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Thank you for taking the time to learn about the California Standards and what they mean for students. 
California Common Core State Standards
California has adopted the Common Core State Standards as our state’s official standards for ELA & Math. The Common Core State Standards set grade-by-grade learning expectations for students in grades K-12 for Mathematics and for English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy. While states have had standards for more than 15 years, this set of standards has set clear, consistent and high learning goals and is more focused on preparing students for success in college and career. 
California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
California formally adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in September 2013.  A guiding tenet of the NGSS is "All Standards, All Students," meaning all students will have the opportunity to experience learning in all disciplines of science, including:  Life Science (Biology), Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics), Earth-Space Science, and Engineering.  The state provided school districts with a variety of course models from which to choose. Helpful parent guides to the NGSS can be found here.
State Assessments
English and Math
California has also adopted the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessments to measure student growth and achievement relative to the new ELA and Math standards. Following two years of field testing and piloting, these new assessments are officially administered to all students in grades 3-8 and 11 beginning in the Spring of 2015.  This will provide our baseline performance data from which we will continue to grow throughout our gradual, purposeful transition to the Common Core State Standards.  
The California Science Test (CAST) is an online assessment based on the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). All local educational agencies (LEAs) with eligible students in grades five and eight and in high school will administer the CAST operational test. The CAST operational test uses the current California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test delivery system and will be only administered online.  More information regarding the CAST can be found here.
Additional Information
While Common Core is “new”, our District’s Strategic Plan articulates values that are already in line with Common Core, making this less of a transition to a new set of priorities, and more accurately, a reinforcement of those things we value:
  • We believe in pursuing a culture where all students are engaged in a rigorous, relevant & technology-rich curriculum.
  • We believe in sharing a commitment to high expectations for the growth and achievement of each student and staff member.
  • All students will have the skills and knowledge essential to the pursuit of their personal long-term educational, career and life goals.
  • All students will have the knowledge and skills necessary to meet standards of achievement and performance.
  • Students, as lifelong learners, learn best when they are actively engaged in their learning and use relevant applications for solving problems.
  • We believe in engaging students, parents and community members as partners in the educational process.