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Sun, Oct. 20

Improved math scores is one of Mingus Springs' goals

Mingus Springs Charter School, in partnership with the Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona, is beginning a new program aimed at improving the math scores of Arizona children statewide.

Review/Janice Miller

Parents and students at Mingus Springs Charter School in Chino Valley listen to a presentation by Director Cathy O'Connell, at back of room, about the Rodel Foundation grant, which will supply money and curriculum for a new math program already begun for the Level 2B children (third grade).

Stanford 9 scores, released this past August, show that schools involved in Rodel's Math Achievement Club, MAC-Ro, gained significant increases over previous years' scores.

Mingus Springs Charter School joins an expanding group that began last year with a pilot program that included 10 valley schools. Dawn Gonzales, working with the Level 2B children (third grade), has already begun teaching from the picture-filled workbooks which go home each night for students to complete. The program supplies new workbooks each month.

Students who successfully complete the monthly workbook receive rewards and visits from the school's director. The Rodel Foundation pays for all materials and rewards for this program, including an end-of-the-year trip to the Challenger Space Museum.

On Jan. 8, at a recent meeting with the Level 2B parents and students, Cathy O'Connell, Director of Mingus Springs Charter School, explained the program and its potential for improved math scores.

"Once the skills are taught, they are cycled through the rest of the program," she told them. Although children do the majority of the work themselves, parent involvement is very important to the program's success.

Looking to the future, O'Connell is hoping to continue MAC-Ro at Mingus Springs, adding Level 3A (fourth grade) into the program. It is the vision of the Rodel Charitable Foundation for Arizona to have one of the best pre-kindergarten to 12th grade educational systems in the country by the year 2020.

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