CTY Math Coordinator's Handbook


The CTY math staff is a very close, family-like group, and a large number of staff members return year after year. This makes it possible for many of the important details of the mechanics of CTY math to be passed along informally, as a sort of "apprenticeship" which occurs during the course of the summers. Usually, this works beautifully, because most instructors have been TAs, and most coordinators have been instructors. However, when someone lacking this experience is hired as a math coordinator (as has happened a few times), there is no single, comprehensive information source which this person can use as a guide. The pre-calculus instructor's handbook does not cover many aspects of the coordinator's job, and the coordinator's job description is not sufficiently specific. The new coordinator must repeat, in only a few days, the development of methods and ideas that previous math coordinators have already worked out over the course of several years. This is clearly not an efficient training technique!

To help new coordinators manage this uncomfortable situation, this handbook gives a detailed explanation of the activities, responsibilities, and overall role of the CTY math coordinator. It discusses some of the major decisions that a coordinator will have to make, and points out aspects of the job which may vary from site to site. Topics are organized by the time period in which they occur.

The handbook is pretty useful as a checklist for the experienced coordinator, as well. After all, there's a lot of stuff to remember!


The Math Coordinator's Handbook was written by Ari Rapkin, with help and suggestions from Martha Meadows, Mike Brandstein, and Shermann Min. Collectively, their experience as math coordinators spans five CTY sites and a total of nearly twenty years.

Beginning of summer

Placement testing materials

Progress checklists, HSST's & keys, textbooks and curriculum spirals

Math office

Study hall policy

Post-testing policy

Math staff orientation

Study skills workshop


Before (or at the start of) each session

Math questionnaires

Who teaches what

RAs and dorms

Course materials and progress records


Parent/student orientation

Placement testing (ADT's)

During each session

Progress records

Math staff meetings

Observing the other instructors

Partner trouble

RA visits to classes

Student evaluations

Phone calls to families

Extra Problems sessions

Tailoring the CTY curriculum

HSST's, scantrons, scoring keys, and testing procedure

End of session

Student program evaluations (SPE's)

Student evaluations

Staff evaluations

Progress records, checklists, certification forms

Parent conferences

Between sessions

Departing staff

Incoming staff members

End of summer

Packing up

Evals, checklists, cert forms, diskettes, ...

Back to my home page

Ari Rapkin
Last modified: Thu Oct 17 20:56:45 EDT 1996