This Local Systemic Change project involves all pre-K-5 teachers and all 6-9 mathematics teachers in the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) over a five-year period. All teachers, instructional assistants and administrators are participating in two years of staff development in mathematics content and pedagogy. All together, there are 2,100 participants.
The Santa Ana Unified School District is located 40 miles south of Los Angeles. It is the largest school district in Orange County and the 8th largest in the state. The district has 47 schools, 33 of which are K-5 therefore serving 48,900 students. It is the fastest-growing district in the county and is located in an urban area that is generally not affluent. Sixty-seven percent of the students have Limited English Proficiency (LEP), the second-largest number of LEP students statewide. At the elementary level, 81 percent of the students are enrolled in the Free/Reduced Lunch Program. SAUSD serves a 94 percent minority population in a county whose average is 20 percent. The diverse population poses enormous challenges to the district academically, socially, and culturally. A major objective of this project is reaching out to the underrepresented population of Latinos and other minorities who choose not to pursue an academic career in mathematics and science.
This project is built on two successful models previously funded by NSF: Santa Ana - Fullerton Elementary Mathematics Project (SAFEMAP) and the Language and Mathematics Project (LAMP) and a third district project, Secondary SAFEMAP (S2). This project differs from the previous projects in that it is not voluntary. Every K-5 teacher, all 6-8 mathematics teachers, and all state pre-school teachers are required to participate. This systemic change project provides a model for restructuring a district's K-8 mathematics program by involving teachers, administrators, parents and the community. The project is incorporating the current California Mathematics Framework (1999) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum and Evaluation Standards (including the NCTM 2000 Standards draft) as models for the professional development for the Santa Ana Unified School District.
The goals of the project are as follows: 1) change the classroom behavior of teachers and students as they do mathematics; 2) change teachers' attitudes towards teaching mathematics; 3) encourage parents, business and community involvement; and 4) change teachers' expectations of mathematical achievement for minority students, including LEP students and girls, to reflect the philosophy that all students can do mathematics.
On-going support of this program includes implementation of site-based visions focusing on teacher discourse, reflection, and classroom observation and coaching, resulting in an additional 100 hours of professional development. Parents, community, and business partners participate in the project by learning about education reform and by assisting in site-based events and activities resulting in another 100 hours of participation. The District also provides two staff development days per year devoted to mathematics involving teachers, instructional assistants and administrators.
Subcomponents include: a substantial professional library of teacher resource books and children's literature at each site, training Family Math leaders and parents, training substitute teachers in specially-designed substitute teacher lesson plans for use while teachers are at professional development sessions, training & meeting with site support providers who provide on-going site-level mathematics support, implementing and maintaining upper grade (grades 4-8) math clubs at each site, hosting an annual district-wide math field day competition, providing specially-designed training for instructional assistants, hosting monthly voluntary administrator advisory board meetings as well as three annual K-8 administrator meetings, and publishing various manuals to help facilitate the functioning of the project (office manager's handbook, substitute teacher handbook, April is Family Math Month activity book, etc.). The instructor group (trainers) are provided with additional professional development opportunities, and are considered to be teacher-leaders within the district.
SUMS is unique in its multi-component professional development program as it encompasses all personnel involved in children's education.