It's Elementary!

         an online forum for information from the Director of Elementary Education, Kelly K. Cartwright, Ed.D.

December 8, 2010

Pennsylvania Standards Aligned System (SAS)

Filed under: K-12 — Kelly Cartwright @ 5:35 pm
Tags: ,

This week I attended my third (at least) multi-day conference over the past year during which the SAS portal was the focal point. PDE unveiled the SAS portal about a year ago, and continues to add to and update the site as changes occur. One important change that must be incorporated into the site will be the transition from the Pennsylvania Academic Standards to the Common Core Standards.  

If you have not visited the site yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. There are a variety of resources available to educators and it promises to keep getting better. You may easily register ( as a user by providing your name, e-mail address, and a password. Once you have explored the site, I encourage you to continue to visit in order to stay abreast of the changes, particularly with regard to the Common Core Standards.

The Pennsylvania Standards Aligned System (SAS) is a collaborative project of research and good practice that identifies six distinct elements that ensure student achievement and provides a common framework for continuous school and district enhancement and improvement.

Clear Standards describe what students should know and be able to do. The assessment anchors clarify the standards assessed on the PSSA. Eligible content identifies how deeply an anchor should be explored and specifies the range of content to best prepare students for the PSSA.

Fair Assessment is a process used by teachers and students before, during, and after instruction to provide feedback and adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve student achievement. The four types of assessment include summative, formative, benchmark, and diagnostic.

Curriculum Framework components include big ideas, concepts, competencies, essential questions, vocabulary, and exemplars.

Aligned Instruction includes teaching topics aligned with the standards, ensuring the right level of challenge, focusing teaching based on the learning needs of each student, and implementing instructional strategies to increase student achievement.

Materials & Resources includes the Voluntary Model Curriculum (VMC) incorporating learning progressions, units, lesson plans, and content resources aligned to the standards in curriculum frameworks for the four major content areas (math, science, social studies, and reading-writing-speaking-listening). Learning progressions span grades K-12 and include what all students should know and be able to do as a result of successfully moving through grades K-8 and taking specific courses in grades 9-12.

Interventions ensure students are provided with supports they need to meet or exceed grade level standards. A comprehensive system of interventions involves a graduated set of safety nets aligned to specific student needs and Standards.

As a district, we are planning to include information and training on the Common Core beginning in April 2011 and into next school year. You will be hearing much more about SAS and the Common Core Standards, which go into effect on July 1, 2013. Learn more about the Common Core Standards initiative by clicking here.

When we treat a person as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make of him what he should be. Goethe

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


WPMU Theme pack by WPMU-DEV.