DPS’s Standards Toolkit is designed to support you as you lead school teams in implementing standards-based instruction. This Toolkit provides resources, articles, and tools for implementing the instructional shifts of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS), and the WIDA English Language Development Standards. In addition, the Toolkit supports you in identifying what the new Standards mean for student achievement, rigorous instruction, and the role of assessment as part of a data inquiry cycle. 

This toolkit will help you lead your school to make progress towards these Outcomes. To get started, go to Section 1 – Utilizing the Toolkit and take a Needs Assessment.

Navigating the Toolkit

The toolkit is organized into six sections related to the Common Core State Standards, the Colorado Academic Standards, and the WIDA English Language Development Standards:

1 – Utilizing the Toolkit (Start here)

Each section of the toolkit covers a specific topic.

On the home page of each section, you will find links to deeper “subsections” with a variety of resources that include PowerPoint presentations with supporting documents, articles, videos, websites, and other related resources such as PARCC prototypes and writing rubrics.

When you click on a subsection, you will find the following information for each resource in the toolkit:

  • Title: Resource Name
  • Description: Brief description of the resource and developer’s name.
  • Use this…: Provides information on how the resource can be used to support teacher learning.
  • Needs Assessment: This refers to the scores on the relevant questions in the Practitioner Self-Assessment and/or School Level Needs Assessments.
  • Type: Shows the format of the resource. Click on the icon to open the resource.

Throughout the school year, continue to check the “News and Updates” section on the Toolkit home page for updates and new resources.

2 – Literacy

The Common Core State Standards Requires Three Shifts in ELA/Literacy Instruction:

  • Build knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational texts
  • Read, write, and speak grounded in evidence from texts
  • Practice regularly with increasingly complex texts and academic vocabulary

Resources to support teachers and school leaders in implementing these shifts in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects can be found in Section 2. A variety of resources including PowerPoint presentations with supporting documents, articles, videos, websites, and other resources related to the instructional shifts and types of writing required by the CCSS are located in each subsection.  DPS scope and sequence documents for grades K through 12 are also provided.

3 – Math

The Common Core State Standards Requires Three Shifts in Math Instruction:

  • Focus:  Narrow and deep emphasis based on standards.
  • Coherence: Across grades and to major topics within grades.
  • Rigor: Equal intensity of conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency and application.

Resources to support teachers and school leaders in implementing these shifts can be found in Section 3.  A variety of resources including PowerPoint presentations with supporting documents, articles, videos, websites, and other resources related to the instructional shifts are located in each subsection.  DPS scope and sequence documents for grades K through 12 are also provided.

4 – CAS - Colorado Academic Standards

Coming Soon

5 – ELD

English Language Development (ELD) is the direct explicit instruction of academic language in a lesson. English Language Development is developed and supported in two ways; in the ELD block AND in the content classroom. ELD is the responsibility of the ELD teacher AND all grade level/ content teachers who have ELs in their classrooms. All ELs need both an ELD block (explicitly taught for ELs) and Supported Content Instruction (during which time the academic language of the lesson is targeted and taught).

This ELD section directly refers to the ELD class explicitly taught to all ELs. Examples of the content ELD strategies are embedded within the Literacy, Mathematics and CAS tabs of the Standards Toolkit.

6 – Data Inquiry

DPS believes in the power of using data to inform instruction.  Research has shown time and again that the use of inquiry cycles in the teaching and learning process positively impact student performance.  They also can be used to help ensure district departments and project teams leverage data to improve the effectiveness of their work.

The materials in this section provide an overview of the inquiry cycle at DPS, the goals of inquiry cycles, best practices for using an inquiry cycle, and some information on what you will find in each of the individual inquiry cycle step documents throughout the other parts of Section 6.

7 – Assessment

DPS believes that assessment of student learning is an integral part of teaching. Information gathered from assessments should be used to adjust instruction to provide students with challenging but attainable learning objectives. DPS supports a variety of assessments to provide information on student progress towards mastery of Standards.  This section will provide information on DPS assessments.