Del Mar school district to hold Common Core information nights for parents

By Karen Billing

Parents will be hearing a lot more about Common Core State Standards in the coming months and year as the new educational methodology will start in the 2014-15 school year.

To help parents understand what the Common Core is and what it means for their children, the Del Mar Union School District will host information nights in the next two months. A parent Common Core Math Night will be held March 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Sage Canyon School. A second event is planned for April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Ashley Falls School.

“These standards do have the potential to reform education throughout the country. It’s a very exciting time to be in education,” said Shelley Peterson, DMUSD assistant superintendent of instructional services. “I’m really optimistic about the potential of these standards.”

The Common Core will be a “new educational methodology and assessment that provides a clear and consistent framework for all children, that aims to give them the 21st century skills required to be successful in college and the workplace,” according to the district.

The standards were initiated by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers and aim to create a foundation to work collaboratively across states and districts instead of each state having their own set of standards, the district reported.

Forty-five states have adopted CCS so far. Those that have not are Texas, Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska and Virginia.

Changes in English language arts include students reading more content-rich, non-fiction and informational texts and learning to respond to those texts in grounded evidence. By their senior year in high school, the aim is for students to be reading 70 percent non-fiction texts in school.

Math will focus deeply on two to four critical areas per grade level with a higher level of rigor, increasing students’ fluency and the ability to apply knowledge to real world situations, according to a district report.

Peterson also stressed the importance of professional development in getting DMUSD teachers prepared for the “tremendous shift” in the way they will teach, particularly in math. Eighty district teachers are already a part of the Cognitively Guided Instruction professional learning program, which is very much aligned with Common Core.

To learn more about Common Core, visit