Home School News Brick Schools to Introduce New Math Curriculum

Brick Schools to Introduce New Math Curriculum

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Brick Township school district will introduce a new math curriculum next year which will align with Common Core standards and better adapt to various mathematical skill levels of students in the same class, school officials said.

The Board of Education approved the purchase of the Big Ideas math curriculum, written by educators Ron Larson and Laurie Boswell, for $394,000. The program is an all-inclusive curriculum that will serve grades 6-12, representing a clearer path of learning mathematics from middle school into high school, said Dr. Lorraine Morgan, Academic Officer for the district.

“We visited a number of districts that were using Big Ideas,” Morgan said. “Jackson is using it. We were very fortunate to spend three quarters of a day there, and the teachers were very open and embraced our visit. We were able to see how the online resources were able to be used in class. The three comments that were prevalent through the discussion were the depth and breadth of online resources, the consistency of the standards being addresses, and rigor and coherence.”


The curriculum will also dovetail with Math Expressions, Morgan said, the curriculum series which is used by teachers in the lower grades.

Big Ideas has a number of feature which attracted district officials, who worked with a committee of teachers to evaluate numerous programs before choosing one. The curriculum not only comes with text books and consumable workbooks for students, but features a robust online component that includes resources for parents to help their children with homework and to study for tests. The online component also includes games that parents can play with their children to help them enrich the material they use in class.

For a large district such as Brick, school officials also said an attractive feature of Big Ideas was the curriculum’s ability to cater to different skill levels of students simultaneously. Alternative assignments and assessment tasks are available for higher level learners, Morgan said, and support materials are available for students who need extra help.

The new curriculum will be a significant improvement over three different texts used between middle school and high school students currently. Those curricula “lacks rigor in addressing complex problems,” Morgan said, and lacks online resources for students and parents.

“We want to prepare them for the recommendations that they need for their college applications,” said Morgan. “We want to give them the depth and rigor they need. Our students need to be able to express abstract thinking.”

Big Plans for Advanced Students

Superintendent Dr. Walter Uszenski said the new curriculum is the the next step in rebuilding the entire district’s curriculum. One of the next steps will be selecting curriculum for advanced math classes, such as Calculus. But before the district moves ahead with that, he will complete an initiative under which advanced high school math courses can be dual-credited for both high school and college. The district currently offers this option for Western Civilization and Psychology, but many colleges do not accept the credit, which students pay for, he said.

A revamped advanced math program will be built with input from Ocean County College, Stockton University and Georgian Court University, Uszenski said. When OCC builds a new STEM center next year, Brick students will be able to access it, and the district may be able to form more partnerships with New Jersey Institute of Technology and schools in Philadelphia and Delaware.

“We’re working with the colleges to look at our pre-calculus and calculus classes to make sure it dovetails with what the colleges accept,” Uszenski said.

Uszenski will also recommend the board purchase software that allows teachers to check if certain high school courses can be transferred to colleges across the country.

But the work to fine-tune the program means it cannot be implemented immediately.

“I didn’t want to do what was done in the past, ‘scratch and sniff, looks good, so let’s get the textbooks,'” Uszenski said.


    Glad I don’t have kids in Brick schools. Common Core sucks. Sorry Brick.

  • Dennis rockefeller

    the kids don’t get the math as it is and you’re going to install more this common core crap to stress our kids out further you have parents that can’t even do common core but yet you’re asking children to do it I’m tired of seeing my daughter come home overwhelmed and crying because common core is horseshit and I’m not the only parent that feels that way. I say petition to get rid of common court in its entirety to go back to the old way of doing maththen how can you drive so hard on common core when the teachers themselves don’t agree with it

    • JW P

      Not that I’m a fan of standardized tests, but Common Core is the same basic stuff we were taught 40 years ago. How we test people is a separate issue from the curriculum. If an adult can’t do 8th grade algebra, they probably rode the short bus to school all those years ago.

      • Dennis rockefeller

        my brother in law is a school teacher in the math grades or was and this is not the way we were taught math 40 years ago to say so is absurd my brother in law actually quit teaching math because he did not agree with common coreand to say what you said is basically ignorant anyway sorry but some of the stuff that I see my 4th grader coming home with is way too hard for their grade common core was modeled after something that they do in China how they want their kids to act like robots not people not think for themselves

      • JW P

        Right, because a nation capable of doing basic math is a threat unto itself. Please, leave the hysterics out of this and take some accountability. Young people get educated when they invest their time and effort in STUDYING. This stuff isn’t supposed to come naturally or easy- nothing ever does!!! For too long schools have been borderline day care centers and as a result this country’s education system has not kept pace with the rest of the world. If CC moves it in the right direction, good- do more.

      • Dennis rockefeller

        not at the expense of our children being healthy mentally and physically do you have children in the school system experiencing cc cuz I find more people who have positive comments about CC have no kids in the school system and really have no idea what they’re talking about too much too fast is not healthy for any child

      • JW P

        I might not have kids, but I have a vested interest in making sure this country isn’t composed of fools. I never had trouble in school, least of all in math, and that’s because my parents made me work hard at it. That’s all the world expects, the sooner you learn it, the better. Stop coddling these children with laziness and excuses to waste time on mindless self-gratification. The cartoons and video games can wait.

  • SB

    I fail to see how someone who doesn’t have children can make judgments on whether or not Common Core is good for those of us who DO have children. I’m all for pushing children to grow and reach past current capabilities, but this goes way beyond that to making even smart children feel stupid. No child should come home in tears or be make to feel stupid. Sorry. When you sit down with a child every day and help with the homework and see what they’re sending home, maybe then you can make an educated comment on this.