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Common Core Implementation Checklist for Principals
May 2012, Volume 35, Issue 9
Principal leadership is critical in the transition to Common Core State Standards. NAESP has developed this checklist to help you determine what bodies of knowledge and skill sets you will need to gain as you prepare to lead your school into using the new standards.
As a first step, you will need to gauge your basic knowledge of the standards—asking yourself if you are informed about the standards themselves, your state/district’s approach to implementation, recommendation from experts, models from other states, and national updates and trends. You might find it helpful to have key resources at your fingertips, several of which are identified in the checklist below.
Use the checklist to determine areas where you have made progress toward Common Core implementation as well as areas to focus on as you move forward. Visit NAESP’s website for additional resources, including NAESP’s free webinars on Common Core State Standards or those archived on NAESP’s Common Core State Standards Resources Page.
Common Core Implementation Checklist
Leadership, Awareness Building, and Communication
Setting a vision for your school community’s transition to Common Core State Standards?
Establishing teacher buy in, leading communications so that teacher leaders are engaged and committed?
Exploring ways to implement the Common Core (Review)? Are teachers taking small steps to adjust to the rigor and expectations?
Allowing for incubation—time for teachers to reflect?
- NAESP Webinar: Dialogues on the Common Core offers practical insight on how to prepare a school for implementation, as well as national and state-level perspective.
- “The Common Core and You” provides a framework for a smooth transition.
- EdWeb.net features an online community for school leaders who are working on Common Core implementation.
- The Parents’ Guide to Student Success offers guides for parents that explain what children should learn in each grade (in English and Spanish).
The Hunt Institute and the Council of Chief State School Officers have commissioned a series of video vignettes that explain the Common Core Standards.
Professional Development for Teachers
Gathering information to understand teachers’ needs?
Enhancing the use of an inquiry-based approach at your school?
Facilitating understanding curriculum changes for Math?
- Conceptual understanding
Facilitating understanding curriculum changes for English Language Arts?
- Text complexity
- Shift to focus on informational text
- Evidence-based supports for writing
Facilitating understanding the implications for other subjects?
- Social Studies
Facilitating understanding of assessments?
- Item prototype
Professional Development Resources:
- PD360/NAESP Webinar: Leadership for the Common Core: Synthesize, Strategize, Maximize! focuses on how principals can prepare teachers and their schools to integrate the Common Core.
- “Foster Change Through Open Inquiry” tackles inquiry-based discussions that improve teaching and learning.
- The resource page offered by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics provides PowerPoint presentations on mathematics standards by grade span.
- The resource page offered by the International Reading Association features webinars to help strengthen your understanding of how CCSS in English language arts affects you and your students.
- NAESP Webinar: PARCC 101, Part 1 and NAESP Webinar: PARCC 101, Part 2 provides an update on the status of PARCC and information on tools and resources available to assist principals with assessments.
The Smarter Balanced website provides a list of member states and information about assessments for educators and parents.
Implications for Student Learning
Measuring students’ engagement in new, deeper, more rigorous learning activities supporting the Common Core and documenting the evidence?
Identifying grade levels/subjects that appear to be at the forefront of implementing Common Core in your school?
Identifying grade levels/subjects that might need more help in implementing the Common Core in your school?
Determining plans for English-language learners, students with individualized education plans, and gifted and talented students in your school?
Student Learning Resources:
- EngageNY outlines six instructional shifts in Common Core ELA and Math.
- Student Achievement Partners offers tools for implementation and action steps that can be tackled this school year.
- ASSISTments’ math assessment tools are tagged to skills that are mapped to the Common Core State Standards.
- Kentucky’s Department of Education provides resources on connecting curriculum, instruction, and assessments and teaching tools.
Planning job-embedded professional development?
Determining a timeline for implementation?
Determining a team of Common Core instructional leaders?
Determining a plan for getting assistance?
Determining how you might need to adjust budgeting, staffing, planning, or professional development?
Identifying additional funding/resources from your state, district, foundations, and other sources?
Capacity Building Resources:
- “Supporting Implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics” provides recommendations for professional development.
- Student Achievement Partners features reflections by teachers about their work in implementing the Common Core.
- Achieve provides a Common Core implementation workbook for all states in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
Special Considerations for Your School
Is your school a Needs Improvement/Turnaround/Transformation school?
Does your school have unique populations (ELL, special disabilities, socioeconomic)?
Has your school experienced recent teacher-turnover?
Is your school in the midst of union/labor expectations/negotiations?
Special Consideration Resources:
Conclusions About Implementation in Your School
Identify 2-3 key strengths:
Identify 2-3 areas of focus for improvement:
For additional assistance, contact Christine Mason, NAESP's associate executive director, research and development.
Copyright © 2012. National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP’s reprint policy.
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