Educator Resources

Please click here for our resources to support children in Sandy's aftermath.

The 2013-2014 UPK suggested staggered start schedule and information is available here.

The following links offer learning tools for educators.


CBO Instructional Expectations [top]
The NYC Department of Education (DOE) and the NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS) are committed to ensuring that all children leave our early childhood programs ready to success in kindergarten.  To this end, DOE and ACS have collaboratively developed instructional expectations for Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) community-based programs.  These expectations:
  • Promote our citywide focus on school readiness;
  • Build on the Common Core, authentic assessment, and program quality expectations that we have implemented over the past several years;
  • Promote alignment with K-12 instructional expectations.

The 2013-2014 CBO Instructional Expectations reflect minimum instructional quality expectations.  Programs are expected to meet or exceed these expectations in ways that address the unique needs of their students, families, staff, and stakeholders.  The CBO Best Practices document is a compilation of best practices from UPK programs - both EarlyLearnNYC programs and direct-contract DOE programs - explaining how they implement the instructional expectations.  For reference, you can review the 2012-2013 CBO Instructional Expectations.  

SchoolReadiness [top]
The NYC Department of Education (DOE) and the NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS) are committed to ensuring that all children leave our early childhood programs and enter kindergarten ready to succeed.  To this end, DOE and ACS worked with parents, community members, and university partners to develop citywide school readiness goals based on the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core.  These citywide school readiness goals represent a shared vision of the skills, knowledge, and approaches to learning that children need in order to enter kindergarten ready for school and on a path toward college and career readiness.

For additional information about our citywide approach to school readiness, please see:

  • Memos to EarlyLearn NYC and DOE-contracted programs explaining the ACS and DOE joint approach to school readness in 2013-2014
  • Our 2013-2014 guidance for CBOs about how to develop and implement school readiness goals and strategies. 
  • A document that maps our citywide school readiness goals to indicators on each approved authentic assessment tool (Work Sampling System, Teaching Strategies GOLD, High Scope Child Observation Record)
  • Links to the school readiness goals and strategies survey which is due from all ACS and DOE programs by 5pm on October 31, 2013, and a practice survey
The 5 Pillars of Family Engagement
The NYC Department of Education has developed Partnership Standards that show how schools and families can engage each other in support of student achievement.  In support of these efforts, the Office of Early Childhood Education has developed further guidance, the 5 Pillars of Family Engagement, aligned with the Partnership Standards with a focus on expectations for the early grades, especially pre-kindergarten.  

Please see the Early Childhood Education 5 Pillars of Family Engagement here.

CommonCore [top]

NYS Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core

In July 2010, New York State adopted the Common Core Standards for K-12.  In October 2011, the state adopted the NYS Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core

The primary purpose of pre-kindergarten standards is to ensure that all children, including children with disabilities, students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and English Language Learners (ELLs) have rich and varied early learning experiences that prepare them for success in school and lay the foundation for college and career readiness.

New York City is rolling out the Common Core standards over the next several years.  The standards will be fully implemented by the 2014-15 school year.  

Universal Prekindergarten Curriculum Guidance
Schools considering new Core Curriculum options for K-8 should also carefully evaluate their pre-k curriculum. The DOE does not have a set of Core Curriculum options for pre-k. Schools can use these guiding principles when evaluating published pre-k curricula or designing their own pre-k curricula.

Common Core Aligned Task Bundles

This year, we are working with teachers and school leaders to build their knowledge and pedagogy around the CCLS, with the ultimate goal of fully implementing the standards by the 2014-15 school year. 

To help accomplish this goal, NYC educators and national experts developed Common Core-Aligned Task Bundles.  These bundles were developed to align to literacy and math concepts that encompass strategically selected standards at each grade level. 

Teachers may implement the bundles as they are written or adapt them to meet the needs of their students. 

Learn about the CCLS Aligned Bundles

         Watch this video explaining the bundles and their components.

         Use this exercise and handout to examine the bundles.

See Sample CCLS Aligned Bundles [top]

UPDATED: Interdisciplinary unit on plants and transportation, complete with culminating tasks and sample student work for literacy and math.

Unit Planning Template
OECE has developed a template that teachers can use for unit planning.  This instructional unit template provides an example of how teachers may organize a Common Core aligned unit with culminating performance tasks. Teachers may (a) use this template as it is given here; (b) integrate parts of this template into an existing structure for unit planning; or (c) use this template as a model to design their own planning structures. Ultimately, teachers should use whatever planning template works best for them and their schools.

The template is based on the updated plants interdisciplinary unit.  It is available in Word or PDF format.

Pre-Kindergarten Common Core Interdisciplinary Units

To support implementation of the NYS Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core, OECE has developed a rubric that outlines the hallmarks of a high-quality interdisciplinary pre-kindergarten unit of study.  The rubric is based on rubrics from the Common Core Library and the Tri-State Collaborative.  Teachers, directors, and school leaders are welcome to use this rubric as a resource when designing and implementing interdisciplinary Common Core aligned pre-k unites to support school readiness.  It is designed to support practice; it is not designed to be used for evaluative or high-stakes purposes.

The rubric is available here.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and their implications for teaching and learning through the following videos and exercises.

Helpful Guides

  Common Core Booklist for Pre-K

  Common Misunderstandings

  Together Time At-Home Activities for Families

Principles Behind the CCLS

  Explanation from the NYC DOE

  Explanation from the NYS Education Department

Key Instructional Shifts

  Overarching instructional shifts

  Shifts in Literacy

  Shifts in Mathematics

Strategies for Implementation

Share Your Ideas

We want to learn from you.  If you have created a Common Core aligned resource, bundle, or instructional strategy, please send it to us.  We will develop a bank of resources to share on our website in the coming months.   

Professional Development [top]

Upcoming Trainings

Information on upcoming PDs will be posted as soon as they are available here .


The NYC Department of Education Calendar is available here.

Training Resources

The January UPK teacher professional development was focused on strategies for developing children’s literacy knowledge and skills aligned to the Common Core.  Resources used during the professional development include:

         Information books in early childhood

         Weaving a web with children at the center: A new approach to emergent curriculum planning for young preschoolers

         Bridging the vocabulary gap: What the research tells us about vocabulary instruction in early childhood

         What early childhood educators need to know: Developing effective programs for linguistically and culturally diverse children  

Screening and Assessment [top]

ESI-R Screening

Please contact Michael Greenberg at for access to the secure website which includes a timline and other valuable ESI-R information including directions on how to input ESI-R data.

Authentic Assessment

Authentic assessment systems are a formative collection of qualitative student data (i.e. student work, teacher notes) that measure student performance and progress across multiple academic disciplines along a continuum.  They help teachers monitor students' developmental progress over time while informing curriculum and instruction.
Authentic assessments are based on teacher observation notes and student work samples gathered in the context of everyday classroom activities and experiences.  This information is collected over time and across multiple domains of development, providing a comprehensive view of the child's learning and progress.  Published authentic assessment tools provide teachers with frameworks to:

  • Strategically collect observational data and student work samples
  • Analyze that information along a developmental continuum

In this way, published authentic assessments capture information about students' individual knowledge, skills, performances, and approaches to learning.  Teachers can use this information to monitor students' development over time and inform curriculum and instruction.

Commonly used published authentic assessment systems include Work Sampling System, Teaching Strategies GOLD, and High Scope Child Observation Record.

Work Sampling System

Work Sampling System ® (WSS) is a valid and reliable authentic assessment system available through OECE for grades pre-kindergarten to 3. For information on WSS, please visit the WSS page here 

Common Metric Project

DOE, ACS, and DOHMH are collaborating on the Common Metric Project in the 2012-13 school year. This project will link the most popular early childhood authentic assessment tools (The Work Sampling System, Teaching Strategies GOLD, High/Scope Child Observation Record) with the NYS Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core and the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. Over 400 CBO-based UPK teachers will be involved in supporting this groundbreaking research initiative.

UPK Policies and Resources [top]

Behavior Management

The NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and Department of Education (DOE) are committed to ensuring that all children and families leave our early childhood programs and enter kindergarten ready to succeed.  This means that children have a strong foundation in all domains of development and that families are ready to support their child’s learning. Children in EarlyLearnNYC and Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs may not be expelled or suspended for behavioral reasons without written approval from ACS or DOE.  

For guidance about proactive behavior management supports, responses to challenging behavior, and additional supports, please see the joint Behavior Management Statement from ACS and DOE.

Universal Prekindergarten Nap/Rest Policy
The NYC DOE Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE) recommends that all programs serving pre-k age students provide a regularly scheduled nap or rest time for students who will attend the program for more than four hours per day. Please see this policy here for details about how to structure and staff the nap/rest time.

For a copy of our current Toileting Guidelines, please click here.

2012-2013 Community Based Organization (CBO) Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Welcome Package

The 2012-2013 CBO UPK Welcome Package is now available here.

Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R)

For more information on the UPK Program Evaluations, please click here (Evaluation Results & FAQs).

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

In the 2011-2012 school year, OECE piloted measures of child-teacher interactions using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (  In the spring of 2013, OECE will build on the pilot by using CLASS to assess a sample of UPK programs.  It is important to note that programs receiving an ECERS-R assessment and/or participating in QUALITYstarsNY pilot will not receive a CLASS assessment.  As the process evolves, the DOE will continue to update programs on how the data will be used in the future.  For more information, click here for the CLASS FAQ.

Quality Review

The Quality Review (QR) was developed to assist New York City Department of Education schools in raising student achievement.  The process is designed to look behind a school's performance statistics to ensure that the school is engaged in effective methods of accelerating student learning.  As a result, the QR focuses on the coherence of a school's systems, measuring how well it is organized to meet the needs of its students and adults, as well as monitor and improve its instructional and assessment practices.

For more information, visit the QR website.


New York State is currently developing QUALITYstarsNY to support the efforts of early care and learning programs to improve the quality of their services and to give parents the information they need to make a more informed choice.  For information, please visit QUALITYstarsNY.

For an overview of how QUALITYstarsNY relates to the NYC DOE's Quality Review, please see here.

Teacher Guide to Parent-Teacher Conferences

Federal Requirements for Schools Participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program (pertaining to half-day pre-k)

Additional Resources [top]