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New hybrid math program implemented in Idaho school district, more rigorous than before

The new program is called i-Ready and will include a digital platform and workbook.

RATHDRUM, Idaho — After a year of math curriculum work, the Lakeland Joint school district has adopted a new math program. Implementation cost the district about $745,000, said Lisa Arnold, district assistant superintendent, as reported by the Coeur d'Alene Press.

The program called i-Ready is a kindergarten through eighth grade curriculum, using a hybrid digital platform and a workbook, Arnold said.

“It’s more rigorous than anything we’ve ever had,” Arnold said. “We liked the strong focus on the real world application of math.”

Arnold, and Dr. Lynn Paslay, Lakeland’s federal programs director, were instrumental in bringing the program to district schools, said current superintendent Dr. Becky Meyer. Meyer will be leaving the Lakeland district as of July, joining staff of the Pend Oreille school district.

“Lisa and Lynn were in charge of the entire adoption process,” Meyer told The Press in an email.

A rigorous review of i-Ready was conducted by Lakeland staff, teachers and parents, Arnold said.

“Parent voices were as loud as the teachers voices in favor,” Arnold said.

The school board of trustees unanimously approved the new program. The district hadn’t adopted a new math textbook since 2014, which was around the time when “standards last changed,” Arnold said.

The adoption of i-Ready also represents a more “seamless transition” between elementary through middle school, Arnold said. This is the first time the district has had the same publisher of texts throughout many grades. Which means there is “one less transition,” for students.

Currently many classrooms use the diagnostic aspect of the system. The full program will be rolled out in all of the district's elementary and middle school classrooms beginning Fall of 2022.

The district is working to identify any “skill gaps,” in student learning. i-Ready allows areas of misunderstanding to be incorporated into the students “learning pathway,” Arnold said.

iReady encourages “student to student” conversations, called “math discourse,” to solve problems communally. Additionally a daily routine called “try — discuss — connect,” is utilized with the intent of helping students “develop a deeper understanding of mathematics,” according to their website.

The district is using ARP ESSR funds to cover the costs, and hope the program will “stay relevant for many years to come,” Arnold said. The district is “committed to (at least the) next six years.”

“i-Ready gave us deep discounts,” Arnold said. “Other programs were $1.2 million.”

The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 News partner. For more news from our partners, click here.

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