Common Core forum next Thursday

B y Jaime Thomas

There has been a lot of talk about the Common Core.

To help area parents really understand what the new state standard is all about, Granville Central School District will be holding  a forum to discuss the matter next Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“It’s basically to let parents know how the Common Core has changed the curriculum and how it’s presented to kids,” said Diane Dumas, principal at Mary J. Tanner School.

This was the first year students were tested on new, New York State Common Core standards, and results were dismal—only low percentages of students were found to be proficient in math and ELA at varying grade levels. Also starting this year, these test scores will reflect on the teachers with the new APPR (annual professional performance review) standard.

Dumas said the basic skill sets students are learning will be the same, but they’ll be presented in a different light and with more intense rigor. Rather than covering a broad range of learning, new standards and curriculum will be more concise.

“One of the biggest changes is they’re narrowing the focus and doing things more in-depth for mastery learning and true understanding for the kids,” Dumas said.

Thursday’s forum is an opportunity to reach out to parents of every grade level and explain what changes and expectations their children are experiencing.

“It’s geared toward parents and how they can support their own kids as they move up through the system with the new Common Core,” Dumas said.

Two specialists, who have been working closely with staff throughout the past year, will each give a one-hour presentation about standards in their respective subject areas.

Heidi Bromley is a senior math specialist with QUESTAR, and Sally McGuirk is a school improvement specialist with WSWHE BOCES.

The featured speakers will give specific examples and leave time for discussion with parents. School officials bill the forum as an energetic evening illustrating new teaching methods in ELA and math at all school levels.

In order to accommodate attending parents, there will be childcare and refreshments offered at the event, which takes place in the high school auditorium.

The board of education held a similar event during the summer, but only a handful of parents attended. District officials are hoping to see a larger turnout for Thursday’s forum.

For more details call 642-1051.

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