Delaware City School District officials are discussing new ways to help math students reach their potential.

Delaware City School District officials are discussing new ways to help math students reach their potential.

A group of math educators and administrative staff have been meeting regularly to discuss how to cover current math standards and provide alternatives for students to exceed their current levels or receive additional support in areas in which they struggle.

Assistant Superintendent Brad Faust said students are expected to perform at high levels in math, and district leaders wanted to make sure they are allowing students to advance when they're ready.

"For example, algebra is taught in eighth grade, but we have a small percentage of students who are ready for algebra by seventh grade," Faust said. "We want to identify the students who are excelling early on and put support in place for them so there aren't any gaps in their learning."

Teachers will assess students and keep track of how they are learning throughout the year, ready to provide additional support if needed, he said.

Andy Hatton, director of student services, said students learn and comprehend at different speeds and in different ways, and the district wants to be prepared for all possibilities. He said English is being approached in a similar way.

"In English, you have reading levels, and you provide reading material to them on their reading level. We are attempting to do that with math," he said. "We want to meet our kids' needs by giving them the right information for their level."

Hatton said the district will ask more of students, expecting them to perform at higher and higher levels.

"In order for them to do this, we have multiple pathways in place for them to be successful," he said. "Since they learn at different rates, we want to have things already in place for them when they're ready to move to a higher level."

Faust said it's not about creating more work for teachers with additional assessments and monitoring, but simply asking them to work differently.

"We've seen that one size does not fit all," he said. "In math, it's not just about memorization; it's about real-world application. We want our kids to be challenged in our classrooms and continue to grow."

Faust said math teachers in grades 4-12 are designing math programs and deciding what needs to be taught at which grade level.

They also are putting in alternate pathways for each grade level for students to receive more help, which will result in classrooms having mixed learning levels.

"We are expecting to have these programs in place by the end of the school year and updating parents about this before we break for summer," Faust said.