In July of 2011 Washington joined 47 other states in adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The CCSS represent a common set of academic standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. They were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and education experts.
The purpose of adopting the CCSS was to raise the bar in all grades to ensure that students receive a high quality education designed to prepare them for the 21st Century. The CCSS provide a clear and consistent understanding of what students should know and be able to do in English Language Arts and Mathematics.
While there are many similarities between the current Washington State Standards and the CCSS, there are also several differences. For example, in English Language Arts students will have more opportunities to engage in informational texts, learn key vocabulary to improve their reading comprehension across subject areas, and employ strategies to access new content. In Mathematics, teachers will apply equal intensity to conceptual understanding, procedural skill/fluency, and real-world applications to ensure that students understand math on a deeper level.
In Yelm Community Schools, the CCSS are being implemented in grades K-2 this year and in grades 3-12 next year. You may wonder why our district did not implement the CCSS at all grade levels this year. The answer is that our 3rd-10th grade students will be assessed for one more year on the current state standards. Next year, they will be assessed on the CCSS, so we are currently aligning curriculum in preparation for the changeover.
Our students’ futures depend on our ability to prepare them for success after high school, and we take that responsibility very seriously! Together, we must work to ensure our students can think critically, work cooperatively, and solve problems creatively to contend and thrive in an increasingly competitive world. The CCSS provide a solid foundation for college and career readiness and a bright future for all students!
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