July 12, 2012
Dear BHS Staff Members,
Once again, the Common Core Team met on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. At this meeting, great conversation was focused upon the teacher collaboration component of the new contract in conjunction with support of the Common Core State Standards.
Section 6.5 of the new contract specifies:
Beginning with the 2012-2013 school term, the following teacher collaboration time shall be implemented: For the months of September through May, two hundred forty (240) minutes per month which can include SIP, RtI, PBIS, Grade/Dept./articulation committee meetings, and faculty meetings, with the exception of December which will be one hundred twenty (120) minutes. Informal collaborative meetings between two or more teachers will also be included. Collaborative time can be done during the work day when feasible. Collaborative time shall be a minium of 30 minutes. Meetings may include, but are not limited to face-to-face, conference calls, interactive webinars and video conferencing. One (1) meeting will be led jointly by a site administrator and a teacher. This jointly-led meeting shall not exceed 75 minutes in length. All other meetings will be teacher-led. Teacher-led is defined as setting agendas, content, and delivery to colleagues. Evidence of work shall be recorded on a standardized time reporting form.
Additionally, in support of the Common Core State Standards through the inclusion of nonfiction texts and reading strategies across the curriculum, the group has developed some beliefs about this work:
- Common formative and summative assessments are crucial to supporting the inclusion of reading strategies and nonfiction text across the curriculum
- Educators are experts and professionals within their certified area invested in collaborating with colleagues and maintaining all responsibilities as such
- Educators will be provided support as needed for establishing agendas (agenda formats, suggestions, etc.)
- The inclusion of rigorous nonfiction texts within all curricula encourage greater literacy skill and higher order thinking skill development
- Procedure, policy, calendar events, etc. should be communicated to staff via email.
As a result, the Common Core Team is suggesting the following meeting schedule to begin the year:
First ABC Day of the month - 75 Minute Teacher/Admin Collaborative Meeting 7:10 - 8:25 AM. This meeting will focus on Professional Development of reading strategies, the inclusion of nonfiction reading texts across the curriculum, and best practices. Staff will be broken into five - six smaller groups. Groups might be broken apart by department/division, grade level, or mixed by curricula.
Second ABC Day of the month - Teachers will continue to work within ABC groups as they have in the past.
This format leaves 120 minutes of collaboration time teachers will be responsible for planning, structuring, and documenting.
Or, the Common Core Team believes there is great potential to seek a Site Exception for late starts on all Tuesdays to support Teacher Collaboration. A possible meeting schedule follows:
First Tuesday of the month - 75 Minute Teacher/Admin Collaborative Meeting 7:10 - 8:25 AM
Each following Tuesday - 45 Minute Collaboration Time 7:40 - 8:25 AM
This format leaves 30 minutes of collaboration time teachers will be responsible for planning, structuring, and documenting.
Please feel free to respond with feedback.
Bartlett High School
630-372-4700 ext. 4681
June 27, 2012
Dear BHS Staff Members,
The Common Core Committee met again on Tuesday, 6/26/12 to review our three primary goals for implementing the Common Core State Standards at BHS. The goals include: Creating and Implementing a Communication Plan for the CCSS, Revising the BHS Meeting/Collaboration Schedule, and Including Nonfiction Texts Across the Curriculum.
The communication plan will include weekly communication to staff concerning CCSS via ConnectEd and email. Additionally, communication has also been added to the BHS website. This goal is crucial in conveying one message and resources for BHS stakeholders concerning this effort.
The current BHS Meeting/Collaboration Schedule is being carefully considered and revised by the Common Core Team. These revisions are essential to support the new ETA Agreement and provide for optimal adoption and implementation of the CCSS. Greater information about these changes will be shared in future communications.
Finally, the Professional Development focus will align with CCSS and focus on the inclusion of Nonfiction Texts Across the Curriculum. Teachers and administration will provide PD and instruction to support this effort. And, resources will be provided to staff to.
To see how similar initiatives have supported academic success at Brockton High School, click on the following link.
June 19, 2012
Dear BHS Staff Members,
I hope this email finds all enjoying time with family and friends, and pursuing passions other than BHS. However, knowing that many of you are busy pursuing passions that support our students, curricula, and activities at BHS, I am taking the opportunity to share some important Common Core Happenings.
Last week, June 11-June 14, several BHS administrators and teachers participated in the School District U-46 Common Core Workshop. This workshop provided a great opportunity for us to to begin to learn about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Assessments that accompany the standards (NGA), and to establish goals for BHS as we begin to transition to these standards. Thus, staff members will receive weekly Common Core Communications via email throughout the summer. The goal of the communication is to prepare staff for this undertaking in August 2012.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Common Core Workshop Participants: Kevin Dircks, Carl Draeger, Todd Graba, Julie Heneghan, Eric Jones, Steve Juracka, Lorelei Keltner, Sharlene Montgomery, Sara Palmer, Dona Taylor, and Jenny Vierneisel.
I have included some Common Core points of interest.
A Snapshot of the Standards
The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is sponsored by governors and state officials and carried out by educators and specialists from across the country. In creating the Common Core State Standards, CCSSI looked at research-based evidence as well as the best standards from their states.
||The Standards were developed by the states through the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers with feedback from the public, including teachers, administrators, professors, and publishers.
||CCSSI released standards for Grades K–12 in English language arts and mathematics, along with content area literacy standards for Grades 6–12.
||Implementation of the Standards is being phased in to prepare for the Next Generation Assessments in 2014.
||As of now, all states except Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia have adopted the Standards.
||The goal is to ensure that students receive the same high-quality education consistently across states to prepare them for success in college and career.
What are they?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics that states can voluntarily adopt. The standards have been informed by the best available evidence and the highest state standards across the country and globe and designed by a diverse group of teachers, experts, parents, and school administrators, so they reflect both our aspirations for our children and the realities of the classroom. These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to go to college or enter the workforce and that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. The standards are benchmarked to international standards to guarantee that our students are competitive in the emerging global marketplace. Source: corestandards.org
Why are they important?
We want to make sure that every child across the country is given the tools they need to succeed. High standards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations that everyone can work toward together. This will ensure that we maintain America’s competitive edge, so that all of our students are well prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete with not only their peers here at home, but with students from around the world.
These standards are a common sense first step toward ensuring our children are getting the best possible education no matter where they live.
Of course, standards cannot single-handedly improve the quality of our nation’s education system, but they do give educators shared goals and expectations for their students. For example, the common core state standards will enable participating states to work together to:
- Make expectations for students clear to parents, teachers, and the general public;
- Encourage the development of textbooks, digital media, and other teaching materials aligned to the standards;
- Develop and implement comprehensive assessment systems to measure student performance against the common core state standards that will replace the existing testing systems that too often are inconsistent, burdensome and confusing; and
- Evaluate policy changes needed to help students and educators meet the standards.
A great resource for current efforts to build assessments can be found at Education Northwest.
Where states stand on the CCSS
A new report from Education First and the EPE Research Center looks at the readiness of states to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). As the Common Core movement has matured, attention has shifted toward practical implementation and issues such as readiness of teachers to enact the standards in the classroom. The study gives the status of state plans in teacher professional development, curriculum, and teacher-evaluation systems. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were included in the study. All but one of the 47 CCSS-adopting states reported some type of formal implementation plan for transitioning. The majority of states have begun to align their systems to the CCSS by providing professional development to teachers (45 states), changing or devising curriculum guides and other instructional materials (35 states), and revising teacher-evaluation systems (38 states). Every state that has adopted the CCSS except New Hampshire has a fully developed plan to provide teacher professional development aligned with the CCSS (20 states) or is in the process of developing such a plan (25 states). All but eight of the states say they are working on a plan for their teacher-evaluation systems that will include holding teachers accountable for students' mastery of the standards. Seven states indicated fully developed plans for the implementation of teacher professional development, curriculum materials, and teacher-evaluation systems. Most of these states are recipients of federal Race to the Top funds. Eighteen states lack fully developed plans in all three implementation areas. This report can also be accessed through the Research section of SPN.
Classroom Implications for the Common Core Standards
The implications of the new national Common Core State Standards are both exciting and daunting. The Common Core State Standards and related next generational assessments will mean major changes for education:
- Fewer but higher standards and grade level expectations
- Focus on both college and career readiness
- Learner expectations that are academically rigorous and also emphasize application and performance
- Assessments that are more open-ended and authentic indicators of what students know and can do with knowledge acquired.
Of course, standards do not tell teachers how to teach and cannot by themselves ensure the quality of our nation's education system. However, they constitute an important starting point in helping schools determine the knowledge and skills that ALL students must be equipped with upon graduation.
Useful Links to other sources of information:
This site is has the standards available for download along with all the latest information from the two groups – CCSSO and the National Governors Association – responsible for the creation and implementation of the CCSS.
From the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, this pdf gives the specifications for the assessments. Released March 2012
All Race to the Top grant recipient state education agencies are starting to populate their sites with information and resources related to Common Core Standards. This link takes you to New York’s. Search other states’ using: “(state name) and Common Core State Standards”
CommonCore.org is not the same organization responsible for creating and publishing the CCSS. Common Core.org published curriculum maps aligned to the new standards. “The Maps are designed to help educators meet the expectations of the Common Core State Standards, which call for the standards to be “complemented by a well-developed, content-rich curriculum.”
Updates and information on the Next Generation Science Standards currently being developed by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve.
MasteryConnect has released an app for you to have access to the Common Core State Standards from your iPad.
Achieve: Created in 1996 by the nation's governors and corporate leaders, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit education reform organization based in Washington, D.C. that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments and strengthen accountability. They are lead organization for the PARCC consortium. Here are other resources they are affiliated with:
On the Road to Implementation Guide
Common Core Comparison Tool (may have to sign on)
PARCC Implementation Page
SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium
http://www.smarterbalanced.org/ (This is their new permanent website)
All information included can be located at the Successful Practices Network.
Bartlett High School
630-372-4700 ext. 4681