Kansas College and Career Ready Standards
With so much information available about Kansas College and Career Ready Standards, it's important for parents to understand the essentials about what this means in the Olathe Public Schools and how it will impact student learning.
- Common Core Standards are now known as College and Career Ready Standards in the state of Kansas. Implementation of the locally-developed curriculum that meets these standards was initiated with the approval of the math curriculum in December 2012, followed by the approval of the English Language Arts curriculum in January 2013.
- College and Career Ready Standards are not prescribed lessons teachers must teach, they do not dictate specific textbooks or instructional materials that must be used, and they do not dictate teaching strategies. Olathe district teachers wrote the curriculum using the standards, selected every resource used in classrooms, and developed lessons and classroom assessment.
- In the Olathe Public Schools, these standards will build upon the strong learning emphasis currently in place within the district.
- These standards provide a greater emphasis on teaching skills that will best prepare students to be college and career ready.
- The English Language Arts standards bring an increased emphasis on the reading of complex literary and informational texts and writing throughout every core subject. Students continue to read classic literature with familiar authors and titles in all classrooms.
- These standards also provide increased application of language and literacy in all subject areas and will help students increase thoughtful discussions and present ideas effectively through speaking and listening.
- The Math College and Career Ready Standards emphasize the depth of conceptual understanding to enhance skill development. Students start their elementary learning foundation with solid understanding of numbers and number sense as they demonstrate concepts, solve problems with numbers, and demonstrate accuracy with simple calculations. From there students will build upon this strong foundation of understanding as they develop mathematical proficiencies through math practices such as problem solving, reasoning, modeling, finding and using structure, among others.
- Students apply literacy standards and thinking and problem-solving skills to learn in all subject areas.
Take some time to review the district math and English language arts standards that describe what students will learn. (see Grade Level Course Documents) Other information below may answer your questions, or you may contact us at (913) 780-8179 if you need additional information.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a standard and how is it used in the classroom?
An educational standard provides a clear learning target students are expected to know and demonstrate. In order to make sure students meet the standard, teachers in Olathe develop curriculum documents outlining the skills, knowledge (vocabulary), and processes needed to demonstrate success with the standard. The curriculum documents are submitted for approval to our Board of Education. Standards provide the critical guide in the development of classroom lessons matched to teaching resources, classroom assessment, district assessment, and state and national assessments. Teachers are continually focusing on professional learning and ways to improve student learning through achievement of rigorous learning targets outlined in educational standards.
Why are the Common Core Standards now called College and Career Ready Standards (CCR)?
In the state of Kansas, all subject area standards are called College and Career Ready Standards (CCR). This title makes sense for two reasons: 1) The goal is to prepare all students to be successful with their individual college and career choice, and 2) The term College and Career Ready Standards links all subject area standards, not just the English Language Arts and Math standards adopted under the Common Core Standards initiative. You will continue to see the reference to Common Core Standards as everyone transitions in our district and Kansas to the use of College and Career Ready Standards.
What is the best way to become familiar with the standards?
- Review the standard statements and think about the skills, knowledge, and processes students are expected to learn. Think about preparing students for their learning path to a successful college and career choice. We know the demands of today’s workforce are ever changing.
- Attend parent conferences and building meetings organized for the purpose of sharing teaching and learning information with parents.
- Be aware what students bring home.
- Do you see more reading and writing? Students are expected to read and write more in all subject areas. Students read different types of text such as 1) fiction, 2) nonfiction, 3) argumentative text or text offering an opinion. Students also read multiple selections on the same topic and write to demonstrate understanding. Teachers refer to challenging text requiring focused thinking as more complex text.
- Do you see reading selections students mark on and make notes about in the margins? As text becomes more complex, students use strategies to help them connect with the author’s purpose and meaning. The markings and notes represent the interactive thinking students use (known as close reading).
- Do you see students challenged more by the math problems they bring home? Our students need to be mathematical THINKERS and to be proficient at math. Students need basic skills and knowledge of number relationships in order to solve critical mathematics from early learning through grade 12.
- Can your son or daughter describe what is being learned in the classroom? Teachers are making every effort to help students know the standards (skills, knowledge, processes) they are learning during the day. Standards are posted for students to see at the beginning of the lesson. The posted standard is introduced, referred to, and attention is drawn to learning accomplishments at the end of the lesson.
- Discuss any questions you have with the teacher(s).
How can parents and families support student learning?
All students need to feel consistent, positive support surrounding them on their learning path. Building relationships with adults is very important for all learning. Therefore, working together as a home and school team is critical.
- Seek information or answers to questions from the teacher.
- Reinforce the importance of consistent routines for study time, homework, and reading.
- Help organize a home study location to minimize distractions. Check on the study and homework time to see how everything is going. Students may need a break during a study session for something to drink, nourishment, and movement.
- Recognize positive independence when study routines are followed without reminders.
- Encourage your son or daughter to ask questions or jot a note and visit with the teacher individually when something does not make sense.
- Make sure you are aware of the various suggestions or support options offered in the school to keep up with instruction and learning.
- Notice the learning progression and comment on how students are building on the skills they are learning.
- Monitor sleep, exercise, nutrition, and activity to support the best opportunity to learn.