Great Expectations: Partnering for Your Child’s Future

Learning standards describe the foundation of what students should know and be able to do in each grade. These standards ensure that all children are prepared to move forward to the next grade and, later, to succeed in college, earn a living, and become productive members of their communities. Children need to develop a love of learning that will serve them well in a world where crucial information changes and grows rapidly.

To find work in the competitive global economy and function in a quickly changing world, our children will need to know more than ever before. This is true for graduates who plan to enroll in four-year colleges; it is equally true for students who want to start careers right out of high school.

The New York State standards we use are designed to provide our students with rigorous curricula to ensure that they develop the creativity, critical thinking skills, and ability to problem solve that they will need to meet the challenges of the modern world. But standards are a starting point, not a destination. By meeting and building on a solid foundation of knowledge, our students will get the most from their education.

Here you will find examples of what students from kindergarten through eighth grade should know and be able to do by the end of the school year in language arts. You also will find ways you can support learning as a family, including things you can do at home, in your neighborhood, and around our great City.

This guide provides only a small sample of the standards for kindergarten through eighth grade. What about the other standards? What will your child be learning in grades? You can find answers to all these questions from your child’s teacher or on our Web site at www.nyc.gov/schools/academics.

Good Study Habits

To help your child develop good study habits:

  • Set up a comfortable location at home for doing homework with simple supplies, such as pens, pencils, paper, scissors, and tape, near at hand.
  • Set up a regular homework time.
  • Help your child get organized. Have them write down and organize assignments each day. They need to learn how to manage their time and work toward long-range goals.
  • Encourage them to do the most difficult homework first, not last.
  • Check to see that assignments are complete and on time. Be more concerned with the process they use to complete work than with getting a right answer.
  • Make sure your child knows the teacher’s homework policies.

For other ideas, visit www.nyc.gov/schools/academics.

Students with Disabilities

Unless otherwise stated on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), students with disabilities will participate in the general education curriculum, which can be adapted for different instructional levels and different settings (such as Collaborative Team Teaching classes or self-contained special education classes). Adaptations may include using instructional aids such as calculators and visual aids, providing additional time to learn new skills, and reducing the length of assignments to help students with disabilities meet the standards.

Ask Your Child’s Teacher

Learning standards provide a great opportunity for you to talk with teachers about what your child is learning in school and how you can support this learning at home. Here are some questions you may want to ask.

To Learn More About a Standard:

  • Can you show me examples of student work that meets this standard?
  • May I look at some of my child’s work related to this standard?
  • When will my child work on this standard during the school year?
  • What activities and materials are you using in school to help my child meet and exceed this standard? What classwork and homework do you expect to assign?
  • What are some exercises I can do with my child to help him or her with this standard?
  • Besides the standards covered in this guide, what else is my child expected to learn this year?

To Learn how Your Child is Doing in School:

  • In what subjects is my child working at grade level? Are there any areas that need improvement?
  • Is my child reading at grade level? Can you show me some books that my child can read?
  • How much time each day does my child spend working on each subject area?
  • How do you assess my child on these subjects during the year?

To learn how to support your child:

  • Besides report cards, what are the best ways to keep up to date on how my child is doing?
  • If your child is not on grade level: What support is the school able to offer my child? What can I do at home to help my child do better in school?
  • If your child is on grade level or above: What extra enrichment and support do you suggest for my child? How can I help at home?