New Math Pathways for 6th and 7th Graders

April Harvey 6th grade math teacher

Stephen Rexford

April Harvey 6th grade math teacher

Riley Caney, Staff Writer

The Board of Education just approved a new Math Pathway for Westport middle schools. The new changes will not affect students currently enrolled in Bedford, but it will affect incoming 6th grade students and all future students.

The math changes were made for two main reasons: to continue the learning model that K-5 uses and to have a better foundation in the math curriculum.

Beginning with the sixth grade math curriculum, the existing 6+ course is turning into 6/7. That means that for two-thirds of the year sixth graders will be learning sixth grade math, but for the remaining third of the year, they will learn seventh grade math. That change was made so the jump from to algebra is not such a big change.

Students will be distributed across the classes differently. For example, a 6th grade math teacher

“I am excited by the changes because I think that this model will better serve all the students.””

— Ms. Bernadette Boulais

typically teaches two Math 6 classes and two Math 6+ classes. Starting next year, those teachers will teach three Math 6 classes and one Math 6/7 class. That change was made because in K-5 there are no levels and math instructors want to keep it that way in middle school, but they do not want to keep kids who are exceptional in math learning at the same pace everyone else is learning at. That is why they only have one 6/7 class.

Mrs. Bernadette Boulais, a sixth grade math teacher, likes the change. “I am excited by the changes because I think that this model will better serve all the students,” said Ms. Boulais.

There are new changes coming to the seventh grade math curriculum as well. The changes involve switching 7+ to 7/8. That means two thirds of the year they will be learning seventh grade math and the rest of the year they will be learning eighth grade math.

The students who were in math 6/7 can either go to math 7, math 7/8 or algebra. Students who were in math 6 can either go to math 7 or math 7/8. Students who were in math 7 go on to math 8. Students in math 7/8 go on to algebra. Students who were in Algebra go on to Geometry.

There are no new changes happening to 8th grade math. It is hoped that the math changes will insure a better learning program for middle schoolers.