What does every good team need? A mascot, of course. Or, in the case of IMS, a “math-scot”!
This summer, nearly 300 IMS teachers and leaders met “Millie the Math Mobile”, IMS’s official math-scot, at the kick-off of another school year, which began with three days of professional development and learning.
The professional development (PD) began as every teacher from all 15 IMS schools gathered in the gym of Roman Catholic High School to hear Chief Academic Officer, Greg Vincent, paint the vision for the 2018-2019 school year – a vision of academic excellence with a special focus on mathematics: To place rigorous, standards-aligned, on-grade level math content in front of every student in grades Pre-K to 5, every day, and support teachers and leaders in that effort.
To make this vision a reality, IMS has committed to standardizing the math curriculum at all schools on Eureka Math, which will be rolled out this academic school year. Eureka Math is already in action (and seeing great results) at three of our IMS schools – St. Helena-Incarnation, St. Malachy and St. Thomas Aquinas.
“Our team has never worked with a community of educators so committed to developing their practice. We know your students will have an awesome year.”
– Ethan Mitnick, President and Founder of SchoolKit
Our keynote speaker, Sr. Maureen McDermott, IHM, Chief Academic Officer of Faith in the Future schools, showed her support of this vision by sharing the importance of our focus on math instruction from the view point of our students and what they need to be successful when they get to high school. She reinforced that the work IMS schools are doing in math aligns with efforts that the Archdiocesan high schools are doing, including increasing math instructional minutes and focusing professional learning on effective practices in math instruction.
The three days, delivered in collaboration with partners at SchoolKit, were a success, thanks to our committed teachers who came prepared each day to dive deeply into the Eureka Math curriculum and to explore how disciplinary literacy fit into their classroom practice.
By the end of the development, our teachers had the chance to practice delivering a lesson so they could get feedback before teaching the lesson to students. “The information was initially daunting, but I left feeling calm and OK – even a little bit excited, after 33 years,” said Phyllis Kunz, teacher at St. Martin of Tours. Both teachers and leaders walked away feeling that the three days were well-spent. The new Principal of St. Gabriel, Melissa Wallis, felt confident that her teachers were ready for September: “I learned a lot and I know my teachers are very well prepared.”
Ethan Mitnick, President and Founder of SchoolKit, our academic partner, was left impressed by the willingness of our teachers and leaders to deepen their mathematical content knowledge: “Our team has never worked with a community of educators so committed to developing their practice. We know your students will have an awesome year.”