WestConn math department helping middle schoolers to make the grade

DANBURY, CONN. — When the math scores at the local middle schools weren’t adding up according to the latest test results, Danbury officials turned to the math department at Western Connecticut State University for help.

Danbury Assistant Schools Superintendent William Glass contacted the university earlier this school year about becoming involved with helping the younger students reach their goals in math. Less than two months ago, a program was in place.

Two days a week, seven students from the university work with pupils at Rogers Park and Broadview middle schools. The students, mostly math majors, spend a full 45-minute class period or longer tutoring the middle schoolers so that they can achieve higher scores on the mandatory Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMTs) given to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders throughout the state.

“These are students in danger of not doing well on the math exams,” said Associate Professor of Math Dr. David Burns, who heads the university’s math department and works with the university students. “They want to make sure these students don’t lose ground.”

Math professor Dr. Josie Hamer said the program, which allows the pupils to receive valuable one-on-one instruction, is advantageous from every angle. “Our students get the experience of working in the schools and with teachers in the classroom,” she said. “The middle school students get the extra help they need and the school system, hopefully, will achieve its goals.”

Burns said there are about 60 pupils from both middle schools receiving help from WestConn students. The middle school students currently are preparing for CMTs given in March. The results of the exams will be available at the beginning of the next school year.

“I’m glad we found a way to get our students into the middle schools,” Burns said. “It’s a place where we lose the kids. This program is our way of helping to make this a better situation.”

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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