The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board opted to delay adoption of new math textbooks for at least a week and maybe longer.
Reacting to concerns from several parents in attendance, and at least 93 others who signed an online petition, the district will delay adoption of Everyday Mathematics for kindergartners through 5th-graders until parents can learn more about the materials.
A committee composed of LCUSD administrators and teachers spent two years investigating, piloting and reviewing a variety of texts before settling on Everyday Math, according to Anais Wenn, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Wenn said teachers hoped to have the books, which will come with a price tag of about $500,000, by the end of the school year so they could begin planning for next year over the summer break.
But some parents, citing criticism of the series of texts, wanted to have more input on the decision.
“This is too important a decision to rush,” parent Sugi Sorensen said. “We have hundreds of questions … and we would love to have ample opportunity to ask those questions and to voice concerns.”
Board members concurred, asking Wenn to set up a night for parents to learn more from teachers and an Everyday Math representative. That’s scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, in the district offices, Wenn said.
The board voted unanimously in favor of a plan to resurface the track at La Cañada High School. The project will cost $335,714, less than completely replacing the surface, according to Rachel Adams, managing principal at Architects of Education.
The project calls for a crew to scrape down the current surface by two millimeters and add another five millimeters on top of it, in addition to some patching, repair and restriping, she said.
The resurfaced track will come with a five-year warranty.
The board voted unanimously to increase the cost of meals at the district’s campuses: to $3.50 from $3.25 at elementary schools and to $4.50 from $4 at the middle school and high school.
Mark Evans, the district’s chief business and operations officer, said the increase is in line with what’s charged at comparable districts such as San Marino (where high school students pay between $4.50 and $5 and elementary students pay $4), Palos Verdes ($4 and $3.50) and Manhattan Beach ($4 and $3.50).
The board also unanimously agreed to support the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards Implementation Plan, a five-year program intended to develop scientifically literate students and prepare them for successful careers in science and engineering.
Or, as LCHS Assistant Principal Jim Cartnal put it, “to look at a problem and approach it the way a scientist would approach it.”