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Common Core Standards & Standards Based Report Cards

NSES and Halliwell parents are invited to attend a meeting on Aug. 21, 2013 (6pm) at the North Smithfield Middle Schhol Cafeteria about the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.

The standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs.
Join us to learn more about new curriculum development and implementation, as well as, view our standards based reporting system.

K-12 Math Curriculum- Complete!

 It is with great pleasure that I officially announce that we have a K-12 Mathematics curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards! The curriculum writers worked tirelessly to create documents that will guide all teachers to fully understand the level and depth of each standard.  The documents include:

Curriculum Guide- The curriculum guide ‘unpacks’ each standard. You will notice that our teachers included: essential questions, skills, knowledge, vocabulary and sample math problems.
Curriculum Map- The standards are broken up into five or six units of study. You will see some standards are highlighted (in grades 3-12 recommended by PARCC Assessment) to indicate major content, supporting content, and additional content. As you would imagine, the ‘major content’ are the most important.
Units of Study- The units of study are written using the Understanding by Design (UbD) format. The units include an overview, essential questions, student objectives and much more!
All documents have been organized into ‘livebinders’ and can be found on the curriculum website under the ‘curriculum documents’ tab. Hard copies/binders will be made for you this summer.
I am enormously grateful to our curriculum writers, our teachers are  amazingly dedicated and enormously talented!!

Common Core Transition Plan

The North Smithfield School Community has dedicated a tremendous amount of time, energy, and effort to transition to the Common Core State Standards. These comprehensive changes will make a positive difference in the learning and grwoth of our students. For more information, see our transition plan below or click on the 'Common Core' tab at the top of this web page.

Step #
Action Step
Time Line
Indicators of Accomplishment
Identify educators to participate in the Study of the Standards
November 2010
Review September 2011
Participant List
Specify names and invite participants
November 2010
Participant List
Coordinate schedule with RIDE for all participants
Feb 2011
Schedule of Study of Standards
Complete planned educator training and review feedback results
March 2011
Training agenda/follow-up survey
Conduct analyses of each core curricula to ensure that each is aligned to standards, guaranteed and viable
Fall 2011
Identify which, if any, curriculum development is needed
Fall 2011
Identify potential LEA partners for curriculum work
Fall 2011
Meeting Notes
Pass out Common Core Standards to faculty and show the Doug Reeves Video Summary of CCSS
September 2011
Faculty meeting agendas
Inform teachers how to access the Common Core Standards App
September 11
Introduce the new CCSS Math fact standards (precision/ automaticity) to elementary teachers and modify math instructional minutes to reflect an additional 15 minutes of “Fact Instruction”
September 11
Elementary Instructional Minutes
Post CCSS link on Infinite Campus to for teachers to access the standards with the appendix (not included in hard copy.) Inform teachers the importance of the appendix (samples of work, book lists, etc…)
September 11
IC District Notices
Post an overview on Curriculum Website (with bulleted list) of the standards with highlighting important information (ie. The standards will be assessed using the PARCC Assessment (2014-2015)
September 11
Post informational videos on the Curriculum website about the CCSS (David Coleman etc…)
October 11
Invite all K-12 ELA/English/Reading/Classroom teachers to review CCSS writing samples
October 26, 2011
Plan and implement a whole district roll-out of CCSS including information on shifts of instructional focus, resources and implementation plan
February 17, 2012
(District PD day)
Presentation, resources and materials Posted on Curriculum Website
Develop Standards Based Report Cards K-5
February 2013
Report cards
Explore any funding sources/grant opportunities to assist with intensive study of the Mathematics Standards
Grant applications
Form partnership with Bryant University, plan Mathematical Practices Summit for summer 2012
Summer 2012
Write ELA and Math curriculum to align to the CCSS using the RTTT IMS supports and Content consultant. Completed products will include:
·       Units of Study
·       Scope and Sequence
·       Assessment Resources
·       Benchmarks
·       Teacher made video support resources
·       On-line and hard copy curriculum
·       Monthly parent/community newsletter/website posts providing information and progress updates
ELA: To be completed Fall 2012
Math: To be completed Spring 2013
Curriculum with all identified components
Organize all curriculum documents (curriculum guide, curriculum map, units of study, teaching resources, rubrics) into electronic Live Binders, upload to District Curriculum website and embed into Instructional Management System
Ongoing beginning January 2012
Live Binders
Recommend to the School Committee hiring 1.0 Elementary Math Specialist to develop and implement math intervention system and program
Recommended December 2012
Budget Proposal
Develop a K-12 Mathematics Common Core Task Force to research common core standards, best practices and ensure curriculum is aligned and articulated K-12. The Math CCSS Task Force will meet monthly after school.
Ongoing beginning December 2012
Plan and implement four “Curriculum Implementation Days” per subject and grade for teachers to meet in grade level/department teams to plan full implementation of common core standards
On going beginning Fall 2012
Develop a team of Mathematics ‘Resident Experts’ to study shifts within the common core standards and prepare/present professional development to all faculty on district-wide professional development days
Established December 2012
PD Agendas
Develop unit assessments based on PARCC content frameworks and the Common Core Standards aligned to units of study created to help clarify the level of rigor expected from the standards and allow for measuring student proficiency of those target skills as the year of instruction progresses.
Beginning Spring 2013
Assessments, Rubrics
Fully Implement Common Core Standards in ELA and Math
Fall 2013
Units of study, lessons, assessments
Devise K-12 Social Studies curriculum writing teams and Social Studies Common Core Task Force
Beginning in Fall 2013
Curriculum, Agendas
Write Social Studies curriculum to align to the CCSS using the RTTT IMS supports and Content consultant. Completed products will include:
·       Units of Study
·       Scope and Sequence
·       Assessment Resources
·       Benchmarks
·       Teacher made video support resources
·       On-line and hard copy curriculum
·       Monthly parent/community newsletter/website posts providing information and progress updates
Curriculum Writing January 2014
Curriculum, Units of Study
Meet with Grade Levels/Departments to develop protocols, systems to analyze implementation of standards
Develop and implement ‘Data Teams’ to analyze assessment data based on Common Core Standards and make recommendations for instructional focus
January 2014
Data Analysis Reports


North Smithfield Receives Competitive Math Grant

I am pleased to announce that North Smithfield Schools has received a competitive grant titled "The Mathematics Assessment Project."

This Mathematics Assessment Project will utilize grant funds to convene a group of K-12 teacher leaders to study assessment best practices, research on-line resources and develop a bank of assessment mathematics problems aligned to the common core standards in order to develop unit assessments. The assessments will be formatted to align with newly developed curriculum based on the PARCC model Content Frameworks and Common Core Standards as well as the development of rubrics to assess mathematical practices.


The North Smithfield School Department is committed to improving student achievement in the area of Mathematics. The North Smithfield School Community created a District Plan Strategic Plan outlining the district’s educational philosophy, aspirations for student achievement and fiscal-decision making. Strategic Plan Goal #2 was created based on data and guided by the RI BEP.

Goal # 2: By the 2016-17 school year, increase Math and Science proficiency to 85%.

  •    Infrastructure: Create a system to identify and support students in need of    Math intervention.
  •    Leadership: Develop and implement a plan for integrating Math and Science.
  •    Content: Develop and Align K-12 curriculum to the Common Core State     Standards
  •    Support: Develop and implement formative and summative assessments     aligned to Common Core State 


In order to achieve the identified goals and in alignment to our RTTT scope of work, North Smithfield Schools embarked on an intensive study of the K-12 Mathematics Common Core State Standards developing curriculum guides, curriculum maps, and units of study based on the PARCC Model Content Frameworks. Developing unit assessments aligned to the developed curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards and the PARCC content frameworks is the next critical piece. The unit assessments will help clarify the level of rigor expected from the standards and allow for measuring student proficiency of those target skills as the year of instruction progresses.

The focus of this Mathematics Assessment Project will be to develop unit assessments, each assessment will have a variety of DOK questions in a multiple choice, short answer and constructed response format. Teachers will utilize resources available (Illustrative Mathematics Project funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IMS system, RIDE test construction tool, Khan Academy etc..) and compile assessment questions/problems by grade level and Common Core Standard. This work will be done during school hours as well as after school hours. The first step will be to create an assessment/instruction bank identified by grade and standard. Once this is completed, unit assessments will be formatted drawing from the bank of questions/problems that were created. The end products will be fully aligned unit assessments with a corresponding scoring guide. The soring guide will include rubrics and sources.

Equally important to the Content Standards, North Smithfield teachers will develop assessments for the Standards for Mathematical Practice. The standards for Mathematical Practice will be integrated into instruction: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, Reason abstractly and quantitatively, Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, Model with mathematics, Use appropriate tools strategically, Attend to precision, Look for and make use of structure, and Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. North Smithfield Schools has recently developed a partnership with Bryant University. Last summer Bryant University professors worked alongside our Middle School and High School Math teachers to explore, discuss and develop actionable steps to implement Mathematical Practices identified in the CCSS. Teachers will create rubrics to assess mathematical practices.

Curriculum Documents Define Programming

North Smithfield is in the process of developing curricula aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

The Common Core Standards are the foundation of our instructional programs and each document thereafter defines our programming to assist and support teachers in all aspects of planning, instruction and assessments.

Documents include: the standards, curriculum guides, curriculum maps, PARCC Framework, units of study, rubrics and assessments. Please see the graphic below for more information.


To access the curriculum documents, hover over the 'curriculum' tab and choose a subject and grade level. The documents have been organized into Live Binders.  

Professional Development Day - February 15, 2013

North Smithfield Schools will be implementing a district-wide professional development day on February 15th. Mr. Butash has designed a cadre of technology-based workshops that faculty will be able to choose from to develop and expand technology skills. The courses include: Discovery Education, Live Binder, Microsoft Word for the Classroom, Skills Tutor, PE Technology, Promethean Board Basics, Promethean Acti-Votes, Music Technology, and Web 2.0 tools and apps. Teacher leaders, administrators and visiting presenters, will lead the courses. We appreciate the time, energy and effort that the school community has dedicated to this important PD day. Thank you, Mr. Butash and Mr. Williamson for organizing this valuable professional development.


K-12 ELA Curriculum Complete!

In April of 2012, North Smithfield Schools began the development of a K-12 English Language Arts Curriculum aligned with the Common Core State standards. Our teachers worked tirelessly in grade level/department teams, as well as, across and between grade levels to pinpoint instructional standards, expectations and instructional shifts from Grade Level Expectations to the Common Core State Standards. Our Common Core Task Force met regularly to review research and ensure that our curriculum development is articulated and aligned K-12. It was an enormous initiative and demonstrates the dedication of our teachers.
Our curriculum is designed based on the Parternership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Model Content Framework for ELA, organizing the standards into modules that include the knowledge and skills students will learn and apply throughout the year. PARCC is a consortium of 23 states working together to develop K-12 assessments based on the Common Core State Standards. The PARCC assessment will be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year.

ELA Mission Statement (developed by CCSS ELA Task Force)

North Smithfield School Department is committed to engaging and challenging all students in a rigorous K-12 ELA curriculum integrating reading, writing, listening, and speaking to ensure the continued success of all students in a global and technological society.

Philosophy (Developed by CCSS ELA Task Force)

In North Smithfield, we believe the English Language Arts Program will: 

• Establish clear and high expectations aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
• Provide high quality standards-based instruction for students, using best practices, analysis of available data, and a variety of assessment strategies.
• Encourage students to become confident and effective communicators, proficient readers, critical thinkers, and life-long learners.
• Provide students with opportunities and resources to develop English Language Arts skills they need to pursue college and career goals and to participate fully as informed, productive members of society.

The ELA curriculum documents include: standards, benchmarks, instructional strategies, resources, assessment information, curriculum maps, PARCC framework, units of study, and writing rubrics. 
To access our ELA curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards, hover over the 'Curriculum' tab (top left) then hover over 'NS K-12 ELA Curriculum' and select the grade level. The curriculum documents were organized using livebinders. Each tab holds critical documents essential to our programming. We will continue to refine and update the binders.

Message from RI Department of Education - Certification

The Rhode Island Department of Education Office of Educator Quality and Certification is currently preparing to launch a new certification system. This new system – eCert! – will be available next month (January 2013). eCert! is a secure, user-friendly system that all educators will access through the statewide systems portal called RIDEMap. There are two important changes to note:

RIDE will no longer mail paper copies of certificates. Educators can access and print their certificates in PDF format by using the eCert system. Educators will no longer need to pay for a duplicate certificate.

Beginning March 1, we will no longer accept personal checks. We will accept credit cards with an on-line application. Money orders or bank checks will be accepted with mail-in and in-person applications.

Educators who hold certificates that expire on August 31, 2013, may renew certificates beginning next month. It is not necessary to wait until August to apply for renewal.

Please note: Applications for renewal must be received in our Certification Office no later than August 31, 2013, if the certificate is expiring. After August 31, any certificates that have expired must be reinstated, which requires meeting any regulations that have changed since the last renewal of the certification, including passing all certification tests. Therefore, all certified educators should check the expiration date of their certificate(s).


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