• Frequently Asked Questions about Instructional Framework

    The Teaching and Learning Department will provide multi-faceted support for implementation of the Instructional Framework: Plan component based on feedback from the July 24th district-wide training day. More district training days, administrative training, content-specific training and school-based training will be provided to ensure successful implementation.   In addition to training, this FAQ document was created to clarify, answer, and provide support for teachers and administrators throughout the implementation process. This will be a living document with more content added throughout the year.

    The FAQs are organized by topic for flow of information. Please know that there may be exceptions to the responses based on grade, content area and school level.

    For any additional questions, use the FAQs form


    Assessment: Formative and Summative

    Most of the questions from July 24th were around formative and summative assessment. The best way to provide answers to these questions is through trainings. Teaching and Learning will use the questions to plan trainings on formative and summative assessment as it relates to the Instruction Framework: Planning. 


    Q: Who determines the “priority standards” for each unit? Are they determined in collaborative teams, or do they come from the state/county?

    A: Priority standards can be determined at the state, county, or school level depending on the grade, content area or school level. See the chart below to clarify for each content area.


    Elementary: For ARC, the priority standards are predetermined by the unit when it’s developed by ARC. We find the priority standards in the Lit. Labs (Q1). They are laid out for our ARC grades on their Curriculum Guides. For all grades in ELA, the RL and RI Standards 1,2,3 are continuously addressed throughout the year, as are the Writing Standards W1,2,3. Truth is, that’s the nature of the ELA standards – they are cyclical – not linear in nature.


    Secondary: Course Priority Standards were determined by the Secondary FCS ELA Curriculum Team.  The team analyzed the Georgia Standards of Excellence based on criteria from Larry Ainsworth’s Rigorous Curriculum Design and with consultation from Kelley Wright York, Metro RESA ELA Specialist.  Standards were chosen based on the following considerations:

    o    Endurance: The standard’s importance lasts beyond one grade or course; it contains important life concepts or skills.

    o    Leverage: The standard contains knowledge and skills that cross over into other disciplines.

    o    Readiness: The standard is necessary for success in the next level of learning or a prerequisite for a new grade level or course of study.

    o    Assessment: The standard includes content or skills that would typically be included on large-scale assessment.

    In ELA course priority standards are also typically overarching standards. This means that students must learn the supporting standards in order to reach the full intent of a course priority standard. For this reason, each unit guide also includes focus standards that are a priority for the unit.  These were also chosen by the curriculum team based on which standards seemed to be foundational to the unit and important for reaching the full intent of the course priority standards.


    Elementary: For elementary math, a group of math coaches have looked at various resources, including Achieve the Core, EnVision Teacher Guides, EOG content weights (when applicable), and the vertical progressions to determine our priority standards.  On our common unit assessments, these standards are given more attention than others.

    Secondary: For secondary mathematics, priority standards are identified by examining which standards appear on external assessments (EOG, EOC, AP) and which standards serve as building blocks for future math learning (whether it is in the current grade/course, or future math learning). Priority standards are discussed at regular course-alike collaboration meetings, and then school planning teams take the results of those discussions and structure pacing guides around them.


    When teachers are determining priority standards, they must remember practices represent what students are expected to do and are not optional teaching methods or curriculum approaches.
    Use the science and engineering practices and content standards when preparing instructional sequences.

    Social Studies

    The content is such that all standards are priority 


    Based on industry-validated technical subjects and competencies. Priority must be given based on relevancy and impact of employability skills based on employer input to prepare students for further education and in-demand and emerging careers. Standards should be reviewed regularly by all relevant stakeholders to ensure the latest advances in the industry, evidence-based program models and evaluations of student performance.

    Fine Arts

    Our Fine Arts teachers have analyzed the GSE for their courses and determined priority standards. They are included in our Curriculum Frameworks documents, found in each itslearning resource course.

    World Language

    For World Languages, a group of French, German, and Spanish teachers have looked at the Georgia Performance Standards for Modern Languages, the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do-Statements, various resources, and vertical progressions to determine FCS level 1-3 priority standards.  On our common performance-based unit assessments, these standards are given more attention than others.

    Physical Education/Health

    Not at this time.


    Q: What are WIDA and NET-S referenced on the “pink sheet”?

    A: WIDA is an international consortium out of the University of Wisconsin which provides English language proficiency standards, resources, assessments and professional development. ESOL teachers incorporate the WIDA standards in their lessons. They are available at www.WIDA.wisc.edu. If you have ELs at any level in your class, the resources maybe be very beneficial in planning your instruction. See an ESOL teacher at your school for more details.


    NETS is the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (formerly ISTE standards). They are incorporated into our digital citizenship plans. See your ITS on effectively incorporating these standards into your instruction

    Q: What if the standards don’t match the resources being used for instruction?

    A: Not all resources will align perfectly with the standards. FCS allows teachers flexibility to use a variety of resources as needed to teach the standards. In addition, instructional coaches, and ITSs are available for support.


    Q: How can we possibly have time to deconstruct all the standards in a grade/course?

    A:  Teaching and Learning recognizes this is a valid concern. Deconstructing standards is a vital part of the instructional process.When educators deconstruct their standards, it provides a rich opportunity to truly understand the intent and rigor of the standard. Below are some suggestions.

    • Work in pairs
    • Collaborate as a team
    • Do in chunks of time (by unit, 9-weeks)
    • Watch this nearpod lesson to support your work with deconstruction of standards and creating learning targets.


    Progression of Learning

    Q: Will the county develop pacing guides?

    A: Pacing guides can be determined by the state, county or school level depending on the grade, content area, or school level. See the chart below to clarify work that has been done in Forsyth County with pacing guides.



    Elementary: As we are implementing ARC in grade levels, a Core Team of coaches along with the ELA Content Specialist have been developing Curriculum Maps to guide teachers in knowing the standards that are addressed in each ARC unit.The Curriculum Maps are based upon the layout of standards in the Labs and address all standards.

    Secondary: The FCS ELA Curriculum Team has developed district curriculum guidance for grades 6-12. Guidance includes a course pacing guide, standards distribution chart, unit guides, and vertical content clarification. All guidance has been aligned to course resources, and every teacher in the district is invited to provide input through an ongoing feedback process. The curriculum team meets yearly to review teacher feedback and make decisions for revision. 


    Elementary: Teams of teacher leaders compared curriculum maps from the GaDOE with Envision Math scope and sequence. Teachers also looked at vertical progressions to determine the best pacing and sequencing. Documents can be found on the Math Homepage in the grade level  resource courses in itslearning.

    Secondary:Teams of mathematics teachers used the GaDOE curriculum maps as guidance documents in crafting the district’s pacing guides, which are housed in the FCS Resource Courses for each course.


    Elementary:GaDOE recommended pacing K-5 courses not impacted by ARC.

    Middle: GaDOE recommended pacing for non-EOCT courses 6-8. 6-12 curriculum teams have made modifications to GaDOE pacing for Physical Science and Biology.

    High: All other High School course pacing guides are in development.

    Social Studies

     Recommended pacing guides for K-5


    CTAE Pacing Guides are developed and updated on  a continual basis through District Pathway Planning efforts. CTAE progression allows for flexibility depending on industry-specific priorities and school focus.

    Fine Arts

    K-12 Curriculum Frameworks are developed and located in the subject area resource course.  Teachers are encouraged to build pacing guides as appropriate to the timing of their specific course

    World Language

    Pacing guides for Spanish 1,2,3 

    Pacing guides for French 1,2,3 and German 1,2,3 (in development)


    Physical Education/Health

    GaDOE recommended pacing K-12 PE. K-8 Health pacing guides under review. High School Health pacing guide is complete for face-to-face and virtual.


    Q: What does the planning section of the Instructional Framework look like with respect to lesson plans?

    A. The county does not have a standard lesson plan expectation. The decision as to the format/frequency and template is a school-based decision. However, understanding the planning cycle with respect to the Instructional Framework will be explored in future trainings.

    Q: Is there a way to get a half-day of planning each quarter to do the “plan” work with colleagues?

    A: Many schools do plan for substitutes to allow teachers to work with colleagues during the school day. This often involves support from coaches and content specialists from Teaching and Learning. Please discuss this with administration at your school.


    Success Criteria

    Q: How can we allow students to be involved in creating success criteria when they are not familiar with the content and/or the standard is very broad?

    A: There are times when teacher-created success criteria can be shared as it may not be appropriate for student involvement until a foundation of knowledge is built. Future training will be provided.

    Q: How do you get students to really invest the time to analyze the standards themselves so they can contribute to success criteria?

    A: Teachers analyze the standards and create learning targets from the standards. Once students understand the process, teachers can begin to have students analyze the standards and create success criteria with modeling and support as appropriate.


    For any additional questions, use the FAQs form