changes are greater,
the enormity is unmatched
and the stakes have never been higher.
The overall goal of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is to provide a clear and uniform understanding of what students are expected to learn.
Developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and experts, the Standards draw upon the most effective curriculum models from across the nation and the world. They fully align with college and career expectations, and include rigorous content that requires students to use critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving.
The standards are designed to provide students with a deep understanding of math and English language arts concepts that can be applied to the real world, especially college and careers. These standards are replacing the current New York state learning standards. To date, 46 states have adopted similar common core standards.
For Warwick and school districts across New York, the transition to the Common Core State Standards as part of the federal Race To The Top initiative will be one of the most challenging undertakings since the No Child Left Behind legislation.
How do the Common Core Standards affect students?
This year will be especially intense, as New York state has mandated adoption of the new math and ELA/literacy standards, which all state assessments in grades 3-8 will be based on. High school Regents exams will be aligned to the standards beginning in the 2013-14 school year.
In order for New York to be truly aligned to Common Core Standards, twelve main areas, or 12 "shifts" in Curriculum and Instruction are required to be implemented in the 2012-13 school year. These practices, or action will help students improve their abilities and help districts align materials. The "shift" encourages students to investigate, make discoveries and think more deeply in all subjects.
ELA shifts include:
Balancing information and literary text: Reading as much non-fiction as fiction; learning about the world by reading;
Building knowledge in the disciplines: Reading challenging material closely;
Staircase of Complexity: discussing reading using evidence;
Text-Based Answers: writing non-fiction using evidence;
Academic Vocabulary: Increasing Academic vocabulary usage.
Math shifts include:
Focus: learning about fewer, key topics;
Coherence: Building skills within and across grades;
Fluency: Developing speed and accuracy;
Deep Understanding: Really knowing it, really doing it;
Applications: Using it in the real world;
Dual Intensity: thinking fast AND solving problems.
Why are standards important?
Think of the Common Core State Standards as a road map for learning which will allow for greater consistency and the strengthening of our educational process nationwide.
The Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. This allows teachers and parents to know what they need to help students. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy of today and tomorrow.
Common Core Standards will change the way instruction is delivered to students - and how educators will teach our children.
As educators with years of experience working in New York State, Warwick administrators and teachers have never before had to adjust and align the educational program to such significant change in curriculum and instruction at one time.
While teachers and administrators begin learning and training for the changes in education that are now upon us, it is hoped that parents will view this as an opportunity for the district to enhance education for their children, and for parents to partner with district staff supporting good attendance, study skills and behaviors.
The knowledge gained during professional development time this year and in years to come will help align instruction in our school district with new standards. The school district is working to prepare teachers to deliver lessons for the 21st Century – which will improve instruction for students.
21st Century Learners, Workers, Citizens
WVCSD Board of Education Goal:
To create an educational system
that supports learning in a changing society
and prepares all students
for a successful life in and beyond school.
While working on Common Core State Standards and the Annual Professional Performance Review plan, Warwick administrators and teachers will concurrently be working on ways in which to infuse 21st Century skills into the curriculum. As part of the Board of Education’s Goal, Warwick students must attain the following eight sets of skills defined as critical to success in the Global Community of the 21st Century:
• Critical thinking & Problem solving
• Collaboration across networks & Leading by influence
• Agility & Adaptability
• Initiative & Entrepreneurialism
• Effective Verbal & Written communication
• Accessing & Analyzing information
• Curiosity & Imagination
• Empathy, Diversity, & Inclusion