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Common Core State Standards Overview

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What are the Common Core Standards?


Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed through a state-led initiative to establish consistent and clear education standards for English-language arts and mathematics that would better prepare students for success in the competitive global economy. Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the same standards for English and math. Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state.

Where is South San Francisco Unified?


In June, 2012, Educational Services partnered with the San Mateo County Office of Education to provide training to district teams. All principals were invited to participate in this common core training and each site was asked to select three teacher leaders to participate who would help lead this effort at their individual sites.


The elementary teams received two days of training—one dedicated to English/Language Arts and the literacy standards and the other for math; secondary participated in their respective content area trainings on one specific day.

The district has put together a small common core implementation team (comprised of three principals and two district office personnel) who will be creating power points, handouts, and activities for which sites can engage to better understand and learn about the common core standards. The County Office did most of the work for us; the team will focus on tailoring it to our district!

For the 2012-2013 school year the District Staff will dedicate time to reading through, collaborating around, and discussing the common core standards during site faculty/staff meetings. This will give all sites the time and support needed to familiarize themselves with these new standards.  At the end of the school year, our focus will shift to becoming more actively engaged in using these new standards. This year, we will also begin a needs assessment for future testing expectations/requirements also.

The goal for the 2013-2014 year will be to start integrating the common core standards into our daily work. This may take the form of writing and executing lesson objectives and lesson plans based on the common core standards. Throughout the process, support will be provided by our site administrators, the teachers on special assignment—curriculum and instruction specialists, and district office personnel.

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