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Office of Standards and Instructional Support
The Office of Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) consists of full-time and part-time staff of content specialists with expertise in all areas within the Colorado Academic Standards. This team is committed to supporting education professionals across the state in implementing the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) for student success. The team provides guidance and expertise through technical assistance, both internally and externally, related to standards implementation and instructional support.
Standards vs. Curriculum, What's the Difference?
Standards are broad learning goals articulating what students should know, understand, and be able to do over a given time.
A curriculum is an organized plan of instruction, comprised of a sequence of instructional units, that engages students in mastering the standards. Resources such as instructional materials and textbooks support curriculum.
In Colorado, standards are developed by Colorado teachers and go through a public feedback process before being approved by the State Board of Education. Curriculum decisions are left to local school districts.
Standards Review and Revision Process
The State Board of Education is required by state statute to revise approximately one-third of the standards beginning in 2022 and an additional one-third every two years thereafter. Through this updated process, the standards have been divided into three groups. Groups contain content areas that are each reviewed by a committee of education stakeholders and the public before recommended revisions are considered by the state board. One-third of the standards that were adopted in 2018 began the review and revision cycle beginning in fall of 2020.
News and Announcements
Colorado Academic Standards for Social Studies
At its November meeting, the Colorado State Board of Education approved final revisions to Colorado Academic Standards for social studies after adding the contributions of ethnic and religious groups as well as LGTBQ+ people in the teaching of history and civil government.
In November 2022, the State Board of Education approved the Colorado Academic Standards for Social Studies. Within these standards are the standards for the Holocaust and other genocides. This document illustrates ONLY the standards for the Holocaust and other genocides that can be used by school districts to determine which courses required for graduation will include the standards for teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides.
A Holocaust and Genocide Implementation Guide. This guide was written by members of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies committee. The purpose of this guide is to support teachers in teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides. Included in the guide is background information for teaching about genocide, write-ups about genocides found in the standards, a sample lesson plan, and professional development resources.
Legislated Grants, Committees and Commissions
Resources in Response to COVID-19
The Office of Standards and Instructional Support has contributed to resources that support educators during these unprecedented times. The following are the most requested areas to find answers to frequently asked questions. In addition, a frequent question our office receives is in regard to priority standards. Our office implements legislation and current legislation does not prioritize specific grade-level expectations in any content area. Therefore, we operate to assist districts in implementing standards that are adopted by the State Board of Education in all content areas. Curricular decisions are made at the local level.
NEW! (August 2021) How should schools use COVID relief funds to make long-term investments in curriculum and instruction? This short guide has recommendations about investing in personnel, using evidence to select high-quality curriculum materials, implementing strong PD programs, and more.