The Richmond County Board of Education received an update from the Teachers and Administrators Partnering for Mathematics Learning (TAP Math) Program at its January meeting Tuesday night.
Director of K-12 Math and Science Kelly DeLong lead a presentation that highlighted the success the newly instated program has seen among students in elementary schools in Richmond County. According to DeLong, the program is made possible by a grant through the state’s Math and Science program and allows for partnership between the schools and Meredith College in Raleigh as well as the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
TAP Math allows teachers and administrators — in Richmond County’s case, the assistant principals and one teacher from each school — to partner and learn how to increase math skills among students. The staff needed to first attend 100 hours of math development to increase their own understanding of how students process and comprehend math theories.
Several teachers and assistant principals took turns talking honestly about how limited their math skills were before their training, and how much the training has helped. Teachers spoke about children becoming excited that they were understanding how to solve problems faster, were eager to share results and the process they used and were learning that it was OK to be wrong or different.
TAP Math, according to teachers, was helping the children to also learn to collaborate and justify themselves. TAP Math has a program that can be accessed online, and teachers said that within days of signing students on, they saw students completing thousands of math problems from home.
In other matters, the school board:
• Heard an update from West Rockingham Elementary School teachers on how progress in literacy is tracked.
• Received an update from Sandra Smith on the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program.
• Reviewed an exam exemption policy.
• Discussed placing hard rubber speed bumps at access roads at Richmond Senior High School.
• Shared thoughts on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut last month.
• Saw 24 teacher cadets from Richmond Senior High School and their teacher, Mary McDonald, who explained that each student must spend 15 hours in a classroom and many students are sad to leave as they finish their course and head off to college. McDonald said it was her largest class to date.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.