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TMCNet:  Common Core communication plan going well

[December 27, 2012]

Common Core communication plan going well

NORWALK, Dec 27, 2012 (The Hour - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Central Office's mission to get the word out on the Common Core State Standards is sticking.

In August, when the district rolled out its four-point external communication plan, including a video, brochure, website and Power Point presentation, Interim Superintendent Tony Daddona said communicating exactly what the Common Core is was the district's top priority for the year.


According to the district's Math Instructional Specialist and Common Core Transition Team Facilitator Craig Creller, the plan is working.

"We've probably given 16 or 17 presentations across Norwalk, from Norwalk ACTS, to the Norwalk Housing Authority, to the PTA's across the schools," Creller said. "Last year's goal was to create the message and we did that over the summer. This year's plan is to use that information to get it out to both the teachers and the community." The Common Core, which has been hailed as a "once in a lifetime" and "historic" shift in education in the United States, will standardize what students are expected to know in 45 states, while focusing on depth of knowledge rather than broad understanding. In Connecticut, the Common Core will be fully implemented by 2014-15.

The next step for the Transition Team is to roll out their internal communication plan for teachers and administrators, which would have begun earlier if not for budget cuts affecting the team's membership.

That plan began during the faculty convocation at the start of this school year, but will begin in earnest shortly after the New Year.

Creller said the district has partnered with the GE Foundation and Student Achievement Partners to train two teachers and the principal in each school in a "train the trainer" model. That training will start Jan. 9 and run through June with the three educators running the training in their schools.

"The message, the training is going to be standardized," he said. "We're being proactive this year, we want every teacher in this district to understand the core two years before we go into the core. Every teacher in this district will understand the major shifts in math and language arts by the end of this school year. We just have to redouble our efforts internally, and we have a plan for that." Going forward, the district will have to secure $7.8 million in financing, $4.2 million over two years of which was requested in the capital budget and another $410,000 in Daddona's proposed budget. If the capital budget, which passed the Board of Education last week, is approved by the city and the line item for the Common Core stays intact, the district will still need $3.19 million.

___ (c)2012 The Hour (Norwalk, Conn.) Visit The Hour (Norwalk, Conn.) at www.thehour.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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