Math Task Force - April 7, 2017

The Math Task Force reconvened on April 7 for a progress update and check-in on our implementation of the recommendations. The full MTF document can be found here.
We have enhanced our Professional Development for teachers and administrators based on their feedback as well as student feedback during the MTF development process. Evaluations of the PD sessions have been positive.
In addition, we have positioned Math Learning Teams in every elementary school as well as Math Leaders across the system. This allows for learning between peers and is being received very well. Starting in September, we will be offering opportunities for teachers to obtain their advanced math qualifications in our schools which will bring the opportunity right to our teachers, hopefully increasing engagement levels in a familiar environment. 
We have been fortunate to increase the diversity of our schools with many newcomer students over the last year. We are providing ESL learning to these students because most of them do not speak English. As a result, we have realized we need to include ESL teachers in our math PD. At the end of the summer we will have a sense of how the strategy is working when we receive the EQAO scores for ESL students.
I have said before that because there are attitudes about math (fear and anxiety, thinking you are not a math person) that are in fact part of broader culture and society, this creates a serious challenge that will take time to overcome. Our strategy is meant to support both students and staff with their growth mind set. We have been working very hard on developing growth mind set across the entire school system.
I love this work and it is always energizing to get together with the MTF members, a group of GECDSB teachers and administrators, Trustee McKinley and myself, and our external advisors from the University of Windsor, St Clair College, Ministry of Education, and EQAO. More to come! 
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Jessica Sartori