Parents to get first-hand experience with Common Core at regional workshops

e-Connections Post

SCUSD is staging a series of workshops to give parents hands-on experience with the new Common Core State Standards. The workshops begin on October 8.

Parents attending the sessions will be challenged to write to essay prompts, annotate informational texts, flex their speaking and listening skills and solve math problems — all strategies associated with the new standards. By the end of a three-part series, parents will have a clear picture of how Common Core standards are changing SCUSD classrooms.

“The days of students sitting silently in rows, memorizing facts and bubbling-in multiple-choice tests are ending,” said SCUSD Superintendent Jonathan Raymond. “Today’s classrooms are much more about exercising curiosity, solving problems and thinking deeply about relevant issues. Parents need to understand the shift so they can learn how to support students at home.”

The workshops will also provide comparisons of the paper-and-pencil test students used to take each spring with the new Common Core-aligned online assessments.

The Common Core State Standards in math and English were adopted in California in 2010 and will replace the outgoing California Content Standards in 2014-15. Standards are learning expectations for students. The Common Core State Standards specify what students should know and should be able to do at every grade level from kindergarten through senior year.

The Common Core State Standards are tied to college- and career-readiness, meaning they are aimed at giving students the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful after high school graduation in any path they choose: a four-year university, two-year college, trade apprenticeship, vocational school or certificate program.

SCUSD is working with principals and teachers to develop new curriculum and teaching strategies to meet these new learning expectations for students. The new online tests aligned to the standards will begin in the spring of 2015, but the passage of AB 484 – signed into law by Governor Brown on October 2 – provides the district with an opportunity to pilot these tests this school year. As a result, SCUSD is accelerating its work to prepare for the new online assessments.

To learn more about SCUSD and the Common Core, visit www.scusd.edu/common-core.