November 2012 | News You Can Use

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Common Core State Standards (CCSS)



Are you familiar with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? The standards are an effort by states to define a common core of knowledge and skills that students should develop in K-12 education, regardless of the state they live in. At this point, 45 states, 3 territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have formally adopted the Common Core State Standards.

If you’re in a state that is moving to the CCSS, you’ll see changes in annual state assessments (both general and alternate assessments), but you should also be aware that lesson planning, IEP goals, and accommodations may be affected.

This month, we’re featuring information and resources to help you prepare for implementation of common core standards and assessments. Chances are, you’re going to need them!

As always, we welcome your feedback in all forms. Please feel free to contact us at

Our best to you,

Your friends
at the National Dissemination Center
for Children with Disabilities


NICHCY has developed an entire resource page dedicated to providing information about the Common Core State Standards. Below you will find a few key resources, but make sure you visit our website to take a look at all of the resources we have put together.

Overview of the CCSS.
Our overview of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) gives you the who, what, when, where, and why of this initiative and links to trusted sources for more information.

What’s happening in your state?
There’s one quick way to find out what happening in your state. The Council of Chief State School Officers is keeping track of this important information and serves as a hub for connecting with each individual state’s efforts.

How do the standards apply to children with disabilities?
The standards themselves do recognize that implementation requires providing students with disabilities with a range of needed supports. CCSS indicate that instruction for students with disabilities must incorporate supports and accommodations.

Resources especially for administrators.

Resources especially for educators.

Resources especially for families.

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Logo of the IDEA Partnership.

Get the CCSS dialogue going with the IDEA Partnership’s collection.
Need to engage multiple stakeholders in discussions of how to implement the CCSS and how to assess mastery toward them? Use the IDEA Partnership’s dialogue guides, which are especially designed to help you engage deeply in the conversation and the work.



Parents’ Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Children’s Education Records.
FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This brochure from the feds explains parents’ rights to request and receive copies of their child’s education records, who else may see those records, and what happens when students turn 18 and the right to privacy transfers to them.

Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards in English and Spanish.
The Council of the Great City Schools’ parent roadmaps in English language arts and mathematics provide guidance to parents about what their children will be learning and how they can support that learning in grades K-8.

English Language Arts (in Spanish)

Mathematics (in Spanish)

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Basics of Early Intervention training module.
It’s finally done-Module 1 of the training curriculum on Part C of IDEA (early intervention), that is. This module will help you train staff and families on the 8 basic steps in the early intervention process, 7 acronyms to know, and 9 key definitions in Part C. Produced in a collaboration between OSEP and NICHCY, the module includes gorgeous 4-color slideshows, trainer guides, and handouts and activity sheets for participants.

Ready for Success: Creating Collaborative and Thoughtful Transitions into Kindergarten.
A new brief from the Harvard Family Research Project, Ready for Success: Creating Collaborative and Thoughtful Transitions into Kindergarten (September 2012), discusses ways of helping to make the transition into kindergarten a positive experience to help children enter school ready for success.

Assessment of Preschool Early Literacy Skills.
This resource, Assessment of Preschool Early Literacy Skills: Linking Children’s Educational Needs with Empirically Supported Instructional Activities, explores how early childhood assessment informs instruction and intervention, highlighting screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring assessments.

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Updated fact sheet on blindness and visual impairments.
Hot off the press for November 2012, our updated fact sheet has several new sections, including types of visual impairments in children, signs and symptoms, insights about how children with visual impairments learn, tips for educators, and tips for parents.

Special Educators Look to Tie IEPs to Common Core.
The widespread adoption of common-core academic standards is expected to accelerate a growing movement among educators to link individualized education programs for students with disabilities directly to grade-level standards.

Common Core Resources for Teachers.
The Common Core State Standards will require big transitions and changes to the professional lives of educators and wants to help. You will find exemplar curricula and lesson plans, the latest news on the Common Core and relevant videos and links.

Videos | Common Core Lessons for Teachers.
There are over 100 free videos related to Common Core instruction available on the Teaching Channel. The videos provide lesson ideas, an overview of the English Language Arts and Math standards, and demonstrations of teaching practices.

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The Common Core State Standards: Development, Adoption, and Implementation.
Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is keeping us all connected to the action in our own states, we repeat the link we gave earlier in this resource page. Hook up with that map of the U.S., click on your state (if it’s participating in the initiative), and go directly to home base. You will find guidance galore!

What’s the role of higher education and teacher preparation in this initiative?
What role will higher education play in ensuring the success of the Common Core State
Standards? This brief lays out an action agenda for the role of higher education institutions in this collective work.

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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement #H326N110002 between FHI 360 and the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.


Comments on our newsletter? Too long? Too short? Off-target? Right on? Suggestions for future topics? Please feel free to contact us at We’re here to help you help children with disabilities.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to