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ECHS utilizing math initiative to improve math classes

Escambia County High School has instituted a math initiative for this academic school year.

Principal Dennis Fuqua said the initiative is in place because the school is trying to up the quality of education the students get in the math classroom.

“This has been a struggle since I’ve been here for five years and even before that,” Fuqua said. “There have been many years where we didn’t have a full math department.

“This year, we have a full math department, and we’re trying to cover some lost ground so to speak,” he said.

Fuqua said ECHS is partnering with PowerSchools. PowerSchools provide math teachers resources to help aid in providing math instruction to students.

Fuqua said that PowerSchools isn’t new to ECHS as the organization provides the school’s grading software and assessments.

Fuqua said the subjects affected at the school include Geometry, Algebra 1 and 2, and Pre-Calculus.

When asked about the ways PowerSchools helps teachers, Fuqua said they come in and give teachers lesson models and side-by-side instruction.

Additionally, ECHS gives assessments to the students to see where they are excelling and in what areas they need improving in, Fuqua said. The next math assessment is slated for this month.

Like many school programs, most of them cost money.

The PowerSchools’ math initiative program costs approximately $30,000, Fuqua said. All of the cost is being paid for by Title II Funds, which are federal dollars.

Fuqua said he realized this past summer was when the school needed the program.

“The data has shown that we needed that,” he said. “This past summer, that was a major focus on this school’s administration, and working with the schools’ central office. I was like ‘what can we do at all costs to help our math department?’ This is what we came up with early in this past summer to have in place for this school year.”

Fuqua said he’s interested to see if the initiative will help.

“This will not be a quick fix,” he said. “This will address the needs to see what students have excelled in and it will allow us to cater to the student and they need to brush up on.”