Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School math instructors are using the MATHia program to help students better understand math and apply its concepts to real-world situations. B-UMS teachers using the program, now in its second year at B-UMS include Denise Spratt, Clayton Tenney, Jason Rock, Carolyn Rittenhouse, Judith Stroeckle and Carol Shenuski. Not pictured is Sarah Kesling. / Photo courtesy Miranda Skidmore

B-UMS using self-paced software to lift students’ math scores

BUCKHANNON – For the second consecutive year, math instructors at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School have been using the MATHia program – developed by the Carnegie Learning Math Solution Center – to help students with group learning and focused, individualized learning.

School officials are also hoping it boosts math test scores as well as students’ understanding of real-world mathematics concepts.

B-UMS Principal Michael Lynch said the MATHia is a software program students are utilizing.

“The beauty is, MATHia is self-paced, and students can work on whatever level they have achieved,” Lynch told My Buckhannon during a recent interview.

Along with the self-paced study, he said there is class collaboration, making the program the “best of both worlds,” the principal said.

“We are working to improve our students’ math scores,” Lynch said. “This is an excellent program that we are using. Our Board of Education has put money into this program, and we appreciate that.”

Lynch said there are more than 600 school districts across the nation using the MATHia program – and literally thousands of classrooms who use the program.

He shared that recently, B-UMS reached a major milestone with the program.

“Of those several thousand classrooms using the program, 500 reached a goal they had set as to how many hours of time and what students should score,” Lynch said. “Here at B-UMS, we had 22 classrooms of those 500 nationwide who attained that goal. That is fantastic.”

Lynch said the hope is that MATHia is helping not only with test scores, but also helping students to learn math skills. He said MATHia is a supplement used in the classrooms.

“Our trainer from the Carnegie Learning Math Solution Center, Jack Crumm, said MATHia is a tutoring program that helps teachers individualize instruction,” Lynch said. “Whatever level a student is at, they can start from there and go forward.”

Lynch said there’s a sixth-grade student at the school who is now working on geometry.

“He can go as far as he can go,” he said. “The goal is to help students improve their math skills and math knowledge.”

Another goal of the program is to help students improve their test scores – and Crumm said it usually takes about two years to see test score improvement.

“But Crumm said we are actually ahead of that curve,” Lynch said. “Our kids have really caught on quickly. I am enthused about it and very proud of our student progress because our students and staff have worked very hard.”

“We are going to reward our students with a pizza party for their growth in math in the near future,” he added. “The state puts a lot of emphasis on our math testing and those tests are in line with our math standards. Improving scores implies there is a better understanding of those math concepts.”

He said the next state tests for math will be administered in April.

“That will be the big deal, and we are hoping what we have done with our students through the MATHia program will have a big impact,” he said. “Students also have the accessibility to do the MATHia program at home. We are extremely pleased and proud with the work our B-UMS students have accomplished and the leadership from our staff.”

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