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Common Core at Tri-City Christian School

Frequently Asked Questions:

Click on a question below to view answer.

What is Common Core?

A. Common Core is often misunderstood as a new curriculum. It is not a curriculum. Common Core is a new broad set of national standards established to shape and govern the general education standards and assessments in public schools. Some states, including California, have added additional standards.

Where did Common Core come from? Who developed these standards?

A. Common Core standards were initiated by the National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief State School Officers (made up of K-12 educators from across the nation) with the intention of creating a collaborative set of standards that would be broad based-across the states and districts.   

Is there a standardized test that Common Core will bring?

A. Yes. But, private school students are not required to take these state tests. TCCS will not be taking the SBAC. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is writing the new test that will no longer include multiple choice or true and false questions.   

Is it true that the SAT/ACT are being re-written?

A. Yes, the college entrance tests SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (American College Test) are being rewritten to align with the Common Core standards. Spring 2015 is the projected target date for the redesigned SAT.

Common Core-what does this mean for the TCCS curriculum?

A. TCCS utilizes goals and objectives, which serve the same function as educational standards. As an independent Christian school, we have the autonomy to establish standards for our students. Our current standards are a product of research and evaluation by our academic departments. During the process of creating our school’s curriculum standards, we reviewed a variety of state and national academic standards such as the former California Content Standards, Advanced Placement Standards, New Generation Science Standards, and Common Core Standards.

TCCS uses standards as springboards, not ceilings in pursuing academic excellence. Our commitment to prepare our students is to always exceed standards in our academic curriculum and instruction because we desire to build up and prepare spiritually minded scholars who will make a difference for Jesus Christ in their culture.     

Common Core is not new to TCCS because we consistently send 90% or above of our students to college—and they leave prepared for success!

A. TCCS has long been incorporating what Common Core is striving to do in the area of English in terms of developing critical thinking skills, attentive reading, cogent, evidence-based reasoning; creative and purposeful expression. High level thinking skills, discerning, evaluating, and analyzing are all skills that we want our students to develop as Christ-centered scholars, and we have long been integrating these practices in our well established program.

In math, Common Core State Standards Initiative is to detail and standardize what K-12 students from each state should know upon leaving each grade level. These criteria were adapted from the five process standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the proficiency strands in the National Research Council’s Adding It Up report. They are intended to achieve greater focus on coherence in the mathematics curriculum across the grade levels, leading to greater depth of application and understanding for individual students. Simply put, it is what many call, “good teaching.”

Because over 90% of our students on average attend college after graduating from TCCS, it is important that we consider the Common Core when planning our curriculum as colleges will be expecting that students have been prepared accordingly.

As a college preparatory school, TCCS will continue to aim to have as many 8th grade Algebra I ready students taking a rigorous path preparing them for higher learning. At the same time, it is understood that not all students are ready for the full extent of abstract algebraic thinking required in 8th grade. Therefore, these students pursue a two-year algebra program. TCCS will continue to provide every opportunity for a student to be successful in mathematics.


TCCS will annually review its academic curriculum as it is our mission to be a Christ-centered college preparatory educational community that pursues excellence for the glory of God.

TCCS will remain committed to being a distinctive Christian school, unwavering in our commitment of recognizing the Lordship of Jesus Christ and remaining true to founding everything we do on the Word of God.

Where it makes perfect sense to adopt standards that coincide with the mission of TCCS, we will do so. However, where it makes no sense at all, we will not adopt any standards that go against our mission and vision.

For More Information Download:


Myths v. Facts About the Common Core Standards

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 12:24
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