changes were proposed at Wednesday's school board meeting. In other business, the board approved adding all-day kindergarten at Oakland and Washington elementary schools.

Math changes for Bloomington Junior High School students would include more class offerings, including pre-algebra and advanced mathematics for sixth-graders and honors geometry for eighth graders.

BJHS Principal Sue Silvey told the board no additional staff would be required.

"This is about what kids need long-term - whether or not they go to college," Silvey said. "It's about what students are going to need in the world in which they live."

Grade school science books are almost 10 years old, and they don't meet current state learning standards. So Sally Tucker, assistant superintendent of curriculum, proposed a new science curriculum for kindergarten through fifth grade.

"This is a real big step for us," said Tucker.

The new program involves building from the bottom up so concepts are developed at each grade level.

Total cost to the district is $209,914 for the new science materials, including new books also available online and in Spanish.

If approved, the new science program would go into effect next fall.

The board voted 6-1, with Keith Davis dissenting, to change kindergarten from half-day to full-day at Oakland and Washington elementary schools. No half-day program will be offered. The district's other grade schools already have full-day programs.


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