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College and career readiness the focus of Common Core
As part of the school’s 2012-2017 Strategic Plan, Nativity Prep teachers have made a significant push this year to implement the new Common Core (CC) curriculum, one that focuses on college and career readiness for all students. Improving students’ capacity to think critically and to engage collaboratively in problem-solving is the foundational approach for the CC curriculum, particularly for literacy and math. Thus, Nativity’s math and English teachers continue to engage in an ongoing series of professional development opportunities this year to prepare them and their students to meet the rigorous CC standards.
Nativity’s math department faculty–Mr. Arturo Solis, Ms. Marie Fraser, and Ms. Summer Wilkinson–completed a two-day conference in October offered through the San Diego County Office of Education that introduced the Common Core—the history, development, and implementation of the standards. And this month, they will again participate in the California Mathematics Council showcase conference, “Launching the Transformation,” an in-depth, two-day event focusing on issues of equity in learning for all students—namely, for English Language Learners—and on integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) standards within a comprehensive technology plan.
Nativity Prep’s curriculum-development plan articulates a number of ambitious goals focused on implementing the Common Core standards, and the primary focus for the current 2013-2014 academic year is transforming the mathematics curriculum.
Nativity’s English teachers, however, have also continued their efforts to implement the rigorous CC standards as well. Ms. Kelly Determan and Ms. Maria Centanni , the school’s English department faculty, will attend a three-day conference in Boston this month hosted by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The NCTE conference is devoted mainly to the 21st-Century Skills curriculum, which, similar to Common Core, seeks innovative approaches in teaching and learning through the application of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication, and technology.
“The impact of the CC curriculum and the 21st-Century Skills curriculum will have a profound impact on our students,” says Elijah Bonde, Nativity’s Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction.
“Students enter Nativity, on average, below grade-level academically in math and literacy,” Bonde adds. “These innovative and rigorous approaches in teaching for all students, at all levels, will most certainly better prepare our students for college and careers.”
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