Mountain View Voice

News - March 14, 2014

High school district preparing for Common Core

by Nick Veronin

Local high school district officials are planning to use about $750,000 from the state to help pay for professional development and one-on-one instruction in the new Common Core curriculum standards for teachers.

The California Legislature has allocated money for school districts all over the state to help prepare for the introduction of the recently adopted Common Core State Standards — a new, federally endorsed curriculum system that will put most states on the same page. The Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District is expecting to receive $747,400, to be doled out over two years, according to Brigitte Saraff, associate superintendent of educational services for the district.

Though in the grand scheme of things, the money from the state is just a "drop in the bucket" when considering all the district will need to do to prepare for Common Core, Saraff said it will help offset the costs of two significant efforts.

The district plans to use the bulk of the money to fund a "curriculum institute" that will provide support to individual teachers and groups of instructors seeking to engage in professional development opportunities, and to finance two or three full-time teachers on special assignment. Those teachers will spend at least two years working with their colleagues in classrooms, helping them learn the ins and outs of the Common Core system.

Saraff said the district could spend about $100,000 each year for two years on the curriculum institute efforts, and as much as $400,000 annually for two years on the teachers on special assignment.

The district's board discussed the plan at its March 10 meeting, and trustees are scheduled to vote on the allocation of the state funds at their next meeting on Monday, March 24.

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