San Diego Enhanced Math (SDEM) Initiative


As part of our San Diego Enhanced Math (SDEM) Initiative, we are working on a project to authentically engage with families within the Morse/Bell community to identify, support, and promote positive math practices in families. We have adopted an asset-based framework that begins with ethnographic empathy interviews in the community. Our goal is to engage with community organizations within the neighborhood to tap into existing structures that already connect the community. In those venues we want to be listeners, gathering data on community and family assets that may be unknown or untapped in educational settings.

We are looking for volunteers to join our team: conduct ethnographic empathy interviews and gather data about community organizations and community assets.After developing relationships and gathering meaningful qualitative data, we will analyze the data and prepare a report. It is our hope to highlight family and community assets , to support each school’s equity efforts and inform our own next steps in the development of authentic family support resources for math.

Phase 1: Connect with community organizations and leaders (~6 months)

  • Develop relationships w/ community leaders
  • Attend community events, meetings, and activities with the primary intention of listening
  • Co-design, with community leaders, questions to ask community members that will help surface funds of knowledge in families and the community
  • Collect ethnographic empathy interview data from those questions and interactions

Phase 2: Organize and curate data collected with an asset-based lens and develop math resources for families (~ 6 months)

  • Share data to increase understanding of existing efforts in the community
  • Identify, adapt, and develop resources readily accessible to families and partners in amplifying actions and mindsets that align with the approach to mathematics learning in the Illustrative Mathematics curriculum and the San Diego Enhanced Math initiative

For questions, please contact:

Alexandra Martinez
SDUSD Instructional Coordinator
TK-12 Mathematics

Kiera Chase, PhD.
Associate Director: Learning, Teaching and Pathway Development ConnectEd National

Libby Butler, PhD.
GEAR UP Math Instructional Coach
Morse Cluster
San Diego Unified School District

Vinci Daro, PhD.
Director of STEM Learning
Envision Learning

Kentaro Iwasaki
Doctoral Student in Education Leadership (EdLD), 2021
Harvard Graduate School of Education

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