Environmental Charter Schools
Welcoming New Staff and New Academic Standards
Dear Friends and Supporters,
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
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: â€œThese new standards recognize that the premium in todayâ€™s world is not merely on studentsâ€™ acquiring information, but on their being able to analyze, synthesize, and apply what theyâ€™ve learned to address new problems, design solutions, collaborate effectively, and communicate persuasively.â€ (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. â€œThis is what we have already been doing at ECS,â€ 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 theyâ€™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
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.
Hereâ€™s to thriving in the new year!
Alison Suffet Diaz
Founder and Executive Director
Environmental Charter Schools