CONYERS -- Rockdale County Public Schools officials are preparing to shift from the current integrated math curriculum to a form of an older version of the program, discreet math.
In March 2011, the state Board of Education voted to allow systems flexibility in delivery of high school math, and in April 2011, RCPS decided to maintain its current math curriculum for high school students this school year but warned of a change in the future.
However, in October 2011, state Superintendent of Schools John Barge told school systems that they could continue to offer integrated math but the Georgia Department of Education could not guarantee common assessments would align to them, and due to the economy, the state needed to be more in line with other states.
Therefore, next school year, RCPS plans to begin providing a shift from integrated math to a discreet delivery model, officials announced to the Rockdale County Board of Education during its monthly work session on Thursday.
Instead of students taking Math I, II, III and IV with integrated algebra, geometry and statistics as they do now, many students eventually will take individual algebra, geometry and calculus classes.
The shift will take several school years to implement.
Students who entered the ninth grade this school year will continue to take integrated math courses.
"It would be unfair to switch that model because math builds on itself," said Rich Autry, chief academic officer in the Office of Teaching and Learning at RCPS.
Students entering ninth grade during the 2012-13 school year will be able to choose between a general pathway and an accelerated pathway.
The general pathway would have students take coordinate algebra next school year, analytic geometry during the 2013-14 school year, advanced algebra during the 2014-15 school year and pre-calculus or advanced mathematical decision making during the 2015-16 school year.
Students on the accelerated pathway would take accelerated coordinate algebra/analytic geometry-A next school year, accelerated analytic geometry-B/advanced algebra during the 2013-14 school year, accelerated pre-calculus during the 2014-15 school year and Advanced Placement statistics or AP calculus AB/BC during the 2015-16 school year.
Accelerated students who are entering ninth grade next school year who already have credit for accelerated mathematics I will take accelerated mathematics II next school year, accelerated mathematics III during the 2013-14 school year and either AP statistics or AP calculus AB/BC during the 2014-15 school year and the other during the following school year.
Autry said he wished RCPS could stick with the same integrated math program, but he wants students to be successful.
"We've made some tough decisions," he said. "I believe in the integrated approach."
He said even with the discrete model, some other math skills will be mixed in at all levels. He added that high school teachers are on board with the changes and registrars and other school support staff will have to align benchmarks and other programs to prepare for this change.
"We still have a lot of work to do," Autry said.