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Partner Spotlight: New Millennium Academy

The transition to a new math curriculum can be a tricky process. So, New Millennium Academy sought ANet’s support for the adoption of Illustrative Mathematics (IM) as a pilot in grades 5-8. 

The implementation got off to a rocky start during an August professional learning conversation that revealed teachers and leaders had different ideas of what curriculum implementation meant. Previously, New Millennium teachers created their own curriculum. Therefore, teachers expected to pull lessons from IM based on their own scope and sequence and use their own assessments. However, leaders were expecting to fully replace the teacher-created units with IM. This insight allowed us to regroup and focus on the communication and change management needed to successfully launch a new curriculum before we began the technical training. 

With a fresh start in October, leaders focused on intentional observations, giving feedback, and frequent data meetings. By midyear, 50% of fifth and seventh-grade students improved by at least one step or maintained proficiency on IM tasks. Teachers found autonomy in the process by creating more opportunities for students to productively struggle and explain their thinking. This resulted in more student discourse and perseverance. 

During the data meetings teachers were inspired to take concrete actions to support student learning.  One teacher summed up the growing optimism, “That spirit of optimism is why I think this is my best year of teaching yet. I can hear that optimism in all of the leaders this year.” 

Next year’s opportunities include expanding IM to all grade levels, intentional professional learning and communication around that expansion, and full use of ANet interims in both math and ELA. 

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