Painting the picture of Grade 9 math single streaming
In September 2021, students entering Grade 9 were the first group to experience a new approach to Grade 9 Mathematics. Courses in Grade 9 Applied and Academic math were discontinued, and a single de-streamed course was introduced, Foundational Mathematics.
The change was intended to provide every student with a solid secondary-level math foundation that will support their understanding, ability and confidence. In the past, students who were Black, Indigenous, racialized, or from other marginalized backgrounds, were more often directed to the Applied stream. Introducing the new Grade 9 math course was the first step to removing early streaming in Ontario.
On September 28, a virtual information night was offered to Grade 8 and 9 families looking to learn more about de-streaming. Hosted by Jason To, Coordinator of Secondary Mathematics for the Toronto District School Board, families had the chance to ask questions and explore the new de-streamed math curriculum.
The Foundational Mathematics course includes the following strands: number sense and operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, data, probability and financial literacy. Students learn to:
- use mathematical modelling and coding to make sense of the mathematics they are learning;
- apply their understanding to culturally responsive and relevant real-world situations;
- enhance their mathematical reasoning skills, including proportional reasoning, spatial reasoning, and algebraic reasoning; and
- solve problems and communicate their thinking.
The newly structured Grade 9 math sets the expectation for educators to support all students to be successful, well prepared for the senior secondary program, and able to pursue any post-secondary pathway they choose.