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Summer 2015 Standards Institute

July 13 - 17, 2015 / Washington Hilton

The Standards Institute is a multi-day learning sequence designed to prepare teachers, school and district leaders to meet the learning needs of students by making instructional decisions while implementing rigorous curriculum.  Our team has been leading Institutes in this format for the past four years in New York State, and we believe that immersion, collaboration, and challenge combine to make an Institute a transformative experience. Institutes feature keynote speakers of national renown, including architects of the standards who speak compellingly about the design and intent of the Common Core State Standards.

Focused Learning and Collaboration

Each participant selects a learning trajectory tailored to his or her professional expertise. The leadership pathway, designed for principals, administrators, and instructional leaders, addresses leadership, change management, and developing teacher practice. Teachers, coaches, and specialists select an ELA or math pathway and a grade-band, and engage in a series of workshops to identify, plan, and implement the best instructional materials and practices. As this is a five-day, carefully scaffolded and progressive series of workshops, participants must register for the full five-day commitment.

Following a keynote speaker each morning, educators move into working sessions. Sessions are structured as courses with differentiation by grade and subject.  These courses build an understanding of the standards and invite teachers and leaders to engage deeply with the structure of the curriculum and individual assignments.

We invite and encourage teachers and leaders to adapt the curriculum, which is a unique scaffolded approach to curriculum design.  With an understanding how standards-aligned curriculum materials are developed and evaluated, teachers and leaders will be able to identify and adopt or adapt high quality curriculua for implementation in their districts. Through professional development around instruction aligned to the shifts and standards, teachers will be able to provide rigorous and engaging instruction that raises student achievement, and leaders will be able to support them in that process.  

Institute Outcomes

Over the course of the Institute, teachers and leaders will learn how their students can meet the raised bar for achievement with the infusion of higher standards. Participants will develop a shared language and vision for instructional practice, then transfer that vision into a set of practical skills that make student growth, engagement, and success a reality. Specifically, teachers will learn where to access and how to develop aligned curriculum resources, and then they will explore how they can adapt those resources to meet the needs of the students before them without compromising rigor.  Similarly, leaders will gain the knowledge, skills, and strategies to develop a positive culture and support teachers in this process.  Throughout the sessions, all participants will learn about change management inclusive of the role that beliefs and expectations play in making that change a reality. 

We look forward to meeting and learning alongside you.

General Information

To access electronic content during the Institute, please bring the device of your choice - we recommend either a laptop or tablet computer. A smartphone will also work although is less preferable. If it is not possible for you to bring a device, please let us know by emailing us at

Please dress casually and comfortably. The meeting spaces may be cool; we suggest you bring additional layers to ensure you are comfortable.

Free Common Core Standards App

Prior to the institute, download the free Common Core Standards app by MasteryConnect. This app os available on the Apple App Stire, Google Play, the Windows Store, and the Amazon AppStore.


At the end of the day on Wednesday and Thursday, there will be designated PLC sessions available for all participants. Participation in this session will vary. This is a time to work on a problem of practice with your colleagues with whom you are attending or create an action plan for training and implementation when you return home. Group or team leaders should come prepared to work collectively with colleagues on a pre-determined problem of practice or to lead the team through action planning.

ELA Pathway

ELA Grades P-2

Please read: "Both And", annotating for the following:

  • Reflections/”Ah-ha moments/Ideas
  • Questions/Clarifications
  • Agreements/concerns

Please bring the following: 3 - 5 books that you use, or would like to use, to read aloud to your students. The books you choose to bring should be engaging and rigorous, lending themselves to several reads. Ideally, these books should be non-fiction or literary non-fiction.  If they are fiction, please make sure they have elements of reality. These books will figure prominently in the work we do on Wednesday and Thursday.  If you are supporting teachers in the classroom, bring books that you see used or you would like to see used.

Please download the following to ensure they are available for you to access during the conference:

  • Your year-long scope and sequence of the curriculum that you use.
  • A lesson plan that you think is strong and would like to improve even further.
  • A scope and sequence of a Social Studies unit that you feel is particularly strong.
ELA Grades 3-8

We will be looking at Expeditionary Learning’s Grades 3-8 as a model of Common Core aligned curriculum.  

In order to ensure that you maximize your time at this event you will need:

At the training you will be receiving many materials, including the book Leaders of Their Own Learning.  

ELA Grades 9-12

Please bring a nonfiction text that you either currently use in your classroom or would like to use in your classroom.  You will be working directly with this on Day 4.

Please download the following to ensure they are available for you to access on your laptop during the conference:

  • Your year-long scope and sequence of the curriculum that you use.
  • A lesson plan that you think is strong and would like to improve even further.

Math Pathway

Please come prepared with all of the following from your grade’s current curriculum:

  • entire scope and sequence
  • a sample math lesson
  • a sample math assessment

Leadership Pathway

Prior to attending the ELA sessions beginning Wednesday, July 15, all leaders should read and annotate “Advancing Our Students’ Language and Literacy: The Challenge of Complex Texts” by Marilyn Adams. This article provides essential background to the learning we will be doing, and will be referenced regularly during the ELA sessions for leaders.

Leaders who chose the K-5 Grade Band Leadership Pathway should read and annotate the article,  “Both and’ Literacy Instruction K-5: A proposed Paradigm Shift for the Common Core State Standards ELA CLassroom” by Meredith and David Liben.