Implementing a new math curriculum will be a complex and labor-intensive but necessary process, Eleanor Tritt, the superintendent of the Amagansett School, told the school board at its meeting on Tuesday.
Teachers and administrators are meeting with a consultant, Mariana Ristea of the Great Neck Math Enrichment Center, to come up with and put in place a new math curriculum designed to conform to the state’s standards and address test preparation for same. At its Jan. 8 meeting, the board had resolved to hire Ms. Ristea to analyze existing curriculums, identify strengths and weaknesses in mathematics, and integrate topics in newly designed curriculum guides.
“She really brought home to us a lot of the specifics of how we’re expected to implement the new standards,” Ms. Tritt said. “They really are much more complex than originally discussed.” One significant change, she said, “is to bring the conceptual knowledge down to the lower grades. They’re introducing concepts that are a little esoteric for young children, and for parents as well. But the way Mariana presented it to us really made sense. It was very informative.”
Ms. Tritt also told the board that the school will be participating in the E-Rate program, which dates to the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The program provides discounts so that schools and libraries have affordable access to modern telecommunications and information services.
Participation requires “a tremendous amount of paperwork,” Ms. Tritt said, but as the school is switching to a fiber-optic network, “there’s a company that does the paperwork for a small fee. We will be starting with them now so they will have all our information. When we move to the new fiber service, we expect that we will get some funding back. At this point, we don’t know how much that will be.”
A lockdown drill last Thursday was successful, Ms. Tritt reported. “We’re very appreciative that the East Hampton Town police officers walked through the building with us and made various suggestions,” she said. One change police and administrators agreed upon was to identify room numbers with signs on their respective windows so that first responders would be able to pinpoint the location of an emergency situation from outside the building. Further review of proposed changes will happen on Wednesday, Ms. Tritt said.
The superintendent also addressed the Schools Against Violence in Education program. There is now a state safety committee that will be working on safety plans and making recommendations to all schools, she said. “The state has asked for district-wide plans to be submitted to them, with an exemption for single-building school districts, because the building plan, which is more detailed, gives specifics that are confidential and should not be released to the public.”