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Curriculum & Instruction » Common Core

Common Core

Common Core State Standards

Golden Valley Unified School District is proud of its history of academic success: strong test scores, high graduation rates and students who are encouraged to excel in a rigorous academic environment.

Around 2005, GVUSD began to implement Rigor, Relevance and Relationships into our curriculum after a group of staff members from Liberty High School attended the Model Schools Conference put on by the International Center for Educational Leadership. The Common Core State Standards focus heavily on Rigor (a deep understanding of content) and Relevance (the application of learning to real-world problems). Therefore, GVUSD doesn’t view the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as something vastly different from what we’ve been doing. For GVUSD, the implementation of the CCSS will help renew our focus and challenge us to examine our instructional practices, as we strive to provide our students with a rigorous and relevant education.

In 2008, GVUSD began to train all of our teachers in Explicit, Direct Instruction (EDI), which are research based instructional strategies that meet the needs of all students. We strongly believe that EDI is a critical part of our educational program and will continue our EDI focus as we implement the CCSS. Discovery learning should only take place after the students have been explicitly taught the skills, concepts and have the background knowledge needed. At this point students can “discover” how those skills and concepts apply to real life problems.

With the expertise of our teachers, we are well positioned to learn and grow together as we look to implement the CCSS. We view the standards as an opportunity to increase levels of innovation and to explore new possibilities for challenging each of our students, so that they will have the knowledge and skills they needs to enter an ever-changing world.

The CCSS offer a set of minimum standards that aim for long-term improvement in student knowledge and performance. States that adopt the CCSS were invited to add up to 15% additional content at each grade level to customize the CCSS.

The California State Senate established the Academic Content Standards Commission (ACSC) to develop academic content standards in language arts and mathematics. At least 85 percent of the standards were to consist of the CCSS with up to 15 percent additional material as recommended by the commission.

The ACSC convened during the summer of 2010 to evaluate the CCSS for rigor and alignment to California standards. They inserted words, phrases, and select California standards in their entirety to maintain California’s high expectations for students.

Standards are not curriculum, they are a clear set of shared goals and expectations, by grade level, of what knowledge and skills students need to master. Local teachers, principals and school districts are still responsible for deciding how standards are to be met, and what curriculum, textbooks, reading materials, etc. will be used in our schools

In Golden Valley we have always strived to have a high level of rigor/challenge for our students, the California Common Core State Standards are an opportunity for us to push this even higher.
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