Parents to learn new school standards

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, May 1, 2012

VIDALIA — Concordia Parish School administrators and teachers have been busy learning the ins and outs of Common Core State Standards.

Now it’s the parents’ turn.

The newest wave of educational changes for Louisiana and 47 other states will be the main topic of discussion tonight at the annual Title I Parent Involvement Meeting for Concordia Parish Schools.

Email newsletter signup

The Common Core State Standards is an effort led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a single set of clear educational standards for English-Language Arts and Mathematics that states can share and adopt.

The main goal is to indicate what a student should know and be able to do in a specific grade or course by the end of some time period in all participating states.

Those goals are similar to what Louisiana currently refers to as Grade Level Expectations, or “GLEs.”

Concordia Parish Common Core State Standards specialist Rhonda Wilson said she urges parent to get involved and stay in the loop about these changes.

“I think they need to be informed as to the impact these changes are going to have on their children’s education,” Wilson said. “Parents need to be aware and understand why these changes are being made.”

Wilson said new assessments and comprehensive curriculum for ELA and mathematics under the common core standards will be phased in over several years.

In the 2012 and 2013 school year, kindergarten and first grade begin full implementation with common core standards, while second grade through high school levels would be in a transitional period. Pre-kindergarten would remain on the same curriculum.

From there, changes continue to move up the ladder with full implementation in pre-kindergarten through high school by the 2014 to 2015 school year.

Apart from the final completion date, the state issues other timelines and deadlines the parish must meet.

An informational meeting with parents to clarify implementation and curriculum changes was extremely important, Wilson said.

Meetings with teachers in every parish school for grades first, second and fifth through seventh continue throughout May.

“With testing behind us, we have time to think about what we need to do to prepare for next year,” Wilson said. “We need to make sure we’re coming back in August ready to go.”

The meeting will be from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Concordia Parish School Board Office off of U.S. 84 in front of the Vidalia Municipal Complex.