Tips for Learning in the Common Core Era

PTA Parent's Guides to Student Success 

  • The Parents’ Guides to Student Success were developed by teachers, parents and education experts in response to the Common Core State Standards that more than 45 states have adopted.
  • Created for grades K-8 and high school English, language arts/literacy and mathematics, the guides provide clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career.

CT Core Standards

  • This website supports those interested in the Connecticut Core Standards, providing information, examples, and resources.
  • Parent and teacher resources are included.

Be A Learning Hero

  • Be A Learning Hero helps parents navigate the changes happening in classrooms across the country so they can help their children be successful in school.
  • We provide resources and information for parents from some of the nation’s most well-respected education and parent organizations including the National PTA, Common Sense Media and GreatSchools.
  • Be A Learning Hero is a project of the New Venture Fund.


Universal Screening Assessments

Universal screening assessments are characterized by the administration of quick, low-cost, repeatable testing of age-appropriate skills to all students. Schools typically administer screenings to all students three times a year. These assessments yield two important pieces of information. First, they provide evidence to help assess how functional the core curriculum, environment, and instruction are in the school. At least 80% of all students in the school should be showing adequate progress in a particular curricular element or program. If more than 20% of the students are not making acceptable gains in an area, the school must focus on improving the core curriculum and/or instruction. Secondly, universal screening identifies those students who may not be making expected progress and who may need additional diagnostic assessment and/or intervention, either in small groups or on an individual basis.

PCS administers Renaissance Learning’s STAR Early Literacy, STAR Reading and STAR Math three times a year as its first line of universal screening.

More information on these assessments can be found here: A Parent’s Guide to Star Assessments


Connecticut Summative Assessment

Overview of the Connecticut State Dept. of Education Summative Assessment SystemPage

Connecticut Comprehensive Assessment Program Portal 
This site provides access to resources for the Smarter Balanced Assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy, CMT/CAPT Science Assessments, and the Alternate Assessment.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Information for Parents

CMT/CAPT Science

Smarter Balance Letter to Parents 2021