I had the opportunity to speak to Tony Bonazzi, K-12 Mathematics Coordinator in Georgetown ISD, a district serving more than 11,000 students in central Texas. I am excited to share highlights (some paraphrased) of our conversation in hopes it inspires other district leaders in our state.
Question: Through your role as K-12 Mathematics Coordinator, what are you doing to actualize the Vision in Georgetown ISD?
Mr. Bonazzi: Over the past 2-3 years, we have been working to shift our advanced mathematics program in order to provide equitable access to all learners to accelerate in the subject. In order to customize and personalize math for all students, we are beginning with the implementation of Guided Math in K-5, district-wide. In this way, we are supporting all kids to go deeper or to the next grade level standards as they study mathematics. Ultimately, we want to support all K-4 kids to have the opportunity to qualify for our 5/6 course, the first year of acceleration in our district. We are working toward full implementation of Guided Math next school year as we train our teachers on the why and the how of the program.
In addition, I am working to coach and help guide our principals as instructional leaders as they support the implementation of Guided Math on their campuses.
Question: What does high quality professional learning look like in Georgetown ISD?
Mr. Bonazzi: For the Guided Math program, we are using the work by Angela Bauer. We trained our teachers on the First 25 days of Guided Math and utilize the resources on her website and blog. We were able to initially train 200+ teachers this past June and early August combined. In terms of ongoing support, we have been able to provide our teachers with a digital Guided Math resource center and optional, after school trainings on number sense routines. I get into classrooms to provide feedback through wonderings and celebrations as well.
Next, I would like to focus on supporting teachers to implement rich math tasks, though this is a tough piece because it is difficult to embed into the Guided Math structure. This will involve another training piece, for sure.
I appreciate Mr. Bonazzi’s time for this conversation. Once again, I am reassured of the work toward high quality teaching and learning in our state. I challenge you to consider your responses to these questions and to share your story as a district/campus leader.
For the latest happenings in Georgetown ISD, follow the district on Twitter, @GeorgetownISD.