School administrators gather to
discuss Common Core standards

April 02, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Brian D., Wilson Santa Paula Times Superintendents from Ventura County School Districts gathered Friday to discuss the new, Common Core academic standards. They met at the Ventura County Office of Education headquarters in Camarillo.

School districts are to implement Common Core in the 2014-2015 school year. Common Core is not a new curriculum, but rather a detailed list of what every student, from kindergarten through grade 12 is expected to know in language arts and math.

There are five key components to the standards for English and Language Arts: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language, and Media and Technology. The stated goal of the mathematics standards is to achieve greater focus and coherence in the curriculum.  Friday’s meeting was led by County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stan Mantooth. “One positive thing about living and working in Ventura County is that we are able to help each other in effective ways,” he told the gathering.

It was noted at the meeting that technology, specifically testing on computer, is a component of Common Core. Santa Paula Unified School District Superintendent Alfonso Gamino said they have installed two new computer labs in the district. One is at Glen City School and the other at Barbara Webster. “This year we’re assessing all kids using Smarter Balance,” he said. They will be transporting children to the schools that have the labs for testing. “We do have the technology and we will assess all of our students and we are going to reflect and see at the end of this assessment how the process went and how prepared and ready we are to fully implement it next year, “ he added. “Next year will be the baseline. This year no one gets scores. We want to make sure kids can use the technology, in that we can start assessing what they know.”

To meet the increasing need for technology in the schools Santa Paula will be receiving additional funding under the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) because of the high percentage of low income students. He said that under the first year of the LCAP plan they have a goal to make sure that all schools have the needed infrastructure. 

As for Common Core, Gamino said, “Like any other district we want our kids more engaged.” He added that they want children to be creative thinkers. 

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