Guam DOE Pushes Forward With Common Core Standards; Teachers Provided With Additional Resources

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Guam – When the Guam Education Board adopted the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math in the spring of 2012, they joined 46 states and the other territories in a national movement to improve education by adopting a common set of standards. 

The standards are designed to ensure that all students will graduate ready for college or a career. At that time, the Guam Department of Education (“GDOE”) developed and initiated a three-year implementation plan that involved:

* A thorough review of the standards by all teachers during the first year
* A focus on research-based instructional strategies in the second
* Full-implementation in all classrooms during the third.

As part of these activities, resources and curriculum guidance documents for teachers, administrators and curriculum personnel were developed to assist schools with the implementation of the standards. GDOE is pleased to announce the release of the following curriculum resources and guidance documents for administrators, teachers and instructional staff:

1. District Curriculum Alignment Document- which identifies the extent to which the Common Core State Standards are aligned to the GDOE Standards and the SAT10. This document will help administrators and teachers better understand the kinds of instructional shifts that are expected with the Common Core implementation.

2. District Curriculum Maps- which outlines the specific scope and sequence of the standards to coordinate instruction between schools to ensure that all standards are being taught during the same quarter and throughout the school year. This work will help ensure that students who transfer between schools will receive the same content during the same time of the year, avoiding repetitions or gaps.

3. District Curriculum Guides- that breakdown and describe the standards to teachers with the intent of ensuring a common interpretation and approach to instruction for all schools.

4. Sample Lesson Plans- which give teachers a set of examples of how the standards can be taught in a lesson.

These tools are the products of the year-long project funded by Title V-A Consolidated Grant funds from the United States Department of Education. The project involved administrators and teachers from every school, district curriculum staff, and professional curriculum developers. They were designed to support schools, particularly administrators and teachers with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math and the GDOE Content Standards in Science and Social Studies.

Superintendent Jon Fernandez noted in his State of Public Education Address that GDOE would be pushing forward with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. “The completion and release of these resources and guiding documents mark an important point in our efforts to implement the Common Core,” said Fernandez. “The big key here is for our administrators and teachers to take these resources and start using them in their classrooms.”

Teacher teams will be trained on the use of the documents on the following dates at MU Lujan Elementary School in Yona:  

Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Improvement Joe Sanchez has been facilitating the training.  

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the schools and teachers are going to implement what we’ve provided,” said Sanchez. “We can have the best resources, the best documents, the best training in the world, but none of it would matter if they don’t help improve the quality of instruction in the classroom. Our teachers need to bring the standards to life.”