Year 6 Project Overview: New York Early Learning
New York State has invested heavily in prekindergarten and is taking concrete steps to better align prekindergarten programs with the K-12 system by focusing on P-3 approaches. The past emphasis on academic standards and high-stakes testing in ELA and math inadvertently caused a ripple effect in the early, pre-tested grades, leading to concerns that some key foundations in early learning were being pushed aside in efforts to improve later state test scores. Continuing their investment in prekindergarten (PreK) and responding to these concerns across P-3, the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Office of Early Learning (OEL) and Office of Curriculum and Instruction (OCI) requested assistance from NCC to support implementation of the existing PreK standards and newly revised Next Generation ELA Standards. NCC is also assisting NYSED to revise and align existing PreK standards to the Next Generation Standards, develop capacity to support implementation, coordinate a statewide institute to support implementation, partner with early learning groups to ensure alignment and consistent messaging, and serve as a member of the Early Learning Standards Task Force. As a result, NYSED will increase knowledge and skills to support the alignment and revision of the PreK learning standards for four year-olds, and will provide resources and opportunities to support developmentally appropriate implementation of revised P-3 standards.
Progress to Date
- NCC has improved materials and assets to support the roll-out of prekindergarten to grade 3 standards through the development of workshops, materials, and resources. NYSED’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction staff requested that NCC prepare a standards/instructional cycle graphic and narrative and introduce the resource at each of the Department’s statewide Next Generation Standards: Supporting All Students conferences. NCC presented to over 200 superintendents, staff/curriculum development network representatives, teachers and other leaders across the state. NCC also prepared a toolkit for local school programs to turnkey the presentation and further support local programs as they gear up for Next Generation Standards implementation, with a specialized focus on prekindergarten to grade 3 (P3).
- NCC has increased NYSED capacity to provide opportunities to support developmentally appropriate implementation of revised P3 standards by creating resources and materials and supporting the development of a Summer Institute. NCC is assisting the Office of Early Learning to plan and implement a statewide P3 conference on July 17-19, 2018 designed for school teams comprised of teachers, leaders and specialists. NCC and OEL are partnering with CUNY’s New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, CEELO, and the College of Saint Rose to support the institute, Effective Teaching and Leading within a P3 Framework. The goal of the three-day institute is to increase shared understanding about how to effectively support young children’s learning and development in the early grades through strong leadership and high-quality instructional approaches.
- NCC has increased NYSED capacity to support alignment and revision of the Prekindergarten Foundation learning standards document for 4-year-olds. NCC designed and facilitated a day-long professional learning session for all staff members of OEL. The focus of the retreat was to begin planning for an update, alignment and revision of the NYSED’s Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core document in each domain of learning and development. The OEL staff went through a facilitated process to ensure alignment between P-3 standards, clarify language, and provide suggested changes. NCC is continuing this work with the OEL team and new members from the Office of Curriculum and Instruction.
Research, Resources and Collaborations
NCC works with several state and federal collaborators to support New York’s various early learning efforts. For example, NCC consulted with the Center for Standards and Assessment Implementation in the development of the NYSED’s Resource for Understanding the Relationship Between the State Standards and the P3 Instructional Cycle, which has been shared statewide during the Next Generation Standards: Supporting All Students conferences. NCC also consults with the regional contact at the Center for Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes on an ongoing basis to remain current on regional and national activities and is working closely with CEELO in preparation for the upcoming Summer Institute. In addition to federal partners, NCC and OEL works within a state framework to support state initiatives. For example, NCC and OEL are partnering with CUNY’s New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and the College of St. Rose to host the Summer Institute. NCC is also collaborating with the state’s Staff/Curriculum Development Network to support the roll-out of Next Generation Standards and will support their P3 efforts in the Fall.
Additional resources include:
Physical Development and Health for Young Learners
Approaches to Learning Resources for Self-Reflection and Planning
Creating Rich Language and Literacy Environments for Young Learners
Social and Emotional Learning Observation and Reflection Tool
Designing Learning Centers to Support Cognition and Knowledge of the World for Young Learners
For more information, contact Sarah Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.