In January 2011, the Board of Regents approved additions to teacher's lesson plan standards, creating a new set of New York State Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy, as well as for Mathematics and Pre-Kindergarten.
The West Babylon School District staff prepared for these changes in a myriad of ways, beginning by familiarizing themselves with the new standards on the state’s website. During the summer months, the State Education Department (SED) began the process of rolling out curriculum modules, each containing a collection of units that provide guidelines for grades K-5. Additional modules for the upper grades will be published by the SED shortly. The district plans to use and build upon the models provided throughout the year.
The state has not yet provided a comprehensive K-12 guide while the district’s Professional Development Plan Committee has been meeting with consistency to finalize a plan for implementation that will support the learning needs of students in every grade.
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The district’s K-5 teachers have already begun using the enVisions Math program by Pearson. This program is aligned with the Common Core Standards. District staff will be exploring the new curricula and the Common Core further during professional development sessions scheduled throughout the fall and during the superintendent’s conference days in November and January.
A main focus of the Common Core implementation is the alignment of assessments with the Common Core. This year, the ELA and math assessments in grades 3-8, as well as the NYSESLAT, have been aligned to the new state standards.
“The SED has presented every educator in the state with an abundance of changes,” said Christine Tona, the district’s executive director for curriculum and instruction. “We all must do everything we can to educate ourselves so that we can guide our students toward success.”