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Instructional Administrators for Math

Middle School level: Beverly Bisnett-Jenks

High School level: Michael Piscitelli


The New York Common Core Standards for Mathematics became mandated in the 2012-13 school year. The purpose of these newly developed learning outcomes is to create math instruction that is much more focused and coherent for students. In essence, children become more deeply familiar with math skills and concepts with a projected goal of mastery. The sequence of the standards allows our students to become more competent math learners by applying their math knowledge to everyday, critical math topics. The long-term goal of the Common Core initiative is to better prepare all students for college and the opportunities they will face in the future.

The Mathematics Cabinet endorses the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. These standards, along with the New York Common Core Standards Learning Standards in mathematics, as well as the mathematics core curriculum are the basis of Guilderland’s mathematics instruction.

We have selected mathematics programs K-12 which will produce students who are mathematically literate in a world where mathematics is rapidly growing and is critically needed in many occupations. The mathematics curriculum is an operational plan for instruction which clearly outlines what students need to achieve and what teachers need to do to help students achieve at high levels.

Our goals match those of NCTM:

“1) That they learn to value mathematics, 2) that they become confident in their ability to do mathematics, 3) that they become mathematical problem solvers, 4) that they learn to communicate mathematically, and 5) that they learn to reason mathematically. These goals imply that students should be exposed to numerous and varied interrelated experiences that encourage them to value the mathematical enterprise, to develop mathematical habits of mind, and to understand and appreciate the role of mathematics in human affairs; that they should be encouraged to explore, to guess, and even to make and correct errors so that they gain confidence in their ability to solve complex problems and that they should read, write and discuss mathematics.”
(National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)

The classrooms we envision are places where students explore, conjecture and reason logically as they use a variety of mathematical methods and tools to solve problems. Mathematics in such learning environments is more than a collection of skills; it includes reasoning, investigation, and various forms of communication.

Elementary level

Go Math! by Houghton Mifflin Hardcourt Publishing Company is specifically written to support the Common Core State Standards. The critical areas and mathematical practices outline in the New York state curriculum are integrated into Go Math! chapters. Student tools allow children to engage in context-based mathematical situations that build to more abstract problem solving. Students use models, manipulatives, quick pictures and symbols to build deeper mathematical understandings. Instructional methods focus on the use of literature and technology as well as encourage students to talk and write about math. Teacher training is provided on an ongoing basis. Grades 3-5 are tested annually by NYS Math tests.

Middle School level

Each year students in grades 6, 7 & 8 are tested on the New York State Mathematics curriculum. The Middle School program, Applications and Connections, stresses total student involvement in problem solving situations. The students are instructed in all content and process strands in the New York State core curriculum. Problem solving and developing strategies for checking reasonableness of results are important emphases. Demanding higher order thinking skills continues to be the focus of the mathematics program. Some students are able to begin an accelerated program which allows them to start a high school level mathematics course (Integrated Algebra) in grade 8. Academic Intervention Services are also available to students with academic needs in math as well as a summer remedial program. A math and science enrichment program has recently been added to expose students to real world applications via problem-based investigations and independent study.

High School level

The primary goal of the mathematics department at the high school level is to promote increased student participation, confidence, and success in the study of mathematics. The Mathematics Department offers a wide variety of courses that prepare students for either future study or careers.

All students must complete at least three years of mathematics and pass one Regents examination. Students may complete as many as six courses with approximately eighty percent completing at least four. Many of our seniors take AP Calculus, AP Computer Science or PreCalculus for which they may earn college credit or advanced standing.

Visit the link below to learn more about the high school math program:

High school math program


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