NEW YORK, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Rochester City School District (RCSD) has decided to expand implementation of Zearn Math, a top-rated K-5 math curriculum, for the upcoming school year. Beginning in fall of 2018, twenty-three RCSD elementary schools, serving ~19,000 students, will be teaching and learning with the Zearn Math curriculum, up from fifteen schools during the 2017-18 school year. The Zearn Math curriculum is published by Zearn, a nonprofit curriculum publisher dedicated to ensuring all students love learning math.
RCSD decided to expand use of Zearn Math to twenty-three elementary schools as part of the district's Math Transformation Initiative. Started in 2015, RCSD's Math Transformation Initiative is working to set a new vision for instruction and student achievement by implementing rigorous curriculum, strategically utilizing technology to support teaching and learning, building capacity in schools through new models of professional development, and measuring ongoing impact. Jeff Mikols, Executive Director of Mathematics and Digital Learning at RCSD, noted, "We serve a diverse student population in our district and are committed to providing every student with high-quality instruction that enables them to learn the math content of their grade. Our Math Transformation Initiative is about building a new math mindset at RCSD about what is possible for our students to achieve, and implementing Zearn Math's rigorous and innovative curriculum, along with their year-long professional development program, is a key driver of making that mindset shift a reality."
With Zearn Math, students in RCSD now learn daily math content in two formats: Small Group Lessons with their teacher and Independent Digital Lessons through Zearn's digital platform. "Technology can be a positive addition to the classroom when it is used to enable great teaching and create more moments of learning between students and educators," Mikols remarked. "Zearn Math's cohesive combination of digital and small group learning empowers our teachers to provide students with the 'just right', differentiated level of instruction they need to remediate gaps, master standards, and accelerate learning. Teachers are now better able to meet the needs of the range of individual learners in their classrooms, and we're seeing exciting progress in how engaged all students are with their grade-level math."
In addition to implementing the Zearn Math curriculum and classroom model, RCSD is providing schools with access to Zearn PD to support teachers as they grow and refine their teaching and learning practice. Superintendent of Schools, Barbara Deane-Williams noted, "We are focused on building capacity at the school level to create the long-term systemic change required to achieve our Math Transformation. Centrally-led professional learning opportunities can set the stage for effective impact, but lasting growth depends on school-level ownership. Zearn PD provides us with year-long content our schools and teachers can use to build collaborative, teacher-led learning communities."
Zearn PD, accessible through Zearn's on-demand digital platform, includes resources for school teams to lead ongoing professional development sessions as teachers prepare to teach each unit of the curriculum. Shalinee Sharma, Zearn CEO, noted, "We're thrilled to be able to support RCSD's Math Transformation Initiative by providing high quality curricular materials and comprehensive PD that builds deep pedagogical content knowledge for teachers. Zearn's mission, to ensure all children love learning math, aligns closely with the goals of RCSD's initiative, and we're excited to partner with them on this journey."
About Rochester City School District
Rochester City School District (RCSD) is a large urban district in upstate New York currently serving over 28,000 PreK-12 students. RCSD has a diverse student population, with over 85% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. The mission of RCSD is to provide a quality education that ensures our students graduate with the skills to be successful in a democratic society and the global economy.
Zearn is a nonprofit curriculum publisher whose mission is to ensure all children love learning math. Zearn developed Zearn Math, a top-rated K–5 curriculum and classroom model built for daily differentiation and engagement for all students. To support districts and schools with implementation, Zearn Math offers year-long Professional Development, School Accounts, and Printed Materials.