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Class Notes: State board says yes to traditional math options
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Georgia public schools can now teach the math most people know best.

State Superintendent Richard Woods announced Thursday the State Board of Education approved new math courses for Georgia high schools, which offer a more traditional approach to mathematics.

The change will begin immediately, and high schools can change their math course offerings beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. However, if schools are comfortable teaching the “integrated” math courses implemented a few years ago, they do not have to revert to traditional math.

“I have heard many times from students, teachers, and parents, that the lack of a traditional/discrete math option is an enormously troubling issue,” Woods said in a release. “Today, thanks to the collaboration of the Governor’s office and State Board of Education, we have been able to resolve that issue in a way that offers a choice at the local level.”

The state school board conducted surveys and asked for public comments after announcing the possibility in January. Woods said the comments showed the public’s desire for both options.

Hall County Schools and Gainesville City Schools both currently teach integrated mathematics, which means instead of distinct algebra and geometry courses, the districts’ high schools might offer “coordinate algebra” or “analytic geometry.” These courses integrate two kinds of mathematics into one course.

Sarah Bell, Gainesville director of curriculum and instruction, said the city school district will evaluate which form is best for its students before deciding.

Eloise Barron, Hall County assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said she expects the county school district to continue teaching integrated math for a while. Regardless, Barron said she was pleased to see the state allowing both forms.

“This is good news for Georgia’s educators, parents, and students,” said Helen Rice, state school board chairwoman. “These courses are a response to feedback from all of those groups — they are specific to the needs and responsive to the voices of Georgia’s students.”

Hall County sets parent night for charter and magnet schools

Hall County families are invited to an information night regarding the school district’s charter and magnet schools.

Students living in the charter or magnet school attendance zone do not need to complete an application and are automatically enrolled when they register. Students living outside the school zone can apply for admission.

A districtwide meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the central office, 711 Green St. in Gainesville. Follow-up meetings will be held at each individual school.

The district’s charter and magnet chools include Chestnut Mountain Creative School of Inquiry, Martin Technology Academy of Math and Science, McEver Arts Academy, The Mount Vernon Exploratory School, Sardis Enrichment School, Spout Springs School of Enrichment, Sugar Hill Talent Development and Career Readiness, Wauka Mountain Multiple Intelligences Academy and World Language Academy.

Gainesville High School thespians excel at competition

A number of Gainesville High School performers excelled in early February at the Georgia Thespian conference.

Each of the performances in the individual events held from Feb. 5-7 ranked “straight superiors,” including Alaina Holeman’s solo musical; Holeman and Sam Terray’s musical duet; and the group musical including Holeman, Terray, Triston Wimpye, Ramiro Salinas, Izzy Pate, Andre Ribeiro, Bleu Bell, Boone Alexander, Cameron Peacock, Julia Truelove, Logan Harr, Narda Rivera, Nicolle Pierce, Sarah Beth Moss and Sophie Goode.

Sara Cook also ranked “excellent” for technical scenic design.

Carlee Cosper was inducted as a 2015-2016 state thespian officer, and all of the students who auditioned for a state college scholarship received multiple college callbacks.

Holeman was also awarded the $2,000 Pam Ware Leadership and Service Scholarship, and Parker Hendrix was called back for the thespian scholarship interview team.

Kristen Oliver covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:

koliver@gainesvilletimes.com

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