Last week, the state board of education approved to allow local districts to decide whether to implement an integrated math curriculum or a discrete math curriculum.
According to a statement by the State Board of Education, the four new discrete math courses to be added -- Georgia Performance Standards Algebra, GPS Geometry, GPS Advanced Algebra and GPS Pre-Calculus -- are taught with a more traditional delivery.
Jim Gottwalt, director of secondary curriculum, said he had met with each school individually to discuss options for the change in curriculum, which will affect grades eight to 11.
According to the state school board, "Under the new rule, students struggling with the integrated curriculum will now earn core credit for support classes. Students must receive four units of math in order to graduate. Many struggling students are taking multiple math courses and, thus, not able to take other elective courses. Mathematics Support I, Mathematics Support II, and Mathematics Support III will now be counted as a core credit, giving students the opportunity to get the necessary credits needed to earn their high school diploma."
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In other board of education news, the board voted to approve the first reading of an updated bullying policy for the upcoming school year.
Superintendent John Harper said the school system has had a bullying policy on the books since 1999, but the state has issued an August deadline for all school systems to have a bullying policy that coincides with state guidelines
"With all the media attention bullying has been getting in the state of Georgia as well as around the country, [the state] felt it was imperative we [update the policy]," Harper said, "and the law has been modified to require school districts to adopt policies that prohibit bullying in all schools."
Associate superintendent Ben Desper said state-required additions to bullying policies include, for example, requiring a principal to notify a parent if their child was involved in a bullying incident.
"We will have a curriculum that we will involve in working with our principles at middle and high school and will work on that curriculum with [the principals] during their advisory time," Harper said. "At the elementary school [level], [Director of Elementary Curriculum Curriculum Buffy Williams] and I have already discussed there would be a good place for us in the D.A.R.E. program to start talking with teachers and students about bullying and the ramifications."
For a complete list of the guidelines Bartow County Schools has to adhere by in it's new policy, visit www.gadoe.org.