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Winter 2016 Standards Institute

February 17 - 20, 2016 / Boston, MA

This winter, join educators from across the country for an intensive and transformative learning experience designed to improve, build, and sustain instructional excellence.

Teachers, coaches, and specialists can join an ELA or math pathway focusing on curriculum and instruction. Principals, administrators, superintendents, and officers can join the leadership pathway focusing on leadership, systems and structures, and curriculum and instruction. 

Come as a team of practitioners from your school, district or network to build a common understanding of the intersection of the standards, content expertise, and systems so that students perform better against the standards. Watch a short video about our July Standards Institute to learn more!

July Standards Institute


Course Design Theory

By engaging both the conceptual and practical aspects of each topic, educators will achieve a broader understanding of the why and the how to improve practice. This approach provides strategies for meeting the varied needs of the students in their classroom and schools, including students with gaps in knowledge and skills.

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 Winter Institute, download the free Common Core Standards app by MasteryConnect. This app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, the Windows Store, and the Amazon AppStore.

Knowledge Survey - All Pathways (Math, ELA and Leadership)

We are pleased to have you join us at the Standards Institute for an immersive learning experience. To help us better prepare to meet your needs, and to gather information about the impact of the Institute on your learning, please complete this 10-15 minute anonymous survey about your current knowledge of the learning objectives. We do not expect that you will know the answers to all the questions right now. You will also be asked the same questions again later to see how your knowledge has changed. We thank you for your time. If the link above does not work, please paste the following into your browser:

Black Minds Matter: A Conversation with Sonja Brookins Santelises and Ryan Smith 

We are pleased to invite you to attend a special event at the Standards Institute on Wednesday, February 17 from 4:15 - 6:00 pm

Kate Gerson will host as Sonja and Ryan discuss the The Education Trust-West's important report, including challenges and proposed recommendations to address the systemic inequities bearing down on young Black Californians. They will candidly talk about these findings and help each of us consider ways to take action in our districts, schools and classrooms to address educational disparities for Black minds nationwide, with the sense of fierce urgency all of our students deserve. 

Sonja Brookins Santelises is vice president of K-12 Policy and Practice at The Education Trust

Ryan Smith is the executive director of The Education Trust-West

To download a copy of the report, visit The Education Trust-West’s website.

Waterfront Restaurants & Westin Hotel Map

Please find a comprehensive list of Boston's waterfront restaurants that are close to the Westin hotel.

Please find a map of the Westin Hotel.

ELA Pathway

PK-3 Pathway

(1) (Required) Please bring with you a text--ideally a non-fiction that is aligned with topics you currently address in your classroom. The text should be above your students' reading abilities. We will work to build a several-day, read-aloud project with the text for your students. 

(2) (Required) Read the following articles and annotate them for any striking ideas and questions they might raise:

4-12 Pathway

(1) (Required) Read the following articles and annotate them for any striking ideas and questions they might raise:

Math Pathway

(1) (Required) Please bring with you one lesson plan and one curriculum map (scope and sequence) that you have used this year or will be using next year. These items are required even if you do not work in a school building; they can be but do not need to be teacher created, and may come from a commercial curriculum or textbook. We will ask you to engage with these several times throughout the week.

  • The lesson plan should be targeted at one day of instruction and include details like problems/exercises and recommended teacher instructions and/or dialogue.
  • The curriculum map should describe what topics and/or standards are taught throughout the school year. A district pacing guide is also acceptable to use for this.

(2) (Required) Please bring with you a copy of the Common Core Standards (paper or digital format). Participation in activities in every session will depend on your access to the standards.

(3) (Required) Please download the EngageNY module(s) that you will be studying at our Institute. These are available here: EngageNY module(s). See below for details about the modules being studied in each grade/course:

  • Grades K, 1, 6, 7, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II: Module 1
  • Grade 2: Module 1 and 2
  • Grades 3 and 4: Module 5
  • Grade 5: Module 3
  • Grade 8: Modules 5 and 6

(4) (Optional) Please download and read through the Mathematics Instructional Practice Guide from Student Achievement Partners:

Leadership Pathway

For our four-day learning sequence for leaders, please read and annotate the following articles prior to coming to the Wednesday, February 17, sessions:

(1) “Advancing Our Students’ Language and Literacy: The Challenge of Complex Texts” by Marilyn Adams 

(2) “Both and’ Literacy Instruction K-5: A proposed Paradigm Shift for the Common Core State Standards ELA CLassroom” by Meredith and David Liben 

For the  Thursday, February 18, secondary leaders should please read these texts in advance:

(1) Grades 6-8 – “Commonwealth Club Address” by Cesar Chavez 

(2) Grades 9-12 – “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Du Bois 

Keynote Presentations

Keynote: Welcome to the Standards Institute with Kate Gerson

Keynote: Using Standards to Foster Academic Community for Low Income Students and Students of Color with Sonya Santelises

Keynote: What To Look for in Curriculum and Teaching with David Liben 

Keynote: Music is Not in the Guitar with Andrew Chen 

Keynote: The Why – The How – The What’s with Dr. Tommy Chang

Keynote Bios

We are excited to welcome a distinguished group of education leaders and experts as our keynote speakers. Read their bios here.