Mead School District 354

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Do you have questions about your child’s English Language Arts (ELA)?


Students will take the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), which is aligned to these new standards and designed to assess our students’ critical reading, writing and math skills in grades K-8. The SBA also assesses our students’ college and career readiness and will be given to all 11 graders during the last seven weeks of school.  

Our schools, along with schools across the country, are working to improve teaching and learning to ensure that all Mead students graduate with the skills needed to be college and career ready.

 With the adoption of Common Core State Standards, you will notice some instructional “shifts” in how your child interacts with the content found within English Language Arts.  These shifts allow for a strong foundation of the knowledge and skills students need for both college level work as well as entry-level positions in the workforce.


 The first shift is to provide students with regular practice in reading and evaluating complex text.  Students will spend more time interacting with texts that require deeper thought and analysis to truly comprehend text, rather than simply practicing the skills associated with decoding words in a text.

 Another shift is to ensure that reading, writing, and speaking are grounded in text evidence.  The standards place a premium on students using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Rather than ask students questions they can answer solely from their prior knowledge or experience, the standards expect students to answer questions that depend on close reading skills.

 Finally, the Common Core State Standards highlight the importance of building knowledge through content rich non-fiction. In K–5, this means providing a 50–50 balance between informational and literary reading. Informational reading primarily includes content rich non-fiction in history/social studies, science and the arts.  In grades 6–12, the Standards call for progressively building to a 30-70 ratio of time spent in literary and informational text.  This focus allows teachers to ensure that students can use reading and writing to independently build knowledge in disciplines such as history/social studies, science, and other technical areas.

 Mead School District Common Core Resource Link