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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
In how many schools will the program be field tested, which schools and what is field testing?

All K-2 and 3-5 classrooms district-wide will take part in the field test during the 2022-23 school year. A K-2, 3-5 field test will provide the opportunity to gather more thorough feedback from all MPS teachers, students, caregivers and the community.  This one-year field test will help us decide whether to go forward with a full adoption starting in fall 2023.

Will dual language schools have two different programs being piloted?

Yes, they are piloting two different programs; there are two K-2 programs and three 3-5 programs being piloted. In addition we will evaluate the Spanish translations of the programs.

Is MPS also adopting a new curriculum for grades 6-12?

Yes, pilot programs will start in fall 2023 for grades 6-12 with final vendor(s) selection by June 2024.

I thought you already piloted K-2. Why are we now piloting in K-5?

We were not able to pilot K-2 materials during distance learning during the 2020-21 school year as a result of the pandemic. We paused piloting at K-2 until we were in-person. Both K-2 and 3-5 are being piloted during the 2021-22 school year.

When will the final curriculum be chosen?

The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the contract for the recommended curriculum at its June 14, 2022, board meeting.

Who will make the final decision and how will it be decided? Is the Board of Education involved in this decision?

After gathering feedback and data from teachers, staff, students, families, caregivers and the community, the K-12 Math Adoption Steering Committee will make a recommendation to senior leaders and the School Board for a final decision and contract approval. 

 
How much does a new curriculum cost?

There is an initial purchase of materials and training, and annual costs for student materials and training. Our last large-scale K-5 curriculum adoption in literacy cost $10 million; we anticipate math to be roughly similar.

The final cost will be part of the Math Adoption Steering Committee’s recommendation to the School Board.

Will this impact students’ grades? Will they learn what they need to learn during the pilots?

Hopefully, the pilot will impact students in positive ways - all curricula are aligned with what students need to learn in their grade levels.

How did MPS choose the pilot schools?

Our evaluation department randomly selected schools with a goal of balancing demographics including race, economics, language, special education and regions of the city.

What are “math standards” and why do we want to meet those? Where can I read more? Wasn’t our old math curriculum up to standards?

The standards are grounded in the belief that all students can and should be mathematically proficient. To learn more about Minnesota’s math standards, visit MPS Math Standards.

Why are you doing this during a pandemic? Won’t students get further behind?

Students are still being taught using the current Minnesota State Standards. The pilot programs each have ways that teachers can meet the needs of all their students. This process has been put on hold and we are currently behind our timeline by a year.

How often does MPS change math curriculum? Why are we doing it now?

Our current curriculum is outdated; the last time MPS did a math adoption was in 2007. MPS would ideally update the math curriculum every 10 years.

How will MPS gather data from staff and families involved in the pilot?

Families and staff will have the opportunity to provide feedback through surveys, virtual open houses where we collect survey feedback, community viewing events and focus groups.  Families at pilot sites are encouraged to share their experiences with your child’s teacher, family liaison, or building administrator through April 2022.

How is MPS evaluating a math curriculum? Will families or staff have any input into which curriculum is chosen?
  • Teachers who were involved in the pilot will be asked to complete an evaluation of the curriculum they taught and participate in a teacher focus group to examine the programs at a deeper level.
  • Students in pilot programs will share their experiences with the program.
  • Parents and community members will have the opportunity to give feedback.

This information will be brought together and evaluated by the Math Adoption Steering Committee, which will make a recommendation to the MPS Board of Education.

What is MPS looking for in a math curriculum?

MPS is looking for a curriculum that is connected to the lives of our MPS students. The curriculum should be engaging and allow for students to work on problems that encourage higher order thinking skills.

How did MPS choose which math curricula to pilot?

A request for proposals was created by the Math Adoption Steering Committee; vendors replied and submitted materials for the committee to review. The committee chose 4-6 vendors to present their program responding to our rubric. From there the committee chose which programs to pilot.

Were the teachers trained in this new math program?

All teachers received initial training, and follow-up professional development was provided for each program being piloted.

Does each student have to participate in the pilot?

Students enrolled in a school that is piloting at their grade level will participate in the pilot.

How will this change how a student learns math this year?

Students will continue to be taught using the Minnesota Standards. The materials may look different, and the order in which the standards are taught may be different within each pilot program, but each pilot program addresses the Minnesota Math Standards.

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