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Video: Homework help - How to use the EngageNY and websites to help with your child's homework

January 7, 2014 - This resource will help parents use their child's homework sheets from the New York State curriculum modules in order to find tips and tricks that they need to better maneuver the EngageNY website (


Common Core Toolkit for Parents and Families from Engage NY

The Common Core Toolkit for Parents and Families is a collection of materials and resources that will help parents and families understand the New York State Common Core implementation. Check it out at:

The link below includes everything needed to plan a training to help parents understand college readiness and the Common Core standards. This includes planning tools, documents and agendas to help prepare for and execute a successful Common Core parent night. More at:

Update from education department advises districts to anticipate a drop in 3-8 math and ELA test scores

Number of students meeting or exceeding expectations may decrease due to more rigorous standards

March 12, 2013 - According to the New York State Education Department (NYSED), parents and teachers of children in grades 3-8 should be prepared to see a decrease in the number of students who perform at or above grade level expectations on the state math and English language arts (ELA) assessments this year. In a memo updating district superintendents and principals about the progress of Common Core State Standards, NYSED Deputy Commissioner Ken Slentz noted that the drop is to be anticipated due to the higher performance standards expected in the new tests. MORE

Educating for College and Career Readiness (MCSD newsletter story)

Common Core: Educating for College and Career Readiness (12/7/12)

Common Core State Standards

New educational standards designed to raise the bar for student achievement

Educational standards are a set of guidelines that outline what students need to learn and the skills they need to have in order to be successful in school and beyond. New York State is in the process of changing its educational standards to align with the national initiative known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Group of students in classroom

On July 19, 2010, the NY State Board of Regents adopted the Common Core State Standards for English language arts, literacy and mathematics. These are now the new learning standards for all students in New York. To date, 45 states have adopted similar CCSS. Establishing common educational standards throughout the nation ensures that all children - regardless of geography, socioeconomic status, life history, etc. - receive an education that values their potential. (see

Administrators and teachers from Monticello Schools have been working together to analyze the district's English language arts and math curricula. As they identified gaps, they began making the adjustments necessary to align the local curricula to the new Common Core Standards. CLICK HERE (PDF) for the CCSS Implementation Timeline (from Engage NY).

The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. This allows teachers and parents to know what they need to help students. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy of today and tomorrow.

Common Core "shifts"

There are twelve shifts that the Common Core requires of schools if we are to be truly aligned with it in terms of curricular materials and classroom instruction. There are six shifts in ELA / Literacy and six shifts in Mathematics.

Common Core State Standards on Engage NY website GO

What do the new standards look like?

Adapted from

Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy

These standards set requirements not only for English language arts (ELA) but also for literacy in History / Social Studies, Science and Technical subjects. Since students must learn to read, write, speak, listen and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, the standards specify the literacy skills and understanding required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines.
As a natural outgrowth of meeting the charge to define college and career readiness, the standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the 21st century. Indeed, the skills and understandings students are expected to demonstrate have wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace.

• Students who meet the standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature.

• They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today, both print and digitally.

• They actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience and broadens worldviews.

• They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic.

• In short, students who meet the Standards develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.

Within Monticello, students in the upper grades will likely see the most dramatic shift in focus as the curriculum moves toward a greater emphasis on information literacy. Under the new standards, there will be an increased expectation for students to be able to provide text-based responses to questions.

Common Core Learning Standards for Mathematics

These standards define what students should understand and be able to do in their study of math. But what does mathematical understanding look like? One hallmark of mathematical understanding is the ability to justify, in a way appropriate to the student’s mathematical maturity, why a particular mathematical statement is true or where a mathematical rule comes from.

There is a world of difference between a student who can summon a mnemonic device to expand a product such as (a + b)(x + y) and a student who can explain where the mnemonic comes from. The student who can explain the rule understands the mathematics, and may have a better chance to succeed at a less familiar task such as expanding (a + b + c)(x + y). Mathematical understanding and procedural skill are equally important, and both are assessable using mathematical tasks of sufficient richness.
Within Monticello, students at the elementary level will likely see the most dramatic shift in focus as the curriculum moves from a spiraling approach to a mastery approach. Meaning, students will be expected to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of core content and build upon it from year to year.

When will the new standards be implemented?

Monticello teams of teachers and administrators began meeting during the summer of 2011 to review and analyze the new standards and to align the standards to the district's existing curriculum maps. They have also been attending various trainings to learn how to best implement the new standards in the classroom.

The new Common Core Learning Standards will impact students in grades K-12. This makes the implementation of the program to be quite a challenge. The district is not required to be fully operational under the new standards until September 2012. As we move forward, the Common Core will be phased into classrooms throughout the school year.

Students will be assessed by the state on the new standards beginning in the 2012-13 school year.

Links to More Information about the Common Core Learning Standards

Engage NY -


Common Core Standards Initiative -

NYSED P-12 Common Core Learning Standards -

Hunt Institute -

Achieve -