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ELA Spotlight



Navigating Change 2020



ELA 9-12 Competency Assessments: The ELA 9-12 Competency Assessments are on pp. 843-851.  These will provide insight into the progression of the competency.  Remember level 3 is the target for a graduate from your high school.     


ELA 6-8 Grade-Band Competency Codes: The ELA 6-8 Grade-Band Competency Codes are missing from the Navigating Change 2020 document.  These coes are necessary because they cross reference within section titled Implementation: Instructional Examples.  Within these examples, one will find the heading Competency Codes Addressed.  This may give you valuable insight into how to combine competencies within ELA or across various disciplines.  Hit the link above for access. 


ELA 3-5 Grade-Band Competency:  Reading Foundational 5.1:  One of ELA 3-5 Grade-Band Competencies is missing from the Navigating Change document: Reading Foundational 5.1 is missing from both the Competencies and Assessments section.  Hit the link above for access. 


Frequently Asked Questions: 

As teachers, curriculum directors, and administrations delve into the Navigating Change 2020 document, many questions surround ELA competencies, assessments, and instructional examples withinthe Navigating Change 2020,  Plese contact me at jmcrell@ksde.org if you have additional questions.


What is the difference between a priority and extended competencies?  Priority competencies are those competeincies that are essential learning; whereas, extended standards allow for differentiation if your kiddos already can independently complete the level 3 target on the assessment or the kiddos  pace quicker through the information. Therefore, priority competencies are your focus unless the student already knows the information and can manipulate it to reach level 4.

Why are the competencies numbered?  What do the numbers mean? The competencies are numbered to denote the principle (category) and the competency. A naming protocol, which can be found on the following pages, was used to standardize the coding:  

The ELA.MS 1.9 means that it connects to the first competency and the ninth learning target in the list.  . Therefore, a ELA.MS 2.3 would be the second competency and the third learning target under the competency.  These are used only on the instructional examples under a section titled Competency Codes used.  The learning targets are found on the assessments documents. 

I want to make sure that in Grade Band 6-8....Level 1 is 6th Grade, Level 2 is 7th Grade, and Level 3 is 8th Grade.  Level 4 is rock star...above and beyond.  It's a more of a 30,000 ft. view of where students should be at that grade level with that particular standard?  Am I interpreting that correctly?   The 6-8 grade band considered the competencies in a different light than by grade level.  They considered the learning targets that break down the competency and then gave a progression of how the skill developed; therefore, they are not aligned to the specific grade levels.  They chose this because redesign schools could use this to advance students on learning concepts by their ability and not a particular grade level.  Therefore, it could enhance personalized learning.

I need to construct a unit using the competencies.  Where do I find the competencies for grade 9? Confusion is warranted!  The 9-12 ELA competencies were grade banded, and the outcome they considered is what a graduate from high school should know and be able to do.  Therefore, there isn’t a reference to individual grade levels; however, the competency rubrics (pp. 843-851) will provide some insight.  These competency rubrics provide a progression for graduates to achieve the target of level 3.  Therefore, your goal in developing your unit is to progress students toward that level 3.

 In a competency-based model, students move through the curriculum in a personalized way at their own pace, which is also aligned to their individual plan of study. Students progress or advance by demonstrating mastery when they are ready, not based on seat time or calendars.  This means we need to give students multiple paths and opportunties to learning along with consistent feedback in order for them to progress.

 Another idea is to consider the 6-8 grade band ELA competencies.  These were written with the consideration that an incoming freshman would have the skills to access any learning pathway.  The level 3 target represents this ideal.  The level 4 target may be considered advanced for that target.  This may also give you additional insight in planning your unit. These are on pages 573-580 of the Navigating Change 2020 document. 

For other grade levels, please consult the Assessment section of your grade-band and the higher or lower grade band for differentiation opportunities for grades 2-3, 5-6, and 8-9. 


Please contact Joann McRell for additional information at  jmcrell@ksde.org or 785.296.2144.


KSDE has an English Language Arts listserv available for those interested in receiving information about upcoming trainings and current updates with standards and assessments. If you would like to be added to this list, please email Joann McRell at jmcrell@ksde.org.




Joann McRell

  • English-Language Arts Consultant

  • jmcrell@ksde.org

  • (785) 296-2144

Juanita Anderson

  • Administrative Assistant

  • janderson@ksde.org

  • (785) 296-1978

Kyle Lord

  • Library, Media, and Technology consultant

  • klord@ksde.org

  • (785) 296-3142 

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