Recent decisions by a variety of school districts confirm the need for comprehensive mathematics programs to supplement traditional learning systems.
Districts such as the sprawling Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the Joliet (IL) School District, and the Alief (TX) ISD have adopted KAlgebra courseware and print-based program developed by Larson Learning (formerly Meridian Creative Group, a Division of Larson Texts, Inc.).
LAUSD requires a flexible, self-contained, and transportable print intervention program that allows students to develop and enhance the skills necessary to master key California Algebra I Content Standards. Larson Learning signed a two-year, $1.4 million contract with the LAUSD to provide a districtwide print Algebra Support Program. “Larson Learning was most responsive to the requirements of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Algebra intervention request for proposal. The company’s experience in developing materials that are culturally relevant and responsive to at risk students, as well as its ability to provide professional development that is responsive to teacher needs, are but a few excellent qualities that contributed to the selection of Larson Learning as the vendor to provide the Algebra intervention materials,” says Matthias Vheru, Coordinator, Secondary Mathematics, LAUSD.
At Joliet, the Larson Learning K?12 mathematics courseware will be implemented district-wide at all of Joliet’s 23 schools. The program will be used in tandem with textbooks in the classroom, something the district already does with science. “From the moment we saw the products from Larson Learning there was energy,” says Katie Kendall, Math and Science Resource Specialist for the district. “We were in complete agreement, from teachers and administrators to students and parents, that it was the right product for us.”
The implementation follows a nineweek pilot program at three of the district’s schools. Joliet sought out a product that was state-specific, customizable, and easy to use for both students and teachers. “Larson Learning is unique because it allows us to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of our students. Larson Learning’s ability to customize our math curriculum is like an IEP (individual educational plan) for math,” adds Ms. Kendall.
Students will access the Larson Learning titles through laptops and workstations in the classroom. The district has also designated a Math Technology Integration Specialist to assist in the implementation of the math software, a first for the district. The Specialist will work with the administration and teachers to ensure a smooth deployment of Larson Learning throughout the district and assist with the move to differentiated instruction of math.
In the Alief ISD, Larson Learning was chosen after the district conducted a broad evaluation of products with detailed criteria, including student assessment and prescriptives, ease of instruction, and use of technology. “We want our students to do more than just pass the test,” says Colleen Sanders, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary and Intermediate Schools. “We want to create well-rounded, mathematically adept students. Therefore, we have to prepare our students with a solid foundation in math. The products from Larson Learning will help us meet our goals.”
According to a company spokesperson, “Larson Learning knows from experience that when students spend adequate time with our program their performance improves noticeably. The Larson Math Series places a heavy emphasis on problem-solving and, through a differentiated learning system, builds the foundations necessary for students to be successful in the more rigorous applications of mathematics.”
For more information, please contact Chris McKay, VP National Sales Manager for Larson Learning, Inc. at (800) 452-0724 or online at www.LarsonLearning.com.