Kendall Hunt

Kern High School District Adjusting Well to New Custom Math Curriculum

January 24, 2018

By: Kendall Hunt

Kern High School District in Bakersfield, California, delayed adopting new Algebra curriculum longer than most districts because they wanted to see what curriculum would be available for new standards and practices. They agreed they wanted something different than what they were using previously. When they couldn’t hold off any longer, they contacted all the publishers of the various math curriculum they were interested in and began the review process.

Each of the 18 different high school sites within the district received copies of the Algebra titles to be reviewed. Discovering Algebra fit most of the criteria they were looking for including aligning with work done with anchor tasks prior to adoption. “They were discovering-based and investigation-based aligning well within the Discovering Mathematics series,” said Kyle Atkin, Kern High School District Mathematics Coordinator.

When they learned they could customize Discovering Algebra slightly to include that previous work it was a win-win. “Our teachers had done a lot of work prior to this with instruction and tasks,” said Atkin. “We created our own anchor tasks for Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2.”

Another customization component included “adding some basic statistics and probability into Discovering Algebra. We really thought it has to be in there even though it’s more basic. It was nice to have that option to add additional items in there,” Atkin added.

Teachers and students, alike have adjusted well to the new curriculum. Teachers have become better instructionally and better planners. Atkin says while the “students are still learning to do tasks on their own as opposed to it being spoon fed to them. It’s still an adjustment for them. We’re not all the way there yet for the district, but we’re making progress," he added.

Overall, the customization piece of Kern’s curriculum puzzle came together smoothly. Atkin said district representatives talked through what needed to be pulled and added, evaluation copies were made for them to look at and that was it. 

Want to learn how your district or school can write its own customization story? Contact ConstructEd to learn more.