Stage 2 – Initial Implementation

The revised standards developed during Stage 1 should still be considered draft versions, as the initial implementation process may impact and shape the standards further. Flexibility and transparency in this second stage are paramount.

During the initial implementation stage, attention should be paid to curriculum mapping, instructional materials, and professional development, all while keeping stakeholders involved and in the loop regarding plans and progress. The timelines and budget considerations outlined in Stage 1 may need to be amended based on feedback received from diverse stakeholder groups, guidance from experts, and on the number of iterations needed to reach this stage of the process.

See the Initial Implementation Overview section below for additional overview information.

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Initial Implementation Items to Consider:


Download the Initial Implementation "Items to Consider" and "Resources" sections as a PDF.


Initial Implementation Overview

Once a broad timeline has been established, plans for initial implementation at the state, district, and school levels should be communicated and put into action.

At the state level, State Education Agency (SEA) staff should work to carry out the following: cement deadlines and funding surrounding current instructional materials and future adoption of instructional materials, finalize assessment schedule(s), identify and schedule necessary professional development, develop supports for struggling schools, address any implications for teacher evaluation, and confirm expectations and timelines around progress monitoring. To support initial implementation at the district level, SEAs should develop guidance to help districts determine the degree of alignment of their current instructional materials and how and when to supplement these to bring them into alignment with the new standards. Curriculum mapping exercises should be conducted to support this effort and illustrate where gaps may exist. To support teachers and school-level administrators with the transition to the new standards and associated instructional materials and assessments, professional development opportunities should be planned and provided. Time and resources should also be devoted to the collaborative development of new lessons that address instructional shifts resulting from the new standards.

Communication during this stage should be informed by the state’s goals for stakeholder engagement. Considerations should be given to the cohesive rollout of the new/revised standards, professional development opportunities, and curriculum planning and associated instructional materials. It is especially important to communicate the initial implementation plan to classroom teachers clearly to ensure that classroom learning opportunities focus on the correct standards (old vs. new) according to transition plans. Communication and stakeholder engagement are closely linked, as effective engagement happens when timelines and expectations are communicated clearly and transparently. Well established protocols for two-way communication (from SEA/committee to stakeholders and from stakeholders to SEA/committee) allow for a streamlined process of collecting and synthesizing data that may inform further revisions to the new standards and/or provide valuable feedback around the initial implementation plan.

Most of the data collected, synthesized, and analyzed during this stage will come directly from stakeholder feedback. It is important to collect feedback on an ongoing basis throughout this stage and across diverse implementation activities. Insights from educators and other stakeholder groups about their experiences with initial implementation of the new standards can be helpful in developing further implementation guidance.

Analysis of data collected should inform the decision-making process, and may necessitate going backwards to refine goals and implementation practices to ensure success for the full standards review/revision process moving forward. The analysis and decision-making conducted should reflect the circular nature of this process, and may be informed through multiple rounds of data collection and analysis. Diverse stakeholder feedback should be used to inform decisions about the new/revised standards and concurrent initiatives (professional development, curriculum planning, instructional materials, assessments, etc.). Additionally, the application of feedback in subsequent revisions should be communicated back to stakeholders to reinforce the importance of their input.