New tool aims to keep children reading this summer

“Find a Book, Colorado” customizes books for a child’s reading level

Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond and the Colorado State Library are urging educators and families to help students retain and develop academic skills by reading during summer vacation. The free online “Find a Book, Colorado” utility at provides a way for parents and children to quickly and easily search books that match a child’s reading level and interests as well as to locate the local library carrying each title.

“Developing early literacy skills is a priority in Colorado. We must work together to encourage children to read throughout the summer,” said Commissioner Hammond. “Summer reading is a key to building knowledge and to preventing students from losing hard-earned progress gained during the school year.”

Users of the search tool can also find appropriate books with a Lexile measure or without through a search using the child’s grade level and comfort with the typical reading materials at that grade level. A Lexile measure indicates the reading level of an individual or book. The search utility will produce a starting Lexile range that can be further refined. “Find a Book” also offers a Spanish option that allows users to search all of the titles with Spanish Lexile measures.

Librarians, who have long promoted summer reading, are also encouraged to use “Find a Book, Colorado.” Library staff can assist parents and students with the “Find a Book” utility to help them find appropriate books that children will really enjoy reading over the summer.

“Many of our Colorado libraries have outstanding summer reading programs, and the `Find a Book’ search tool complements those efforts by locating books that children might be interested in reading and directing them to local libraries that carry those titles,” said Eugene Hainer, executive director of the State Library.

For more information on “Find a Book, Colorado” and other summer reading programs, visit

Revised Unit Plans

The revised Unit Plans for the 2012-2013 school year are now posted on the District website. These updated documents can also be accessed through the SVVSD Portal under the “Curriculum” tab.

Changes were based on feedback from District teachers and the content leadership teams this year.  Some “universal” changes applied to the Unit Plans for 2012-2013 include the following:

  • Link to assessment tasks (“Additional assessment resources”) for applicable Unit Plans
  • Additional or supplemental instructional resources link added for applicable Unit Plans
Please check the blog site of the individual content coordinator for a summary of changes.

When teachers click on the new links to assessment or instructional resources, a Google collection should open (login to your Google Applications may be required).  These documents will appear in your Google Documents “home.”  Once the documents appear in your “home,” you can remove them or organize them as you wish within your Google Documents collections.  For the best printing and viewing of these documents, it is suggested to download these documents from Google Documents before printing.

Curricular Resources

Did you know that the Department of Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction just released a series of curricular documents aimed at helping you define what students should know and be able to do? These documents provide you with rigorous and relevant curriculum and support in the content areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.  These materials are accessible by teachers, administrators, and support staff 24/7.  To view these documents, simply go to the District website at:

Curriculum by Design II

To help teachers and administrators understand and implement the new Colorado Academic Standards (including Common Core) and the SVVSD Curricular Resources, the Department of Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction offered a series of one-day seminars in June.  Many of the participants in this year’s Curriculum by Design II class requested a copy of the PowerPoint.  Please click on the following link: CBD II

Professional Development Class

Due to lack of enrollment this class has been cancelled.  We will offer a course detailing  the Infinite Campus grade book in August.  Please check the Office of Professional Development web site for registration.

Making Sense of the New Colorado Academic Standards and the Elementary Report Card

Instructor: Kahle Charles, Director of Curriculum, Lory Courtney, Director of Professional Development, Joann Dawe, Principal St. Vrain Online Global Academy, & Traci Haley, Instructional Coach

“Fewer, Clearer, Higher” was the goal of the Colorado Department of Education associated with the development of the new Colorado Academic Standards. The new standards are more specific and rigorous thus more information than ever before must be processed in a standards-based classroom.   This class will provide teachers a set of tools designed to unpack the new standards and move from theoretical understanding to actual implementation of standards in the classroom.  In addition, teachers will learn and explore the new Infinite Campus grade book, which will help tremendously with the organization of data. 

Note: A minimum of 10 participants is needed for this course to run. 

Target Group: K-5 elementary teachers

Deadline: Friday, January 20

Course Fee: $15

Days/Dates/Times: Thursdays, 1/26, 2/9, 3/1, 3/15, 4/5, 4/19, & 5/3         4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Learning Services Center, Timberline Room

Credit: 1.5 semester hours of professional development and salary credit

Please contact the Office of Professional Development web page ( after winter break to register.

St Vrain Valley Elementary Report Card Information

In school year 2011-2012, we will have newly worded report cards aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

History: In 2003, the St. Vrain Valley School District implemented a new Standards-Based Report Card.   A standards-based report card lists the most important skills students should learn in each subject at a particular grade level. Specifically, the purposes of a Standards-Based Report Card are:

  • To provide more detailed feedback to parents regarding the progress their children are making toward specific learning expectations at their grade level.
  •  To allow parents and students to understand more clearly what is expected of students and how to help them be successful in a rigorous academic program.
  •  To provide traditional grades along with scores for each learning expectation addressed in a grading period.

Standards-based report cards provide more consistency because all students are evaluated on the same grade-appropriate skills. Parents can see exactly which skills and knowledge their children have learned.

Overview: On December 10, 2009, the Colorado State Board of Education adopted new content standards, creating Colorado’s first fully aligned preschool through high school academic expectations. Developed by a broad spectrum of Coloradans representing Pre-K and K-12 education, higher education, and business, utilizing the best national and international exemplars, the intention of these standards is to prepare Colorado students for achievement at each grade level, and ultimately, for successful performance in postsecondary institutions and/or the workforce.

The revised standards articulate the concepts and skills students are to master at each grade level, pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.  In the new standards grade level expectations and evidence outcomes define mastery expected at a specific grade level.

By December 15, 2011, each school district is required by statute (CRS 22-7-1013) to review its standards in comparison with the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS).  Following the review, local education agencies must revise its standards as necessary to ensure the standards meet or exceed the CAS.  To accomplish this, districts may choose to adopt the CAS verbatim or to revise their current standards

In order to reflect the changes in the new Colorado Academic Standards and report to parents their student’s progress, starting with the first trimester in 2011, our elementary standards-based report card will reflect those changes in the new content and how student progress is reported.

For more information on the new, enhanced report card, click here.

Guidelines for Grading Students with IEPs on the Standards-Based Elementary Report Card

Here are guidelines for grading elementary students with an IEP.

1.    Letter Grades: If a student is not going to be graded in the same manner, with the same expectations as general education students, then it must be noted in the IEP what the modifications and grading would be.  Based upon that documentation, that is how the student will be graded.  If it is not noted in the IEP, then the student is graded in the same manner as the general education students.
2.    Standards: Grading according to the IEP is separate from Standards attainment.  The Standards attainment should always reflect what the student actually attained.  In other words, a student could be meeting just one of the math Learner Expectations (with a score of 1 or 2) and still have an A for a grade.  The IEP for that student must reflect the grading parameters and reflect the standards that the student will be working toward and graded on.
3.    All of this is agreed upon in the IEP staffing.  The regular and special education teacher should collaborate on the entire process.
4.    Modifications or exceptions to the grading scale may be identified as long as the notation of modifications or exceptions does not identify the student as having a disability or being in special education. These modifications or exceptions must be available to any student, not just those students with disabilities (including students performing above grade level). Example: An asterisk after the grade may denote that the student received modified grades or completed work at a lower grade level. However, the explanation of the asterisk on the report card may not indicate the student’s participation in special education. In Infinite Campus, in the overall comment section, you may use Canned Comment #18; Modified Curriculum

Curricular Resources

Dear Staff,

As part of our Standards-Based Curriculum Alignment project, the Department of Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction is pleased to announce the release of our curricular resources. These documents provide you with rigorous and relevant curriculum and support in the content areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. In addition, there is a wealth of information available for all content areas, and we will add additional materials as time permits.

To meet the needs of our students in times of exponential change, our content leadership teams designed a set of 21st century curricular resources to supply you with a guaranteed and viable curriculum aligned with the new Colorado Academic Standards.

These materials are accessible by teachers, administrators, and support staff 24/7. To view these documents, simply go to the District portal ( and under the Learning column click the Curriculum tab.

On this page, you will find the following resources:

Curricular Resources

St. Vrain Valley School District adopted documents detailing:

· Teaching and Learning Cycle

· Tier 1 Best Instructional Practices

· Standards-Based Philosophy and Practices

· Learning Principles

· Colorado Academic Standards

Curricular Resources by Grade Level

· Unit Plans – A series of learning experiences based on evidence outcomes and related 21st Century Skills for a topical, skills-based, or thematic focus.

· Year at a Glance – Vertically and horizontally aligned evidence outcomes by trimester/semester along with course descriptions.

· Curriculum Maps – Scope, sequence, and pacing of curricular units for each content area and grade level.

Note: If a particular resource is not available, we hope to have it loaded within the next two weeks.

To help you understand and implement these new resources, we will offer a series of one-day seminars on the new standards and curricular resources. This seminar entitled Curriculum by Design, will provide you with further training on the SVVSD Teaching and Learning Cycle and orient you to the new Colorado Academic Standards. In addition, you will also have a collaborative opportunity to plan using curricular resources that support the new standards. As a bonus, this class is offered at no cost and .5 semester hour of salary and professional development credit is offered. Please see our Professional Development webite for details ( .

The need for a cohesive and comprehensive curriculum that intentionally connects standards, instructional materials, and assessment has never been more needed than today. We are excited to present you with the resources that show the progression of units of study that intentionally links standards, materials, and assessment.

Thank you, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.