OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – Students at Burns Middle School have figured out x + y = $50.

The school will hold an assembly on May 18 at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate students meeting or exceeding math goals by giving them a check for $50.

The $50 comes as part of an incentive program sponsored by Advance Kentucky’s Access to Algebra. 117 students will be awarded checks for their achievements and 93 of those performing on college readiness level. 

BMS has participated in the Access to Algebra since the 2019-20 school year. The program supports math achievement in Kentucky middle schools under a partnership between Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

Advance Kentucky awards student achievement in math for either meeting the college readiness benchmark of 430 or for showing aggressive growth of 70 points from their seventh to eighth-grade years.

Schools who have participated in the Access to Algebra program have seen a 30% increase in the percentage of eighth-grade students reaching or exceeding the PSAT 8/9 college readiness benchmark after two years. For the past three years, the program has seen a 20.3% increase that includes an interruption due to COVID.

These results surpassed the target goal set for the school and earned a financial bonuses for teachers. BMS has achieved this outstanding accomplishment two of their three years in the program.

The Access to Algebra program promotes and supports a school culture of high expectations for rigorous student learning by targeting greater access to algebra by eighth grade and increasing the number of students on track to meet college readiness math benchmarks by the time they enter high school. Success in middle school math has proven critical for students to be able to successfully pursue STEM coursework in high school and increases students’ post-secondary and career options.

The three-year program provides schools with 72 hours of content-specific teacher training, instructional support, classroom equipment and supplies funding, and incentives for students and teachers. It focuses strategically on student access, engagement and success.

The ‘Elements of Success’ model for this program can be found at advancekentucky.com.