Environmental Charter Schools

Welcoming New Staff and New Academic Standards

September 2013 

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Another school year is underway. For the ECS family this means maintaining our best practices and high standards of teaching and learning on three campuses. We welcome Environmental Middle School - Inglewood as the newest member of the ECS network of free public charter schools!
Welcome new staff! Along with opening a new school comes welcoming new staff members and leadership. We are excited to announce our newest team members and you can see all of them here.
New Ambitious Academic Standards - The Common Core Standards Raise the Bar read full article here
As you may have heard in the news, the California State Board of Education has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts and Math. What may surprise you is that these standards were actually adopted in 2010 and that ECS has been working with them since then.
The new standards focus on covering fewer topics in greater depth calling for students to read, listen and think critically - the goal being that students acquire the knowledge and master the skills required to be prepared for college and the workforce.

An expert explains: “These new standards recognize that the premium in today’s world is not merely on students’ acquiring information, but on their being able to analyze, synthesize, and apply what they’ve learned to address new problems, design solutions, collaborate effectively, and communicate persuasively.” (from Linda Darling-Hammond via Washingtonpost.com
On first look at samples of the testing tasks for the new standards, our ECS teachers were encouraged. “This is what we have already been doing at ECS,” says Amy Frame, ECS Director of Instruction & Curriculum.
ECS was founded on a series of research-based best practices one of which is to select a few standards and teach them in depth through authentic projects. The new standards and assessments are finally catching up with our best practices.
What has changed now is that the standards themselves recognize the need for depth over breadth and that the new assessments are more complex and more like tasks with which our students are familiar.
As our kids and teachers transition to the new system, we expect it will be easier for them than for their peers at other schools. We expect they’ll be more successful on the new tests. ECS strives to continue modeling innovative education and being a resource to other schools aligning themselves with the new national vision.

At ECS, we have always been committed to preparing students for college and careers. We believe the Common Core Standards are a vehicle for the kind of positive, long and lasting change we wish to see in the world.
For a more detailed look at the Common Core State Standards including:
  • What the new tests will be like
  • What we do already at the Middle and High School levels
  • How the new standards will affect our students
  • What the new standards mean for ECS
  • Links to other resources 
Click here to read more. 
To you - our supporters - we offer our continued gratitude for your partnership as we continue to raise the bar on education in South Los Angeles.  
Here’s to thriving in the new year!  
Alison Suffet Diaz
Founder and Executive Director
Environmental Charter Schools
Environmental Charter Schools Founder & Executive Director, Alison Suffet Diaz.
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