Common Core Standards


    Common Core Information and Resources

    NEW! See the link to the released testing guides for the 2014 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Assessments

    To learn more about the Common Core standards in the Ballston Spa Schools, please review the information and helpful links at the left and below. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your child's teacher or principal, or Mrs. Valarie Karas, Coordinator of Common Core Standards at, 884-7210 ext. 3459, or follow her on Twitter @ValarieJKaras.


    What are the Common Core Standards?

    The Common Core Standards are a set of expectations for each grade level (K-12) in ELA and mathematics. They have been adopted in 46 states and the District of Columbia and are focused on college and career preparedness. In fact, the standards were written in consideration of what today’s student needs to know and be able to do to be successful beyond high school. Teachers are expected to make changes to their instruction to support the standards. These changes are called “instructional shifts” and there are six shifts for ELA and six for Mathematics.

    View the Teaching is the Core video to see and hear teachers and students working in common core focused classrooms.

    Click here for the entire Common Core video library on EngageNY. Please note that on the left side of the page it can be sorted by grade level and content area.

    How will the Common Core Standards Affect Students?

    Through the Common Core Standards, educators hope to enrich our vision of a challenging, rigorous education for all students. In classrooms, teachers are ensuring that they meet the demands of Common Core’s “instructional shifts”.

    In English Language Arts, this means students will:

    - Read a balance of fiction and nonfiction text

    - Learn about the world and other content areas through reading

    - Read texts that are challenging and promote their growth as readers

    - Use information from text to support their ideas, answers, and arguments

    - Use and refer to sources of information in their writing

    - Continuously build vocabulary related to every content area

    In mathematics, students will:

    - Focus on completely understanding math concepts

    - Build upon their knowledge of math concepts from year to year

    - Frequently practice math facts to memorize key concepts and functions

    - Understand many ways to solve mathematical problems

    - Apply math to “real world” problems

    - Practice, practice, practice – so they not only know their math facts but know when and how to apply them to a variety of math problems

    The New York State Education Department, The National PTA and other organizations have developed a series of guides for parents to help explain the new common core standards and what they should see in their child's learning. Please follow the links below to reach the additional resources.

    For additional information, questions or concerns, please contact Mrs. Valarie Karas, Coordinator of Common Core Standards at or in the MT North Elementary School at 884-7210 ext. 3459.