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

  • At the request of NYSED OCI staff, NCC prepared the standards/instructional cycle graphic and narrative and introduced the tool during NYSED’s November 30, 2017 Next Generation Standards: Supporting All Students conference, which included superintendents, staff/curriculum development networks and other leaders.
  • NCC is assisting OCI and OEL to plan and lead a face-to-face professional learning session on January 18, 2018 that will include all OEL staff and select specialists. The focus of the retreat will be to review the standards within each domain, review support materials (e.g., samples and templates), identify research updates, and determine other supports that are needed based on Blue Ribbon Committee meetings, feedback from the November 30, 2017 Next Generation Standards conference, and other input from monitoring visits and in-office requests.
  • The OEL has identified a consultant to support the development of a PK-3 Developmentally Appropriate Practices toolkit with support from NCC. A draft concept paper was developed and is currently under review.

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 Relationships Between the State Standards and the Prekindergarten-3rd Grade Instructional Cycle. 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 for up-to-date resources. In addition to federal collaborators, NCC works within a state framework to support early learning. For example, NCC and OEL partnered with the New York State P-3 Administrators Association, New York State United Teachers, and New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council to plan and conduct the Administering Quality P-3 Programs Leadership Forum. NCC also worked with QualitystarsNY to present a workshop for the Three Year Old Public Preschool Summer Institute. NCC also leverages existing state organizations to ensure needs are understood and information is coherent and reaches various stakeholder groups. For example, NCC participates on the New York State P-2 Early Learning Standards Task Force and is planning to present a workshop at the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children.

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
A Resource for Understanding the Relationships Between the State Standards and the Prekindergarten-3rd Grade Instructional Cycle

Contact Person
For more information, contact Sarah Hughes at

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