The bar is being raised for Newberry County students.
This school year, the Newberry County School District is transitioning into the Common Core State Standards.
The state adopted the Common Core math and reading standards in July and teachers in the Newberry district have already undergone some training and there is still much more training to be done.
Common Core is not a federal standard, according to Cynthia Downs, assistant superintendent of instruction. These standards are all across the state and will help keep standards in line with other states.
For this school year, kindergarten through second grade will implement both English and language arts and math while third through twelfth grade will implement writing.
In the next year, 2013-14, third through 12th grade will have math and English. Then the full implementation will be for the 2014-15 school year.
The English and math standards will be raised but the focus will not just be in English classes and math classes.
Downs states that there will be an emphasis on these areas in other subjects.
Students will be encouraged to read in a different way as they look at comprehending more complex and technical subjects, according to Downs.
For instance, when students read for leisure they read differently than when they must read to comprehend something, says Downs.
There will be more of a focus on non-fiction or informational text as opposed to literary text, not that literature is being taken away. This will help out the math and technical skills more.
Common Core will help out with this.
Students are not the only ones who will be learning as teachers and staff workers will continue training in Common Core.
Integrating the subjects is definitely an added bonus as well as students will understand math and science classes better.
Parents may also learn more about Common Core so that they can also understand what is happening over the next few years.
In addition to finding out information online, there will be informational meetings for parents to understand and help their children out as they can.
Downs says that the Common Core is raising the bar and expectations and kids are expected to do more.
“It’s not anything they can’t do,” said Downs, who adds that the comprehension and complexity is just moved up.