We have talked a lot about partners in the work we are doing here at the AIMS Center. Typically, we refer to our Head Start or school partners, but today I would like to broaden that description.
I was invited to join a statewide group known as the California Community of Practice around Mathematics, sponsored by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) and the Bechtel Foundation. Although most of the participants work in one of our 58 County Offices of Education (COEs), as a former state board member I am also included as part of a contingent from the California Mathematics Council.
This group meets three times per year, with a three-fold purpose:
- Professional learning of the group of statewide leaders;
- Networking and sharing of best practices from throughout the state;
- Regional action planning.
Attendance at these meetings is both inspiring and validating. Region 7 (Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare Counties) has been meeting as a regional group of COE and district folk called the Central Valley Mathematics Network (CVMN) for the past 20 years. We come together 5 times each year at the AIMS Center to discuss current issues and brainstorm solutions to barriers in student achievement. We, as a regional mathematics education support group, have always been collegial, supportive, and active. It is always an especially validating experience when you realize that our statewide colleagues have not always been so collaborative.
CVMN has offered an Administrators Conference focused on Mathematics every 18 months since the early 2000s. Look for one this next year focused on the work of this Community of Practice.
Being an integral part of our local/regional math and science education communities is important for the AIMS Center. Supporting this work is also a passion of mine. If you or a colleague would like to join us at the next CVMN meeting, please contact me. All are welcome!