The Suburban Cook County Mathematics Initiative (SCCMI) was established to improve mathematics teaching and learning in grades six through nine. Thirty-two school districts collaborated in two “sister” mathematics improvement initiatives (South Cook Mathematics Initiative and West Cook Mathematics Initiative) from 2010 through 2016, with support from the University of Illinois at Chicago and in partnership with the West 40 and South Cook Intermediate Service Centers and funding from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust. The districts served a high percentage of low-income students, had common needs around mathematics teaching and learning, and shared a commitment to comprehensive mathematics improvement. The collaboration was a result of early discussions designed to surface common areas of need and possible interventions.
SCCMI was designed with three major foci:
- Building the capacity of districts and schools to support mathematics improvement efforts and to address the needs of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M);
- Supporting teachers in implementing high quality mathematics instruction that is aligned with the expectations of the CCSS-M; and
- Promoting cross-school and cross-district collaboration providing opportunities for every school and district to leverage the shared expertise and to avoid duplication of efforts.
Comprehensive, high-quality supports organized around a few big ideas led to significant changes in mathematics in many districts. These included:
- Changes in structures and policies;
- Enhanced collaboration both within and across districts;
- More and better professional development opportunities for administrators and teachers;
- Increased implementation of high-quality instructional materials for mathematics; and
- Classrooms with greater student engagement, lessons with high cognitive demand, more purposeful talk among students and more positive and student-centered environments.
By engaging all stakeholders; helping develop a common vision; and building teacher capacity, informed instructional leadership, and productive collaboration; we’ve helped districts improve student learning since 2010. We invite you to work together with us.