The need for our programming among our current partners and those we look forward to working with is significant. According to the Community Center for Education Results (CCER) Road Map Project, fourth grade math proficiency is a key indicator to graduate from high school – college and career ready. The OSPI 2011/12 WA State Report Card reports, only 59% of fourth graders statewide are meeting WA math standards and among low-income students, only 44% of fourth graders are at or above standard. Zeno envisions all elementary students succeeding in math. Twelve of the schools we serve are in the Seattle and Renton Public Schools District. Among these 12 schools, an average of 80% of students qualifies for free and reduced price lunch and 30% of students do not speak English as their first language. Only 51% of students in these schools are meeting state math standards.
In response to this need, we’ve developed a whole-school approach to creating a positive math culture through our Zeno Math Programs. These programs are our core mechanisms for building math culture and benefit over 12,000 students, teachers, parents and para-educators annually. This suite of programs bring math into a fun, tactile and engaging arena and give students the chance to develop a positive attitude and build confidence about math in their lives.
Two features of the Zeno Math Programs include:
After school clubs:
math clubs give students time to explore math in a fun, challenging, creative, and non-graded atmosphere.
Summer Math Camps:
To prevent the learning loss that many students experience over the summer break, Zeno offers one week summer math camps.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Results from our 2011/12 year-end surveys with our partners showed:
- Over 55% of after-school math club students improved math skills.
- 73% of summer math camp students improved math skills.
- 79% of attendees reported they learned new games at MathFest that they can play with their family in their own home
- Results from Math + Science Night Out surveys showed that 63% of participating parents planned to incorporate math/science at-home activities at home within the week of attending an event.
In order to prepare for growth, a significant focus and need for Zeno in the coming year relates to refining our assessment tools for the Zeno Math Programs. We've seen great success with our programs and evaluation results to date show an improvement in math skills among program participants. More information is needed to know more about how and why Zeno students realize these gains. We plan to work with an assessment task force made up of local leaders from Washington STEM, University of Washington, Seattle Public Schools and evaluation experts to develop more mature assessment tools that include both quantitative and qualitative data.