What do we believe about mathematics? 

Math is beautiful. It makes sense. It stays constant in the small and large changes of life.

Students, the vast majority, can honestly and joyfully say, "I like math and I'm good at it" each year from kindergarten to algebra when taught well.

The foundational heartbeat of mathematics is counting. Spoken numbers are written in code, e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, a code which grows in complexity to meet the demands of measuring and describing the world and outer space with ever-greater precision and flexibility, e.g. mixed numbers, fractions, integers, decimals, variables, ratios, irrationals, imaginary numbers,  etc. The quantities indicated by the "code" are related and manipulated in various ways. 

Good math teachers continually grow in understanding math's basic ideas, patterns, connectedness, and multiple perspectives and spend significant time preparing lessons.

What do we believe about reading? 

Reading is a skill essential to communicating, - to listening, sharing, understanding.  Text opens scientific, emotional, historical, spiritual truths that otherwise are almost impossible to access.

Students, the vast majority, can honestly and joyfully say, "I like to read and I'm good at it" each year from kindergarten (or before) to their last breath - when taught effectively.

The prelude to reading is verbal communication. English speech is written in code by the author and decoded by the English-speaking reader. Once the sound-picture "code" is broken (always in the context of meaning-making), the key is to continue to nurture and provide opportunities for engagement with meaningful text.

Good reading teachers must understand the logic of the English code. The following is a sensible analysis of the logic of the English code: 

1. Letters are pictures of sounds.

For example,  "cat" has 3 sounds and represented by 3 pictures. Explain. 

2. More than one letter can be a picture of a sound. 

 For example, "soup" has 3 sounds and 4 letters. Explain why.

3. There is more than one way to represent a sound.

For example, "stay" and "rain" represent the same sound with a different picture. Explain and generate other examples.

4. The same picture can represent more than one sound.

For example, "now" and "tow" use the same sound picture to represent different sounds. Explain and generate other examples. 

In closing, teaching both reading and math well requires regular, meaningful professional input, collaboration and an excellent curriculum (or map). These "maps" allow learning to unfold in a logical, coherent sequence, assuring the greatest possible success for students..