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Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

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Best Practices

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Resources for Getting Started

Academic Program Survey

The Academic Program Survey (APS) is designed to help schools analyze the extent to which they are providing a coherent instructional program to support improved student achievement. It is based on the nine Essential Program …

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Building Blocks of Integrated Academic Support

This toolkit provides a variety of practical materials to assist external teams in providing technical assistance and conducting needs assessments of districts. The materials are intended to support improving district organizational …

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California Common Core State Standards

On August 2, 2010, the California State Board of Education adopted the California Common Core Standards. Pursuant to Senate Bill X5 1 (January, 2010), California established the Academic Content Standards Commission to develop …

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California ELA/ELD Resources for Local Planning

In this video, Tom Adams, Deputy Superintendent from the California Department of Education, shares selected State resources that can assist in local planning efforts regarding the implementation of the ELA/ELD Framework.

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California Migrant Education Resources and Best Practices Community Group - Digital Chalkboard

This section of the Digital Chalkboard includes many resources to support Migrant Programs across California and assist in the implementation of quality services for migrant students. These resources provide access to state standards …

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California’s ELA/ELD Framework - Circles of Implementation

In this video, Tami Wilson from the Sacramento County Office of Education shares a graphic from the California ELA/ELD Framework that represents the conceptual design and organization of this document. The “circles of …

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California’s Executive Summary for the ELA/ELD Framework

In this video, Tami Wilson from the Sacramento County Office of Education provides information from the Executive Summary of the California English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework. Learn about essential …

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District Assistance Survey

The purpose of the District Assistance Survey (DAS) is to help a district analyze its capacity to support a coherent instructional program at all schools and for all students. It is intended to guide a team’s conversation about …

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English Learner Tool Kit

The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ) released joint guidance on January 7, 2015, reminding states, school districts and schools of their …

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Guides for Supporting English Learners and the Five Key Themes in the ELA/ELD Framework

In this video, Alejandro Hernández from the California Department of Education provides an overview of State resources that support English Learners and the five key themes of the ELA/ELD Framework. This information is useful …

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Leading for Learning

This document is intended to help district and site administrators enable powerful, equitable learning for all students. The ideas and tools identified are based on research literature, examples of leadership in action, and a case …

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Process for Analyzing English Learner Data – Using the ELSSA

In this video, Graciela García-Torres from the Sacramento County Office of Education shares ideas for analyzing data for English learners and provides an overview of a useful tool, the English Learner Subgroup Self-Assessment …

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Taking Center Stage, Act II

This California Department of Education (CDE) Web portal focuses on middle schools and provides a wide range of extensive resources. Much of the information relates to 12 major recommendations, each of which has its own chapter. As a …

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Advancing Equity through ESSA

This document, developed by the CCSSO, offers a framework to help states use ESSA to close opportunity and achievement gaps. Although the intended audience is state leaders, school districts may find helpful advice for ESSA planning …

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ArtScan

The ArtsScan website hosts a searchable database of State policies supporting education in and through the arts from all 50 States and the District of Columbia. You can find:

  • policy language excerpted directly …
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ArtsEdSearch

This website hosts the nation's first online research and policy clearninghouse focused on student and teacher outcomes associated with arts learning in and outside of school. Research studies are vetted for rigor and provide …

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California Adopted Instructional Materials

This website of the California Department of Education provides access to listings of all K-8 instructional materials that have been adopted by the State Board of Education. The names of adopted programs can be found by subject area …

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California Common Core State Standards Orientation Tools

On August 2, 2010, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the California Common Core State Standards (CCCSS). The CCCSS address the content areas of English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Based on the Common Core State …

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California Common Core State Standards Support Materials

This resource consists of a variety of tools and orientation materials to help California educators become familiar with the California Common Core State Standards (CCCSS) and start to plan for their implementation. On August 2 …

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California Curriculum Frameworks

This website of the California Department of Education provides access to all of the frameworks adopted by the California State Board of Education (SBE):

  • Career Technical Education
  • Foreign …
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California Preschool Learning Foundations

This document describes “foundations” (competencies)—knowledge and skills—for 4- and 5-year old children. The term “foundations” is used rather than “standards” to convey that learning …

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California’s Common Core Standards Parent Handbook

On August 2, 2010, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), with some additions unique to California. The CCSS address the content areas of English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. These …

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CCSESA Curriculum Committee Resource Guide 1,2,3,4

The CSSESA Arts Initiative Curriculum Committee agreed to review current educational methodology and research in the area of arts curriculum and arts integration. The committee reviewed literature and developed a current working …

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Center for Applied Linguistics

The Web site of the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) provides access to research-based information, resources, research, and professional development to support instruction of English learners (EL). The Center designs and …

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Center on Instruction, English Language Learning

This Web site provides access to research-based materials, resources, and Internet links to support instruction and intervention for English language learners. The site includes exemplary delivery models and professional development …

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Center on Instruction, Literacy

The Center on Instruction offers materials and resources on Literacy and English Language Arts that help educators improve academic outcomes for students, address the problem of struggling readers, and meet instructional challenges …

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Center on Instruction, STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

The Center on Instruction offers materials and resources on Mathematics and Science instruction and assessment that help educators improve academic outcomes for all students in the content areas of Mathematics and Science. We also …

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Characteristics of Improved School Districts

This document identifies commonalities among improved school districts and is intended to help districts review and revise their current policies, programs and practices to improve student learning. Based on a review and analysis of …

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Characteristics of School Districts that Are Exceptionally Effective in Closing the Achievement Gap

This article identifies characteristics of school districts that have been exceptionally successful in closing gaps in achievement among diverse groups of students, including students in challenging circumstances. Evidence for the …

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Characteristics of Successful Districts

The Wisconsin Department of Education's Characteristics of Successful Districts offers a set of rubrics that can help guide districts as they build on their unique strengths and plan improvement efforts. Building …

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Content Standards

This website of the California Department of Education provides access to content standards for all subjects, as adopted by the State Board of Education:

  • Career Technical Education
  • English Language …
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Council of the Great City Schools - Common Core State Standards Project

The Council of the Great City Schools advocates for shared standards across districts to set high expectations for students and enable districts to leverage resources so that students achieve them.

The Common Core State …

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Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in the Elementary Grades

This guide, published by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), describes evidence-based recommendations for literacy instruction for English language learners in the elementary grades. The target audience includes administrators …

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ELA/ELD Framework: A Guide to Resources with an English Learner Emphasis

In this video, Alejandro Hernández from the California Department of Education provides an overview of an ELA/ELD Framework guide that supports educators in using resources from the Framework that focus on meeting the needs of …

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Elements of Systematic Reading Instruction

This video segment highlights the features of systematic reading instruction and emphasizes four explicit routines: modeling, guided practice, independent student practice and repeated review of skills and concepts. Connie Tate, RTAC …

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Executive Summary for the California Mathematics Framework

In this video, Dave Chun from the Sacramento County Office of Education shares information from the Executive Summary of the California Mathematics Framework. Learn about essential information and ideas for teachers, administrators …

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Expanded View of the ELA/ELD Framework Resources

A Collection of Resources for Educators Who Support English Learners 

The Web page features a rigorously curated collection of resources with an …

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Fostering Collaboration through School Site Visitations

This video segment features Dr. Wendy Harris, Director, Region 3 Regional System of District and School Support, Sacramento County Office of Education, interviewing Dr. Ronda Adams, Associate Superintendent for Educational Services …

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Gaining Traction, Gaining Ground

This study, conducted by the Education Trust, describes four high schools that made greater-than-expected academic gains with previously underperforming students. The findings are summarized in the following …

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Hiring External Consultants

This video segment provides a concise guide to hiring external consultants for provider services, including professional development activities. This segment includes nine practical tips for maximizing the efficacy of providers. This …

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Instructional Design for Adopted Reading Materials

Connie Tate, Director of RTAC for San Joaquin County Office of Education, outlines the instructional design for ELA materials. She reviews four major components: scope and sequence, goals and objectives, lesson organization, and …

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Inventory of Services and Support (ISS) for Students with Disabilities

Formerly called the Least Restrictive Environment Survey, this self-assessment tool helps districts examine their policies, procedures, and practices in supporting educational options for students with disabilities. It supports …

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Leadership for a Complex, Multi-year Districtwide Initiative

Wendy Harris, Director, Sacramento County Office of Education, provides the introduction for this video segment that features two retired North Sacramento School District administrators outlining essential factors for implementing a …

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McREL International, Changing Schools

This website contains free downloadable PDFs on various topics pertaining to Changing Schools. These topics are social emotional learning, school improvement, technology, diverse learners, coaching, student engagement, early …

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National Center on Response to Intervention

This website, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, provides information and access to a wide range of numerous resources to support response to intervention (RtI). The Center defines RtI as integrating assessment and …

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National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition

This Web site of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition provides access to a wide range of research and resources to support education of English Learners (EL). Resources are available in the …

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National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards and Focal Points

This website of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) provides access to curriculum focal points for mathematics in prekindergarten through grade 8. The focal points serve as major instructional goals and desirable …

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Principal Coaching as a Districtwide Initiative

Wendy Harris, Director, Sacramento County Office of Education, provides the introduction to this comprehensive presentation focused on the efficacy of a districtwide principal coaching model. John Brewer, a retired administrator from …

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Reading Next: A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy

This document describes fifteen recommendations in instruction and infrastructure to improve literacy for middle and high school students; the recommendations have a substantial base in research and/or professional opinion. The …

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Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth

Federal civil rights laws and Supreme Court precedent require States to provide equal access to public education to all children – including those who are undocumented. The US Department of Education's Resource

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Resources for Response to Instruction and Intervention

This website of the California Department of Education provides access to numerous resources to support Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtI2) in general education settings. Links are provided to professional development …

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Seven Key Features of Reading Instruction

Connie Tate, RTAC Director for San Joaquin County Office of Education, outlines seven key features of effective reading instruction. She provides examples for instruction that is: explicit, systematic, coordinated, scaffolded, and …

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Smarter Balanced Digital Library

The Smarter Balanced Assessment System has three components: summative assessments, designed for accountability purposes; interim assessments, designed to support teaching and learning throughout the year; and formative assessment …

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Strategies for Differentiation in Reading Instruction

This video segment describes strategies for differentiation in reading instruction and outlines several variables to consider: size of group, number of days of instruction per week, number of minutes per class period, lesson …

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Sustaining Reading First

This website of the U.S. Department of Education provides access to documents related to sustaining evidence-based reading instruction. The resources provide a conceptual framework on sustainability, tools for assessing readiness to …

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The Hexagon Tool

The Active Implementation Hub website includes the Hexagon Tool which is designed to help states, districts, and schools appropriately select evidence-based instructional, behavioral, and social- emotional innovations and prevention …

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The Newcomer Tool Kit

U.S. Department of Education's Newcomer Toolkit is designed to help elementary and secondary teachers, principals, and other school staff to work with immigrant students—including asylees and …

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The White House Task Force for New Americans Webinar Series

The U.S. Department of Education sponsored a series of seven webinars focused on the educational and linguistic integration of immigrants and refugees. Topics include engaging with immigrant parents and families in a variety of ways …

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Turnaround Schools in California: Who Are They and What Strategies Do They Use?

This study specifies a set of criteria for identifying Ca. turnaround schools and summarizes strategies that a sample of principals from these schools reported as essential to improved outcomes at their schools. Student achievement …

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Understanding Language

The Understanding Language website aims to heighten educator awareness of the critical role that language plays in the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. The long-term goal of the initiative is to …

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Visual and Performing Arts Framework For California Public School Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve

The Visual and Performing Arts Framework is designed to help classroom teachers and other educators develop curriculum and instruction in the arts so that all students will meet or exceed the content standards in dance, music …

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Voices From the Classroom : Maureen Messier – Sheldon High School Theatre Teacher

This video is an interview with Maureen Messier, Sheldon High School Theatre Director and VAPA Department Chair, Elk Grove Unified and Joe Demers, Choir Director. Maureen and Joe describe how the arts impact students and engage …

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Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High School

This document identifies 11 research-based, interrelated elements that help adolescents learn to write well and to use writing as a tool for learning. The document provides specific instructional practices that improve …

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