New professional development for math instruction approved

By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

In an effort to improve students’ problem solving and reasoning skills in mathematics, the Del Mar Union School District board approved a professional development agreement for Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI). The district will start training teachers from two schools with the hope to add more schools in future years, possibly with district teachers being trained to conduct workshops.

The professional development program will cost $20,000 for the first year, which does not include the cost for substitutes. Holly McClurg, district assistant superintendent of instructional services, said they do not know the number of teachers participating so the subsitute teacher costs are still unknown.

Over the past 25 years, CGI has proved successful with increased student achievement and conceptual thinking, teacher learning, and both students and teachers have reported an increased enjoyment in math.

“I’m really excited to see the concentration on math,” said school district board trustee Doug Perkins. “Industry tells us all the time that’s where America has fallen short.”

He asked whether the cost of the professional development could quadruple when more schools are added, up to $80,000 in a coming year.

District superintendent Jim Peabody said they could move forward as the budget permits, with less days with more teachers or more teachers training colleagues.

“It obviously will be budget sensitive,” he said.