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School district responds to concerns regarding Common Core math



Two weeks after parents and community members voiced their concerns about the Turlock Unified School District's lack of an accelerated math course at the junior high level, TUSD has Common Core Math 7 Honors and Common Core Math 8 Honors courses in the works.

“After assessing student progress between now and the end of December, we are prepared at the beginning of second semester, following winter break, to implement Common Core Honors 7 and Common Core Honors 8 potentially, if we have students who are ready for that level and have demonstrated that through the data that we collect,” said TUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Dana Trevethan.

According to Trevethan, each student’s progress will be assessed based on results from Module 1, Module 2, their course grades, level of engagement, and teacher recommendation.

If there are students who meet the necessary criteria and demonstrate a high level of proficiency in math, both Dutcher Middle School and Turlock Junior High School are prepared to implement these honor courses at the beginning of second semester of the current school year.

Parent and former math teacher Marie Guerrero was one of the people who attended the Oct. 8 Board of Trustees meeting to voice her concerns regarding the currently implemented math courses. Guerrero said that the courses only addressed one level of mathematical knowledge and held advanced students at a disadvantage.

With the district’s potential new offerings, Guerrero and other concerned community members are satisfied knowing that students will be given the opportunity to pursue math at an accelerated rate if the need to do so is made evident. 

“I'm glad to see that the school district has a plan in place to offer differentiated instruction in math for our students in grades 7-12,” said Guerrero. “It's good to see that accelerated math students in our district will have a pathway to follow that will allow them to apply to some of the more rigorous universities, if that is in their plans for the future.”

Trevethan also reported that with the implementation of these new courses, TUSD is prepared to do everything in its power to not cause turbulence with students’ current schedules.

“We don’t want to be flipping students’ schedules,” said Trevethan. “We will make it so there is actually a class at the same time frame as the Integrated Math courses. The teacher may or may not change, depending on which teacher is assigned to the course, but a majority of students’ schedules will not be turned upside down.”