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Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CIA)

Common Core State Standards

Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade.  In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school.

Since 2010, a number of states across the nation have adopted the same standards for English and mathematics.  These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state.  Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the standards to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.

The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards.  Below you will find information about the standards and the CCSS related activities taking place in California.

Common Core State Standards Resources:

What are the Common Core State Standards?

California Common Core State Standards

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Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Gifted and talented education (GATE) refers to specialized programs and services designed to meet the educational needs of students who demonstrate exceptional abilities and potential for high performance in areas such as academics, creativity, leadership, or specific talents like music, art, or athletics.

The primary goals of gifted and talented education are:

  • Identification:  Identifying students who possess exceptional abilities or potential beyond their age peers.
  • Challenge and Enrichment:  Providing appropriate learning experiences that challenge and extend these students beyond the standard curriculum.
  • Support and Resources:  Offering specialized resources, support, and educational opportunities tailored to the unique needs of gifted learners.
  • Social and Emotional Development:  Addressing the social and emotional needs of gifted students, including opportunities for peer interaction and understanding.

The intent of gifted and talented education is to ensure that gifted students are adequately challenged and supported in their educational journey, enabling them to reach their full potential and make significant contributions to society in their areas of strength.

All FMSD 3rd graders and any students new to the district in grades 4th-8th are given the GATE Assessment in the fall of each school year.  Should a student moved into FMSD with a GATE identification, the student will be considered a GATE student and will not have to be re-assessed.

GATE Resources:

Gifted and Talented Education Program Resource Services Guide

National Association for Gifted Children

School Site Libraries

All schools in the Franklin McKinley School District use Destiny Discover to access books in school site libraries.  


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The science of reading is a vast, interdisciplinary body of scientifically-based research about reading and issues related to reading and writing.  This research has been conducted over the last five decades across the world, and it is derived from thousands of studies conducted in multiple languages.  The science of reading has culminated in evidence to inform how proficient reading and writing develop; why some have difficulty; and how we can effectively assess and teach, improving student outcomes through prevention of and intervention for reading difficulties.

The Simple View of Reading

The Simple View of Reading shows us that reading comprehension is not the sum, but the product of two components-word recognition and language comprehension, such that if either skill is weak, reading comprehension is diminished.  No amount of skill in one component can compensate for a lack of skill in the other.

Scarborough's Reading Rope

In 2001, Dr. Hollis Scarborough created the Reading Rope using pipe cleaners to convey how the different strands of reading are all interconnected, yet independent of one another.  For many students, learning to read is a challenge.  Scarborough's Rope captures the complexity of learning to read.

Scarborough's reading Rope is made up of lower and upper strands.  When all these components intertwine, it results in skilled and accurate, fluent reading with strong comprehension.

The Science of Reading Resources:

The Science of Reading Defining Guide

Video:  What the Science Says About How Kids Learn to Read

FMSD Language and Literacy Plan 

FMSD Core Literacy Block (Literature, Informational, Content Areas)

FMSD ELA/ELD Scope and Sequence