CSU California Academic Partnership Program

The Mathematics and Academic Language Link
Mar Vista Middle and Senior High School

Contact Person:
Sidney Porch, Principal
Mar Vista Middle School
1267 Thermal Avenue
San Diego, CA 92154
(619) 691-5422
Fax (619) 423-8431

Project Partners:
UC San Diego
Southwestern College
Union Bank
San Diego State University

Project Director(s):

Mary Young
(619) 628-3073

Vision Statement:

The Mathematics and Academic Language Link will unite critical stakeholders in a systemic effort to develop the theoretical framework, strategies, and activities that will empower all Mar Vista students (as well as their parents and community members) to more effectively use academic language to learn mathematics.

Our partnership targets youth from ethnically-diverse and low-socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds who are currently denied successful experiences in college-preparatory mathematics in secondary school and at the community college and who are underrepresented in higher education. This project will provide important information and learning experiences for teachers to help these diverse students succeed. The Mathematics and Academic Language Link will enable more students to gain mathematical power-a power that will help insure their success in higher education and in productive careers.

Major Objectives:

  1. This partnership will produce a collection of effective strategies, activities and resources to address the academic language needs of mathematics students.
  2. This partnership will develop and maintain a project portfolio which chronicles the progress of the project and which includes the voices and contributors of all partners.
  3. Participating teachers, administrators, students, parents, business representatives and community members will learn current theory and practice of using academic language skills to learn mathematics.
  4. This partnership will integrate effective student support services with a focus on academic language and content-area learning.
  5. This partnership will provide both students and their families with the awareness, information and skills needed to use mathematical language in appropriate situations characteristic of the university and the workplace of the future.
  6. This partnership will evolve to reflect the needs of the participating students during each of its three years.
Most critical needs to be addressed in the project:

  • Too few students from MVH pursue four-year degrees upon graduation.
  • Too few students from MVH who go on to Southwestern Community College successfully transfer to four-year universities.
  • Students at MVH do not complete enough University of California A-F courses.
  • Too few students at MVH succeed in advanced college preparatory mathematics courses.
  • Students at MVH do not have an awareness of the skills and attitudes needed for success in the twenty-first-century workforce.
  • Students at MVM are not aware of the classes they need to take at MVH in order to be qualified to enter four-year universities upon graduation from high school.
  • Mathematics teachers at MVM and MVH seek help in meeting the academic language needs of students in their integrated mathematics courses.
  • Students at MVM and MVH do not have diverse role models who are successful in service-sector jobs which require a high degree of mathematical and technical competence.
  • Students at MVM and MVH need literacy skills that will enable them to effectively read, present, and discuss mathematical materials.
Anticipated major project outcomes to be achieved by the end of the project (1999):

  • Partners will pledge commitment to continue collaboration and maintenance of the sincere, practical, and trusting relationship established by Implementation Grant activities.
  • More students will gain admission into four-year universities.
  • Students will complete more University of California "A-F" courses.
  • More students will succeed in advanced college preparatory math courses.
  • Teachers at MVM, MVH and other sites will have access to strategies and resources which have been found to be effective in enhancing students' abilities to use academic language to learn mathematics.
  • Academic support programs on both the MVM and the MVH campuses will continue well-articulated service of all needy students.
  • Teachers throughout the SUHSD and other districts will have learned of this project's activities and successes as a result of presentations, inservices, and shared communication.
  • Videotapes of project activities, group discussions, and expert presentations will serve as a reference for other teachers, parents, and community members regarding the role played by academic language in mathematics learning.
  • Partners will have challenged current policies regarding assessment of mathematical abilities, admission into four-year universities, and prediction of mathematical success or failure.
  • Students will be able to articulate the skills and attitudes sought by the employers of the 21st century workforce.


Content Contact:
CAPP Office
(562) 951-4780
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: January 10, 2005