New math curriculum, more AP courses heading for MHS

This fall Marshalltown High School will implement a new math curriculum, as well as add more Advanced Placement course offerings for students.

The new curriculum has a more traditional class format, with a year each of Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Implementation will be gradual, allowing students currently part of the Integrated Math program to complete the coursework. This fall Pre-Algebra and Algebra I will be added, followed by Geometry in 2013-2014 and Algebra II in 2014-2015.

“The greatest benefit of a single-tiered system is having the same high expectations for every student,” said Angela Pierce, MHS math teacher. “We’re excited that our new curriculum will offer students more current applications, online resources and differentiation.”

The single-tiered system will allow students to follow a common path, but begin at different stages according to ability (determined by MAP and Iowa Assessments scores, teacher recommendations and success in previous coursework).

Along with the new curriculum, MHS will continue offering Statistics as an upper-level math elective and dual-enrollment options for Pre-Calculus and Calculus with Marshalltown Community College.

MHS is also increasing the number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered for 2012-2013. New to MHS this fall will be AP Language & Composition, AP Literature & Composition and AP European History

“The AP classes are far more rigorous and give students the chance to earn college credit,” said Aiddy Phomvisay, MHS principal. “We intend to review other areas and consider additional AP courses or dual enrolled courses in the years to come.”

Advanced Course Offerings 2012-2013
Advanced American History I Web Design*
AP American History II Pre-Calculus*
Gereral Chemistry I & II* Calculus I & II*
AP Economics Composition I & II*
AP European History AP Literature & Composition
AP Government AP Language & Composition
AP Psychology
*college credit provided

Some classes previously labeled as “advanced”, such as Advanced English 9, 10, and 11, will be phased out as new, more rigorous literacy curriculum is implemented in the fall. A new upper-level English class, English – Senior Survey, will also be added.

“Teachers are also working hard to differentiate the curriculum in these course so all students’ learning needs are met,” Phomvisay said.

Next year MHS will also begin planning for a new Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) program through Project Lead the Way. The Gateway to Technology curriculum will start at Miller Middle School in the fall, with plans for implementation at MHS in 2013-2014.

“I appreciate the community’s support and desire to be highly competitive with other districts,” Phomvisay said.