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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Math

Our Beliefs

All students will graduate from Highline as successful mathematicians who understand high-level mathematics in ways that are RELEVANT, INTERACTIVE, and JOYFUL.

Student-centered classrooms that are inclusive, equity-focused, and standards-based will enable students to find meaningful mathematical applications in their everyday lives.

student doing math
students working with tools
students doing math
teacher with students
elementary student smiling with math book
Elementary students working with scales

Learning Standards

Highline students will develop deep mathematical understanding of the content standards through the eight mathematical practices, as articulated in our Washington State K-12 Standards. Student achievement will be supported through the Effective Practices for Equitable Mathematics Teaching from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Students will experience a classroom environment that encourages risk-taking, learning from mistakes, and the promotion of a growth mindset.

Equitable Practices for Equitable Mathematics Teaching 

  • Establish mathematics goals to focus learning
  • Implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving
  • Use and connect mathematical representations
  • Facilitate meaningful mathematical discourse
  • Pose purposeful questions
  • Build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding
  • Support productive struggle in learning mathematics
  • Elicit and use evidence of student thinking

Mathematical Attitudes

  • Math is challenging and involves wonder, curiosity, and productive struggle.
  • Students will engage in mathematics that include number sense, fluency and problem solving.
  • Learning is a social endeavor.
  • Different viewpoints and pathways are essential for building deep understanding.
  • Structures are established to promote equitable student voice.
  • Students are encouraged to use and share different ideas, methods, and perspectives.
  • Culturally responsive teaching practices are embedded throughout the lessons.
  • Lessons build on students’ prior knowledge.
  • Ideas are communicated through words and representations.
  • Tasks are posed with a visual component.
  • Technology and tools are intentionally integrated.

Math Instructional Materials 

The math curriculum aligns closely with Highline’s Math Learning Vision and strategic plan.

Math Pathway

Based on student achievement data tracked over many years, we can see that our current sequence of math courses (or math pathway) is not setting most students up for success in higher-level math in high school and college. We aim to create a standard mathematics course pathway through middle school that ensures all students have a strong foundation and the conceptual understanding necessary for success in high school and post-secondary mathematics.

The WHY

Our data show that many Highline students left middle school without the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in Algebra II and beyond. Key foundational standards were being missed by students who skipped or accelerated through middle school courses. Accelerated pathways were clearly selling students short and not providing them the deep understanding and experience they need to succeed in higher-level mathematics.

Highline is not alone in this challenge. School districts across the state and nation are recognizing the unintended consequences of a “race to calculus”.and examining math course sequences.

The PLAN

Our plan is to restructure our math pathway that supports the success of any student who pursues higher-level math classes in high school.

  • All students will take foundational middle school math in 6th, 7th and 8th grades
  • We began phasing in this pathway in 2019-20 with 6th-grade students

This approach does not limit access to higher-level math courses for students who wish to focus on mathematics. 

  • Students will still be able to take AP/IB Calculus or AP/IB Statistics in 12th grade.

The new Washington State Common Core Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M) moved many of the standards previously taught in Algebra 1 into 6-8th grade math courses. Skipping these courses will leave students without foundational skills and knowledge necessary for success in high school math.

We will continue to update this information as we refine our math pathways. 

Contact

Phone: 206-631-3041

Kathy Emerick
Director of PreK & Elementary Success

Janet Blanford
Director of Secondary Success & College Readiness

Lynda Benthin
Administrative Support

Miriam Madill
PreK-Elementary Instructional Specialist, Math

Ammi Spencer
PreK-Elementary Instructional Specialist, Math

Jocelyn Co
Secondary Math Specialist

Stacey Snyder
Secondary Math Specialist