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Community, Business Leaders Get Sneak Peek At New Algebra Program

San Marcos, August 1, 2012 - From the San Marcos Daily Record

By Reyna Caraveo, city of San Marcos Community Relations Intern

San Marcos — About 40 local community and business leaders, educators, chamber and economic development officials recently got a sneak peak at the new Texas State University Mathworks Algebra Program (MAP) that will debut this fall at Miller Middle School, supporting efforts to increase the San Marcos CISD’s college-going rates, workforce readiness, and math test scores.

 “All students at Miller will benefit from this research-based, proven method that accelerates algebra teaching and learning. This gives our middle school students a better foundation for being academically prepared for post-secondary education and the workforce,” Doug Wozniak, principal of Miller Middle School, said.

The benefits are not restricted to math.

“Curriculum and teaching methods of Mathworks use strategies like creative thinking, soft skills, and problem solving, that increase student performance in other disciplines,” Brian Bondy, president of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, said.

Guests arrived at Miller Middle School for a tour of the Junior Summer Math Camp, a multi-level, two-week program for students going into grades 4-8.

A luncheon on campus featured Gail Burrill, past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and attendees also attended a session hosted by the Mathworks Curriculum Team.

Mathworks prepares young students to succeed in algebra and beyond, engaging and inspiring students of all backgrounds to do mathematics at a high level.

“We are certain that the MAP program will make a significant impact on student performance in math as well as other disciplines,” Max Warshauer, director of Mathworks Math Camp, said.

“Algebra is a gateway course, one of the determining factors, to student performance toward being academically prepared and succeeding in higher education.  Algebra skills are also important for workforce readiness,” he said.

The curriculum, created by Texas State faculty, calls for the completion of Algebra 1 by the end of eighth grade through a three-text series that also covers the state curriculum requirements for sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

The curriculum was derived from the Junior Summer Math Camp, which has been held on San Marcos CISD campuses for more than 15 years.

Several adminstrators and faculty members from Gary Job Corps attended the program.

“The Mathworks Program is a unique, one-of-a-kind training.  This program inspires individualism and creativity with students. I was so excited to see these concepts come to life through student’s interactivity with each other. Texas State University and Dr. Warshauer have developed a program that has universal application in the educational arena. I predict that the city of San Marcos will be flowing from the tongues of educators through the efforts of these individuals and the great Texas State University,” Lonnie Hall, center director of Gary Job Corps Community, said.

The Texas State University Mathworks program recently received three-year grants from the KDK-Harman and Sid W. Richardson Foundations to support the local pilot initiative that will provide teacher training and other support to implement the Mathworks curriculum in grades 6-8 at Miller.

Additional support has been received from the KLE Foundation, which provides matching gift opportunities to donors.

All students at Miller Middle School will participate in the program. A pre-algebra elective course will also be available to fifth graders at Crockett, Hernandez and, Mendez Elementary schools, which feed into the middle school.

Through a partnership with the San Marcos CISD, KDK-Harman, Sid W. Richardson and KLE Foundations, Texas State is providing textbooks, student workbooks, Iowa Algebra Aptitude tests, professional development for English language teachers, additional resources for students learning English, teacher professional development during the summer, training stipends for teachers, Mathworks school-year support and classroom observation, Mathworks coordination and evaluation, weekly tutors, Junior Summer Math Camp scholarships for 100 students, and administrative support.

Visitors at the JSMC

Observing San Marcos students in the Texas State University Mathworks summer camp program are, from left to right, Ellen Hoffman, United Way of Hays County; Michelle Harper, director, United Way of Hays County; Margaret Lindsey, San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce; Margie Villalpando, trustee, SMCISD; Brian Bondy, president, San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce; Gary Nelson, CTMC; Daniel Guerrero, mayor, city of San Marcos; Sam Hunenergardt, president, CTMC and Gary Gannon, Greater San Marcos Partnership.



Mathworks staff and guests

Learning more about Mathworks are, standing from left to right, George Qi, Mathworks Camp counselor; Max Warshauer, Mathworks director and Patty Amende, Mathworks. Sitting from left to right are Collette Jamison and Stephanie Reyes, city of San Marcos; Mike Riley, deputy center director Student Services at Gary; Lonnie Hall, Gary Job Corps Center director and Nathalene Pena, deputy center director Student Training at Gary.