Mathematics at Seattle Public Schools

Our goal is to equip each of our students with the ability and preparation to meet the mathematical demands presented by college and careers. We strive to support students as they carry their mathematical thinking and problem-solving into multiple learning situations.

SPS Mathematics Vision

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (NCTM) Effective Math Teaching Practices (ETP) are a core set of high-leverage practices and essential teaching skills necessary to ensure successful mathematics learning for all students.  Teachers in Seattle use the ETPs to ensure students engage in challenging tasks, make connections between new learning and prior knowledge, acquire conceptual and procedural knowledge, construct knowledge socially, and reflect on and revise their thinking.  Teachers in Seattle also attend to equity in their mathematics classrooms and make decisions that reflect the needs and cultures of their students.  Seattle teachers go deep with mathematics, leverage multiple mathematical competencies, affirm mathematics learning identities, challenge spaces of marginality and draw on multiple resources of knowledge which will strengthen mathematical learning and cultivate positive student mathematical identities.  Seattle teachers use these practices effectively to allow every student to develop a strong math identity and sense of agency in their mathematics learning. 


  • Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All, NCTM 2014
  • The Impact of Identity in K-8 Mathematics: Rethinking Equity-Based Practices, Aguirre, J., Bernard Martin, D., Mayfield-Ingram, K., 2013

SPS Adopted Instructional Materials

Elementary School

enVision Math 2020 Common Core has been adopted as the K-5 math instructional material starting in the 2022-23 school year. Students can access SavvasRealize, the digital content for enVision, through the Seattle Public Schools student portal (Clever).

Middle School

SPS adopted enVision Math 2.0 in 2018. The current version in place is  enVisionmath 2021 for middle school. Students can access SavvasRealize, the digital content for enVision, through the Seattle Public Schools student portal (Clever).

High School

SPS math textbooks for Algebra 1 through Calculus are published by Kendall Hunt.  Students can access online versions of the textbook with username and password information supplied by their teacher.  The textbook for AP Statistics is Stats: Modeling the World, AP Edition, 3rd Edition.  Because these textbooks were adopted prior to the 2012 adoption of the Washington State Learning Standards, not all content in the textbooks is aligned to standard.  Teachers have been provided supplemental resources to use with students in order to address all of the grade-level standards.

Conceptual Understanding: Making sense of mathematics

Students who understand a concept can:

  • identify examples and non-examples
  • describe concepts with words, symbols, drawings, tables or models
  • provide a definition of a concept
  • use the concept in different ways

Expectations for conceptual understanding ask students to demonstrate, describe, represent, connect, and justify.

Procedural Proficiency: Skills, facts, and procedures

Students who demonstrate procedural proficiency can:

  • quickly recall basic facts (addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division)
  • use standard algorithms – step-by-step mathematical procedures – to produce a correct solution or answer (might also include multiple algorithms)
  • use generalized procedures (such as the steps involved in solving an algebraic equation)
  • demonstrate fluency with procedures:
    • perform the procedure immediately and accurately
    • know when to use a particular procedure in a problem or situation
    • use the procedure as a tool that can be applied reflexively, and doesn’t distract from the task at hand (procedure is stored in long-term memory)

Problem-solving and Processes: reasoning and thinking to apply mathematical content

Students must be able to:

  • reason
  • solve problems
  • communicate their understanding in effective ways
  • solve increasingly complex problems from grade to grade
  • use increasingly sophisticated language and symbols to communicate their understanding, from grade to grade