Four months after the Loudoun County School Board approved the purchase of new math textbooks for kindergarten through high school students, teachers say they’re still awaiting their arrival. Students return to classes tomorrow.
Wayde Byard, the school system’s public information officer, confirmed that there was an error on the part of multiple vendors with the delivery of some of the new math materials. “We are working diligently toward a solution with each of these vendors,” he said.
He said that some secondary teachers have received textbooks and digital resources.
“For those who have not, we are in close communication with the vendors to receive an updated timeline on the delivery of those materials,” Byard said. “Staff are working closely with textbook distributors to make sure that the secondary schools have the necessary mathematics materials and resources to support student learning.”
While Byard said all teachers and students will have access to all materials online to use while they wait for physical resources to arrive, a high school math teacher said today that she knows of no secondary math teacher who has received textbooks or anyway to access online materials.
She said the teachers were required to turn in all of their old books at the end of last school year, so they have no material on which to build their lessons. Every elementary, middle and high school math teacher attended an all-day professional development workshop Monday, the teacher said, but there was little that could be done because no textbooks or teaching material had shown up.
“And now school is starting tomorrow. Once the school year starts, there’s no time to lesson plan,” said the teacher, who asked that her name not be made public for fear of retaliation. “It is insulting. What we’ve been told is to just be patient and shut up about it.”
Some elementary school teachers received textbooks and workbooks but the wrong ones, according to an elementary teacher who spoke to Loudoun Now on the condition of anonymity. She said her teaching team was told this afternoon that they were sent the wrong materials and now need to ship them back—one textbook and two workbooks per student to total 1,900 books. The books they received are geared toward Common Core standards, not Virginia’s Standards of Learning.
Teachers have already begun planning lessons from those books, written students’ names on the workbooks, and recycled the boxes they came in. “Well the publisher wants all of that back, so our poor custodian is running around trying to get everything boxed up and shipped out.”
When her students walk in tomorrow, the teacher said she’ll likely give students flash cards and dice games to use to brush up on addition until the books arrive.
“Knowing Loudoun County Public Schools we’ll be lucky if we get the right books by December.”
Superintendent Eric Williams and the School Board made a big push in the spring to carve out funds in fiscal year 2019 budget for textbooks. Administrators had said in School Board meetings that many of the textbooks were outdated. Several million dollars were earmarked for new textbooks and digital resources.
The new textbooks that the School Board adopted are: “Go Math!” from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for elementary students; books and materials from Pearson publishing company for middle school math, algebra, algebra II, and geometry; and material from MacMillan Publishers, Pearson, and Wiley for the high schools.