BLOOMINGTON - Amid recent national attention about the importance of math, Bloomington's District 87 school board will hear a proposal to strengthen its junior high math curriculum Wednesday.
The proposal aims to toughen the experience and expectations for all students at the school, said Bloomington Junior High School Principal Sue Silvey.
The plan includes more advanced math classes and more evaluation to ensure students are placed at the correct level.
"It's a major step for Bloomington Junior High and Bloomington High schools," District 87 Superintendent Bob Nielsen said.
"It opens the door for students to take algebra in junior high and still take four math classes in high school. It offers geometry in junior high," as well.
"Down the road you will see major benefits to this."
The proposed changes also aim to help students improve state test scores, and better align the BJHS curriculum with the high school program.
"We've been working with the junior high and it only complements and strengthens what we are expecting of students at the high school," said BHS Principal Cindy Helmers.
It will not change BHS' math graduation requirements, which were increased last year.
Silvey, BJHS Assistant Principal John Whitcomb, and the school's math and special education departments have been working on the plan since the last fall.
If passed by the school board, the program will start this fall, Silvey said.
The 2006-07 school year would be one of transition, with the 2007-08 including more new offerings.
Among the proposed new classes are pre-algebra and advanced mathematics for sixth-graders, and honors geometry for students in eight grade.
Silvey emphasized that the changes are being made with a focus on preparing all students to succeed in the current hi-tech world.
According to BJHS research, being good at math in today's changing society means fluency in number sense, geometry, algebraic thinking, measurement, data analysis and problem-solving.
In an unrelated matter, the school board has decided cancelled its March 8 meeting because of a lack of new business.