Standards: Building Clarity and Consistency
At the start of the 2018-2019 school year, teachers and administrators in the Honeoye-Falls Lima Central School District dove headfirst into a year of exploration, discussion and critical thinking. The goals set forth by this collaborative team, known as the Instructional Leadership Council (ILC), were to determine power standards in each discipline and to begin the process of reviewing grade level units for alignment with the Next Generation Standards. Through the lenses of endurance, leverage, readiness and assessments, the ILC analyzed the language and nuances of the Next Generation Standards and participated in collegial dialogue focused on prioritization. This analysis revealed recurring learning expectations over time and the practices of lifelong readers, writers and thinkers that exist across all disciplines.
While the ILC tackled its goals, individual grade level teams unpacked the Next Generation Standards for current and future units. As part of their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), teachers dissected the language of their standards to set student-friendly learning targets. These targets, with clear criteria, prerequisite skills and extension opportunities, allowed teachers to construct assessments aligned to the Next Generation Standards. This process of unpacking the standards built common understandings among team members and consistency across classrooms. With clearly defined objectives and outcomes, teachers have had more opportunities to create cohesive units through backwards design and exchange best practices for maximized student learning and growth.
Image Source: Essentials Standards Chart: Adapted from Simplifying Response to Intervention © 2012 Solution Tree Press
Much of the success experienced in the 2018-2019 school year was due to increased opportunities for collaboration and ongoing professional development. With work still ahead, the Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District strives to create a standards-driven, vertically aligned curriculum that ensures high levels of learning for all students.
Honeoye-Falls Lima Central School District resides in a suburban community, with roughly 2,100 students from Monroe, Livingston and Ontario Counties. Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District is currently in transition between the Raising Awareness and Building Capacity Phases of Implementation.
For more information, please contact Dr. Renee Williams, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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