Naturally, Curriculum and Instruction are the heart and soul of a school district. We hold dear the "three peaks of learning:" students, teachers, and academic standards. We know that increases in student learning only happen when we make improvements in these areas. Eagle County Schools has been a trailblazer in the adoption of higher academic standards serving as an early adopter of the Colorado Academic Standards, including the Common Core State Standards.
Shifting to these more rigorous standards is much more than just handing out new textbooks. Hundreds of hours were spent by teachers and administrators as they collaborated to design curriculum Units of Study aligned with standards that will support us in our work to teach all students to high standards. After a rigorous review of materials, resources were then selected to support the implementation of the Frameworks of Study. Finally, professional learning experiences were developed to support teaching staff with planning through the Frameworks of Study and utilizing the aligned resources.
In another innovative move toward increasing rigor, student engagement, and college-and-career readiness, Eagle County Schools is incorporating Global-Ready Skills into their content-rich curriculum. Developed by Harvard professor Tony Wagner, Global Ready Skills define the expertise that students need to succeed in today's dynamic, rapidly-evolving world. By infusing the curriculum with Global-Ready Skills, Eagle County Schools are setting in motion an initiative to create a generation of creative, adaptable, self-driven learners.
The goal of all of this work is to always put the best prepared and effective teacher possible in front our community's students, and have them teaching to high, internationally benchmarked standards with engaging techniques.
Understanding Common Core StandardsWhat is the Common Core State Standards Initiative?
The Common Core Initiative is a state-led effort designed to improve academic outcomes by developing clear and consistent standards in English Literature and Math, assuring that all students graduate from high school ready for college and career.
What are the Colorado Academic Standards?
Colorado Academic Standards are expectations defined by the state of what students need to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. They stand as the values and content organizers of what Colorado sees as the future skills and essential knowledge for our next generation to be more successful. State standards are the basis of the annual state assessment.
How do the two Standards come together?
Colorado Academic Standards were formed before the Common Core Standards to elevate our educational benchmarks to higher levels. When the state decided to adopt the Common Core Standards, they first compared them against the Colorado Academic Standards and found them to be similar and compatible. The state has adopted the Common Core Standards along with 46 other states to create a nationwide standard. The Colorado Academic Standards were essentially embedded into the Common Core Standards for our state. The Common Core Standards were essentially embedded into the Colorado Academic Standards for our state.
See this short video for further information on the Common Core State Standards.
Los estándares estatales de educación: Una nueva base para el éxito estudiantil.
See this short video explaining the Colorado Measures of Academic Success.
Understanding Global-Ready Skills
Global-Ready Skills are the 21st-century skills needed to solve tough problems and communicate at high levels. These are the skills that, combined with the rigorous content of the Common Core Standards, Eagle County Schools are emphasizing in every classroom:
1. Critical Thinking
2. Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence
3. Agility and Adaptability
4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
5. Effective Oral and Written Communication
6. Accessing and Analyzing Information
7. Curiosity and Imagination
Look here for a clip of Tony Wagner explaining how Global-Ready Skills prepare students for today's workforce.
For more information on Global-Ready Skills, take a look at Tony Wagner's website.
Click here for information on what parents should know about Common Core Standards.
Project-Based Learning: Preparing Students for Tomorrow, Engaging them Today
One way we're bringing Global-Ready Skills into our classrooms is through Project-Based Learning, or PBL. Project-Based Learning is a teaching method that engages students by asking them to investigate an interesting and complex question, problem, or challenge, and then to create something in response. Projects may be done individually, in teams, or as a whole class. PBL has been shown over and over again to be effective in reaching and growing all learners. Over the summer we had more than 100 teachers become trained in this powerful pedagogy. Stay tuned for examples of the great things our kids will be accomplishing this year!
Check out this video to learn more about how teachers in Eagle County Schools use Project-Based Learning to prepare your child to thrive in the 21st century!
Combining Common Core and Global-Ready SkillsWhen our schools combine the high-level content standards of the Common Core with the rigor of Global-Ready Skills, our students engage with the world in new and exciting ways. Check out a few of the projects that students have created with this new curriculum!
Check out this video of students and teachers discussing their experiences with performance tasks!
These students at Eagle Valley High School created websites for countries of their choice. Check out some of their work here, but be careful! These projects will make you want to travel!
One teacher at Battle Mountain High School partnered with a panel from the Vail Valley Partnership so her students could propose entrepreneurial ideas in a "shark-tank" style forum. See the video here!
A student at Eagle Valley High School created this multimedia PSA to raise awareness for child soldiers.
Students at Battle Mountain High School submitted their school projects to Spilled Ink and were published in the Vail Daily. Click here to see their beautiful poems and artwork!
Using the district frameworks, this student created a reflective collection of poems and artwork.