A Message from the Principal

For over a year now, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have been used in classrooms throughout California to guide instruction. These standards were adopted in order to accelerate the progress of our students in preparing them for success in the modern world. The standards are designed to help our students to think beyond the surface, to understand the “Why?” questions; to help our students not only to “know”, but to be able to express and apply what they know in real life situations.

The new curriculum that develops this type of thinking is challenging, both for students and teachers. Our Reese staff has been working hard to adapt to the changes in instruction and to the new materials that are being used to teach it. I commend our teachers on their work in preparing our students to grasp and excel in the CCSS.

This year will be the first year of high-stakes testing for our students with the CCSS. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which produces the end-of-year assessments for the state of California, is ready to roll out the new testing. Reese School students in grades 3-6 will all be taking the new SBAC assessment this year when we return from Spring Break (from March 31- May 9). The testing will take about 4 hours for each student in both Math and ELA. It will all be done on Chrome Books on site at Reese during those weeks.

We are being told that we should expect that there will be a “period of adjustment as teachers and students get used to the new standards and tests.” The scores will reflect that teachers are adjusting to the new curriculum and students are adapting to the new way of thinking and assessing. It should not be surprising to see fewer students at Level 3 or higher; however, “… over time the performance of students will improve.”

Please continue to support our students and teachers through this period of adjustment as we work together to better prepare the next generation to be contributing citizens in our community. Thanks for all you do in helping us prepare your children for the future!


Gary Odell, Principal