Calculator Policy

The Kenilworth School District believes that technology is an important tool that enhances student learning. In addition, we believe that students must have a firm basis in the building blocks of mathematics. Calculators can serve as a tool to develop computational fluency, facilitate deeper understandings, enable students with weak computational skills to progress, and allow more time for work that requires higher-level thinking.

According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, “School mathematics programs should provide students with a range of knowledge, skills, and tools. Students need an understanding of number and operations, including the use of computational procedures, estimation, mental mathematics, and the appropriate use of the calculator. A balanced mathematics program develops students’ confidence and understanding of when and how to use these skills and tools. Students need to develop their basic mathematical understandings to solve problems both in and out of school.” (NCTM, 2005)

Acceptable Calculators

The following types of calculators are allowable:
As per PARCC Calculator policy
Grades 3-5: No calculators allowed.
Grades 6-7: Four-functions with square root and percentage functions.
Grade 8: Scientific calculators
High School: Graphing calculators (with functionalities consistent with TI -84 or similar models)
*Exceptions exist for students with an approved calculator accommodation



Acceptable Calculator Usage

A student will be allowed to use the calculator in the following situations:
a. The goal of the lesson or assessment is to determine a solution when the required computation is beyond what students should have already mastered.

b. The goal of the lesson or assessment is not necessarily to determine a computational solution, but some computation is necessary to achieve the goal. This may be true when a teacher wishes to have a student develop problem-solving skills when solving multi-step word problems that require rigorous calculations.
Students will not be allowed to use a calculator when the goal of the lesson or assessment is to determine a computational solution requiring core mathematic computational skills*, and the student is able to perform the calculations in a reasonable amount of time.

The use of calculators does not eliminate the need to master basic computational skills. Students need to master the required core mathematic computational skills*, as they are essential prerequisites to the study of algebra.

*Required Core Mathematic Computational Skills include, but are not limited to:
 Integer operations
 Fractional operations
 Multiplication/division facts
 Multi-digit operations
 Percentages and decimals


Sources
“Computation, Calculators, and Common Sense; A Position of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics”, (May 2005)