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The CCSS & Junior/Senior English/Language Arts

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a group of national learning goals outlining what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. They were adopted for English/language arts and math by the state of Wisconsin in 2010. (Previously, Wisconsin only had standards outlining what students should know for grades 4, 8 and 12.)

These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills needed to be successful, while helping families understand what is expected of their students. It’s also important to remember that the CCSS are not a curriculum; they are standards that establish what students need to learn, but don’t dictate how teachers should teach. 

In Shorewood, we are aligning to the Common Core Standards, but are not formally adopting them. This gives our staff more flexibility when designing curriculum, while ensuring our students to be better prepared for the content they’ll see on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (which will begin replacing the WKCE during the 14-15 school year), without drastically changing our curriculum.

Our District and teachers will work together to decide how to best help students reach the standards. Differentiation will still be available for students, meaning students that need extra challenges will receive them, while students that need extra assistance will receive help.


  • Write arguments that are logical, well-reasoned and supported by evidence
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while keeping in line with the norms and conventions of the discipline in which the student is writing
  • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection and multiple plot lines to develop experiences, events and/or characters
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting or trying a new approach
  • Use technology to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products
  • Produce clear and coherent writing with appropriate development, organization and style
  • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single setting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes and audiences

Reading (Fiction & Non-Fiction)

  • Cite strong and through textual evidence to support analysis of text, as well as inferences drawn from text and instances where text leaves matters uncertain
  • Evaluate two+ central ideas of a text and analyze their development over course of text
  • Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas or events interact and develop over the course of the text
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices
  • Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact
  • Demonstrate knowledge of 18th, 19th and early 20th century foundational works of American literature, including how two+ texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics
  • Consider multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist)
  • Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement)

Speaking & Listening 

  • Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesizing comments, claims & evidence about an issue Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on many topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas & expressing their own clearly and persuasively
  • Share research, findings and evidence clearly and concisely
  • Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles
  • Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone
  • Adapt speech to a variety of contexts & tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated/appropriate


  • Command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing
  • Display understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances Interpret figures of speech in context and analyze their role in the text


As part of the shift, students will take part in a new system of assessments. As high schoolers, students will take tests that are dependent upon their grade level.  Specific information about the tests can be found below:

ExamGradesExam Info
Access 2.0 (60
minutes to administer) 
(ELL Students starting
during the 15-16 school year) 

• Elements of CCSS embedded
• Screens & provides an annual summary
• Computer adaptive

ACT Aspire (250 minutes 
to administer) 
9th & 10th graders  • Includes English, writing, math, reading
and science assessments
• Provides a predicted ACT score for each
subject & composite 
 ACT (250 minutes to 
 11th graders 

• Includes administration options for 
students with special needs

 ACT WorkKeys 12th graders 

• Includes applied math, locating information 
and reading for information

*The ACT will now be administered to all 11th graders at school, during the school day for free. Students still have the option to take the test again, on their own, outside of the school day, but will have to pay the testing fee. 

District Calendar

    • TueApr24 Lake Bluff Linkage 5:45 PMSHS Conference Room #116
    • TueApr24 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay08 School Board Town Hall 5:45 PM to 6:45 PMSHS Library
    • TueMay08 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueMay22 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

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