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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Third step backwards for HUMS

To The Editor:

On March 14, 2012, some parents were informed that incoming eighth-graders would no longer have the option of taking algebra in school. Instead, those interested students will have to take the regular eighth-grade math class and, in addition, they can take an online algebra class on their own time. This is the third time in six years that advanced math options have been eliminated in the middle school without discussion. In fact, two years ago the school never even announced that they eliminated advanced seventh-grade math in the middle of the year.

Several parents have asked for the data that back up this latest proposal. We have yet to see it. I am frustrated at the lack of commitment to math and the lack of transparency in making major curriculum changes. As a single mother working full time, I wonder how I will make this new proposal work. Following a day filled with school, homework, sports, music and other after-school activities, does the school really think that late evening is a good time to learn algebra?

After hearing from many concerned parents, the administration has announced a parental information meeting in five weeks on May 3. I do not understand why it will take five weeks and wish it could be sooner as I believe this is a time to discuss ideas and options. In fact, the time for discussion should have been in the fall with an open discussion of the curriculum and challenges facing the math students. When we do meet, I hope the administration engages in a dialogue with parents. If we want our children to be successful in the 21st century, we need to offer math opportunities to our students. I urge HUMS not to take this step backwards.

Catherine Benham





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