Jackson Road Elementary School's project to help students better understand the content area of mathematics has been selected to receive a $10,000 Toyota TIME grant from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
The school was one of 35 awardees in the nationwide grant program, developed in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and its Mathematics Education Trust Foundation.
The Jackson Road Elementary School project includes implementing a multifaceted approach to staff development, classroom enhancement and supplementary programs for students and their families. The first year of the grant, eight Math Inquiry Group sessions are planned, where teachers meet monthly with a consultant from the University of Maryland. Through the staff development, the school will adopt a problem-solving inquiry approach to math instruction.
This year, the school is piloting and implementing a small group tutorial program called Project Math, conducted by instructional assistants during the school day, in addition to regular classroom math instruction. The school also plans to conduct Parent and Child Math Nights to discuss the importance of problem solving and communication in math.
Additionally, the school will conduct an after-school program, Math Connections, to give lowest achieving students an opportunity to have an extended school day.
Jackson Road, a Title 1 school with 537 students, is socioeconomically diverse, with an enrollment of about 40 percent African American, 1 percent American Indian, 13 percent Asian Pacific American, 14 percent Hispanic and 31 percent Caucasian. In addition, the student population is 17 percent ESOL, and 44 percent receive free and reduced-price meals.
During the past six years, reading was the primary focus at Jackson Road. The school won the State of Maryland's Exemplary Reading Award in 1998. The school began its new mathematics focus out of concern it was not seeing the same progress for students in math, as overall math assessment scores at the county and state level continue to decline.
"Through the staff development and special intervention programs we have proposed in this grant," the proposal stated, "we anticipate seeing similar gains in student achievement and motivation for learning math."