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Boy looking at student discussing math problem

Revolutionizing Math Education: Pathways to Inclusion and Collaboration

Taking Risks | Working Persistently | Communicating Productively 

The San Mateo-Foster City School District has embarked on a transformative journey in math education. Our new instructional approaches prioritize collaboration, allowing students to engage with and learn from each other more effectively than ever before. These collaborative learning environments have not only enhanced student engagement but also improved overall math proficiency. 

Student looking at the board in their math classroom

One of the most notable outcomes of these instructional shifts is the increased access to algebra for a more diverse student demographic by the 8th grade. This school year, we have 304 students accessing CCSS Algebra content compared to 172 students enrolled two years ago and 228 last school year.

This increase is largely attributed to our Double Math 8/Algebra course, which allows students to complete all CCSS middle school math courses and high school CCSS Algebra without compression.

Math PNG Data on Latinx Students Accessing Algebra

This course has created opportunities for students to learn alongside their peers in heterogeneous classrooms, moving away from the previous tracking system.

At the elementary level, we have deployed 11 Math Teachers on Special Assignment (ToSAs) to support 16 sites, prioritizing each of the Title 1 schools with a full-time Math ToSA. During the math block, Math ToSAs might model research-based instructional strategies such as Math Mindset Routine, 3 Reads, Groupwork Feedback, or Mathematical Language Routines (MLRs).

Students speaking to one another doing math

They also observe and gather data for teachers trying new strategies, focusing on equitable access, engagement, academic discourse, and hands-on tasks. Co-teaching interactive lessons using manipulatives, practicing questioning strategies that deepen student understanding, and supporting individual or small groups are key components of their role.


Our TK-8 Math Program:

8th Grade Math Placement High School Criteria

Mission and Vision, Mathematics

SMFC students become enthusiastic and proficient learners of mathematics who are able to share their thinking, use multiple representations, and build on the ideas of others.

Increase meaningful mathematical discourse and sense-making to build fluency, flexibility, and strategic competence in all students.

Our PK-8 Math Program is designed to support the three SMFCSD Strategic Plan Goals:

  1. Create learning opportunities for all PreK to 8 students resulting in closing the achievement gap and culminating in personal and academic success in high school and beyond.

  2. Reduce inequitable outcomes for all students and staff by prioritizing equity, access, and inclusion.

  3. Provide a safe, caring, nurturing and culturally responsive environment for all students to meet the needs of the whole child.