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CCSS for Parents



1st Grade                   

2nd Grade                  

3rd Grade                    

4th Grade                    

5th Grade                   

6th Grade                  

7th Grade                 

8th Grade                  

High School Eng       

High School Math     

Source: National PTA


How will students be assessed?

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium logo




What can you do? image



  1.           Talk about books, especially great  ones.

The Common Core says that children need to read “books worth reading.” We all know that reading ANYTHING is great for kids, but they should be exposed to great writers and challenging content too. Lead by example!

  1.            Ask your children questions about what they’re reading.

One of the key shifts with the Common Core is its requirement that students (both orally and in writing) cite evidence from the texts they’re reading to make an argument. Try asking questions that require your kids to talk about the content of the books they’re reading. For example, have them give reasons why a favorite character was heroic or clever or forgiving.

  1.              Encourage your kids to read nonfiction.

Reading fiction is still a critical and wonderful part of learning to read, but the Common Core elevates the importance of nonfiction, or “informational text,” as the authors of the standards call it. Does your son love gross bugs? Get him a book about cockroach infestations and let him dig deep into a topic that interests him. You might have a future scientist in your house!

  1.              Encourage your kids to write, write, write.

The Common Core State Standards emphasize the fundamental link between reading and writing. Writing to persuade by citing evidence is a key 21st-century skill. Encourage your children to keep a journal or blog, or write a letter or an e-mail to a favorite author.

  1.              Talk math with your kids.

The Common Core requires students to learn important math “reasoning” skills in addition to learning their multiplication tables and memorizing formulas. Parents: Try talking to your kids about mathematical practices they use every day. Have them estimate time and distance, compare the value of products in a store, or calculate the tip when you’re out to dinner.


The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provide a practical way to prepare children for the challenges of a constantly changing world – by learning step-by-step the real-world skills they need for career and college.

California and San Rafael City Schools must move forward now so that all children – no matter where they come from or where they live – receive a world-class education that’s consistent from school to school, and graduate ready to contribute to the future of our state and our country. California is putting these standards to work, using them as the foundation for remodeling our education system. The standards keep the best of what we have, but replace outdated ways of learning with a clear focus on the key knowledge and skills students need, and provide teachers the time to teach them well.

Like an orchestra learning a challenging new symphony, bringing these standards to life in our schools will take time and energy, and the costs must be managed over time. These standards provide every part of our education system the same sheet music – with the clear goals of career and college readiness for all. And we all have a part to play.

Preparing Students for Career and College

Goal – all students graduating from our public school system as life- long learners will have the skills and knowledge necessary to assume their positions in the 21st century global economy.

  • The new standards are designed to be relevant in the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills students need for success in both higher education and career.
  • Our communities will be stronger if students graduate with the skills and knowledge needed in today’s job market.

Will There Be New Tests for the New Standards?

Yes, California is a governing member of the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The consortium is developing new tests that will measure student progress toward career and college readiness. You may learn more about the new tests and California’s participation in the SBAC at

Transitioning to the CCSS: What Parents and Guardians Can Do Now

Parents and guardians are crucial partners in laying the groundwork for a smooth transition to the new standards. Parents and guardians can:

  • Learn about the CCSS and the district’s transition plan.
  • Talk to the principal about the school’s plans for the transition to learn what will be different about these new standards and what will remain the same for children.
  • Attend a board and/or community meeting to discuss district goals and timelines.
  • Meet with your child’s teacher to discuss what your child will be learning over the coming year and how classroom instruction will shift to align to the CCSS
  • Play an active role in your child’s education at home. If you notice your child is struggling in a certain area, consult with his or her teacher to identify strategies and resources that might be helpful.
  • Educate other parents about the transition to the CCSS.
  • Explore opportunities to become actively involved in the Common Core transition through your state and local Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

Resources for Parents and Guardians

The following Web resources provide the most current information from the California Department of Education (CDE) Web Site and are continuously updated. The first reference is the main CDE CCSS Web Page which includes the Common Core State Standards Systems Implementation Plan for California, the Significant Milestones Timeline, and a “Learn More” section that provides additional links to audience specific information. 

California Department of Education CCSS Web Page: (select “Students/Parents” tab)

SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium Information:

K-8 California's Common Core Standards Parent Handbook:

This handbook, created by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) in consultation with the California State PTA, gives parents an introduction to California's CCSS and a summary of what students are expected to learn as they advance from kindergarten through grade eight.

Watch this three minute video introducing Common Core State Standards

Common Core State Standards image

En Espanol

Common Core State Standards California logo


Mathematic Standards       

English Language Arts Standards


The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn.  The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.  With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.



 What students are expected to know and be able to do.



  Parent's Backpack Guide to CCSS


  Parent Information



 ELA Roadmaps



  Math Roadmaps



Achieve the Core



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Teaching in the 21st Century

Common Core: Foundation for Success

When Students 'OWN' their own learning

Did you know?

Writing to Inform