Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
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Changes in ELA standards mean higher expectations for all GIPS students


Tougher standards are now in place to prepare all of our students to succeed and be future ready.

A shift to College and Career Ready expectations means the type of instruction we provide has improved to meet the increased demand of higher standards. Standards were developed by national experts by examining college freshman expectations, then backed up all the way to kindergarten. Instead of trying to guess what expectations should be at individual grade levels, the new standards lay out what a child must do to be ready for the challenges of college and career by the time they are a senior in high school. Nebraska adopted these same grade-level expectations with our new Nebraska English Language Arts standards in 2014.

What does this mean for students?

Grade-level text expectations are higher than in previous years. Students who have been "at" or "above" grade level in the past may now be considered "below" some new standards. This does not necessarily mean the student has regressed or is struggling. It simply keeps us pushing all students to meet higher state standards and find success in all aspects of ELA.

How are teachers changing instruction?

GIPS has a new K-5 ELA resource, "Wonders," starting this school year. This resource helps us align to the increased state standards. We've also changed our schedule to put a greater a emphasis on literacy instruction throughout all parts of the student's school day. Additionally, teachers are given support from the district to have the proper amount of time for rigorous instruction, individual reteaching and discovering what each student needs. Teachers receive continuous support and training to meet the unique needs of all students.

How will report cards reflect these changes?

We will no longer list students as "below," "at" or "above" grade level or provide a Guided Reading level on report cards, because the blanket statement is often not accurate for most students. The report card categories will align to the new standards so we can provide parents with deeper information on specifically where students are successful and where they need additional support for gaining grade-level skills. Additionally, the Guided Reading letter we previously assigned does not reflect the reading students do every day, which now includes more rigorous, complex text.

Media Inquiries
Mitchell Roush , Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127
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