As your child’s educators, we strive to give your student the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to go on to high school and eventually pursue higher education or enter the work force. In order to achieve this goal, Kirby School District 140 is implementing a number of changes related to learning standards and state assessments to ensure all students are prepared to succeed in college and careers. These initiatives include the Common Core Learning Standards and PARCC assessments.
By emphasizing depth over breadth, the Common Core Learning Standards ensure that students have a comprehensive understanding of key concepts. These standards outline the skills and content our students must master at each grade level to continue on the path to high school, college and career readiness. They require a higher level of thinking and a deeper understanding of concepts and their application to the real world. School districts using the Common Core are already seeing the benefits of engaged learning and improved understanding of core concepts.
These new expectations also pave the way for the State to replace the ISAT tests in Math and English Language Arts with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments. The PARCC exams will align to the Common Core State Standards and provide better information about students’ abilities to master the appropriate skills and content benchmarks for college and careers. The PARCC exams will provide teachers, parents and students a clearer, more detailed picture of students’ strengths and areas that need improvement. The transition to the PARCC tests is scheduled for the 2014-2015 school year.
For more information on the Common Core Learning Standards and PARCC assessments, please visit the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
Michael J. Byrne, Ed.D.
Kirby School District 140