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Asst. Superintendent Begins Math Curriculum Review

Burlington’s new assistant superintendent has begun a review of the school district’s math curriculum, which has not been systematically reviewed in about 15 years. 

“I’ve already met with the math folks, and what I mean by that is sitting down for some preliminary discussions on math progression and how we’re doing math, and how students are achieving math in pre-K through 12,” said Dr. Lisa Chen, who began as the assistant superintendent on July 1. 

Chen said one major change under consideration is offering Algebra I in middle school, effectively expanding the options for advanced students who need more of a challenge. 

“It will allow us to take a very deep dive into the curriculum to make sure that if you and I are the same teacher, if we’re both teaching 8th grade math, even if we may have a very different teaching style, they all need to be exposed to the same standards,” she said. 

Chen’s review includes formalizing priorities for math education and developing consistent expectations at each grade level, so parents, teachers and students can use the same language. 

Chen also announced two parent nights on October 10 and 19, at 6 p.m. at Francis Wyman Elementary School and Marshall Simonds Middle School, respectively, covering the district’s social and emotional learning curriculum. For the first time, Burlington has reduced its science classes from five to four days per week to allow for SEL curriculum on the fifth day, and Chen said she wants parents and guardians to understand what that curriculum looks like and how they can support it in the home.