Ann LeonCongratulations to Ann Leon, a member of CORE’s Educational Services Team, for being awarded the California Reading & Literature Project: John Shefelbine Award for Leadership in Literacy. Ann is a 2019 CSU Sacramento Region recipient along with Johanna Kirkman, co-director of the California Reading & Literature Project.

In addition to 20 years as an elementary teacher, Ann has spent 19 years in the roles of intervention teacher, reading specialist, instructional coach, BTSA (beginning teacher) support provider, assistant principal, and literacy consultant. Ann had the privilege to learn from and work closely with the late John Shefelbine, lead author of SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, & Sight Words, © 2001, 2007, 2014) from 2000 to 2016. Her own growth and dedication evolved into supporting principals and teachers in professional learning – making instructional shifts toward powerful reading instruction by identifying and using Scientifically-Based Reading Research methods and programs, deepening teacher knowledge in their current practice, and utilizing a lesson study approach in working with students to support teachers.

We are proud of the work Ann does with educators across the country as a CORE Educational Services Consultant and are thrilled that she has achieved this honor.

Welcome to the spring 2019 edition of the CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

In this edition of the Academic Quarterly, we step back in time to Fall 2014 where we first published the following Reading Expert article. We believe the information is still very relevant in light of the current calls for standards-based curriculum and equity for all students. With that in mind, we resurface the article about the California ELA/ELD Framework. This article, written by those involved with developing the Framework, describes its unique features and design to support all students, especially English learners. With the high expectations of the Common Core State Standards and other state standards, it is important to revisit the notion that standards themselves are not a curriculum. The powerful statement in the introduction, “the absence of such efforts to move from the standards themselves to a coherent and sequenced curriculum will hamper many states and local district common core implementation efforts” reminds us again that we need to think beyond loosely designed Units of Study. Instead, we need to think about implementing effective curriculum that teachers do not have to create, but can use as a tool to provide high quality teaching.

The Marvelous Mathematician article focuses on incorporating explicit instructional techniques into both direct instruction math lessons and inquiry-based math lessons.

Finally, the Leadership Corner also steps back into time where we revisit the importance of an effective MTSS plan for secondary students who are struggling. Although an effective, standards-based Tier 1 curriculum is very important, it alone will not be enough for students who are struggling.


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Regardless of grade level, there are four fundamental things educators must do for their students to experience math success.

1. Apply explicit instructional techniques effectively to both direct and inquiry-based instruction
2. Develop student use and understanding of mathematical vocabulary
3. Differentiate instruction easily and appropriately
4. Promote the active use of discourse strategies to deepen mathematical understanding

During this hour-long webinar, CORE’s Director of Mathematics, Dean Ballard, examines all four requirements and share tips and techniques to ensure they are all incorporated into math instruction.

Members of the CORE team were in Long Beach, California March 20-23 at the annual CABE conference. In addition to exhibiting at the event, CORE presented two sessions. The handouts are available for download.


NABE ConferenceMembers of the CORE team were in Lake Buena Vista, Florida March 7-9 at the annual NABE conference. In addition to exhibiting at the event, CORE presented five sessions. The handouts are available for download.


Welcome to the winter 2019 edition of the CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

In this edition, you’ll find the Reading Expert examining the role of Guided Reading in differentiated small group instruction while the Marvelous Mathematician completes his second article in a two-part series on students with disabilities. This article focuses on the types of materials and knowledge teachers need for teaching math to students with disabilities, particularly mathematical disabilities. Don’t miss the Leadership Corner where you’ll find links to download two recently updated IES practice guides from the What Works Clearinghouse.


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CORE is excited to now offer the schools and districts we work with digiCOACH, an advanced online coaching system that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of teacher coaching. As an official digiCOACH reseller, CORE will facilitate the implementation of digiCOACH and support school leaders in learning how to use the data they collect to inform and guide ongoing professional learning for their staff that leads to improved instruction.

Through the digiCOACH platform, CORE Educational Consultants will have access to the data collected from the classroom observations of the schools they work with which will help them identify gaps in knowledge and areas in which school leaders need additional guidance.

Learn more about digiCOACH.


When teachers have a range of evidence-based solutions at their fingertips, and a solid plan to effectively use them, they can better meet the needs of students who struggle with math.

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn best practices and practical advice to support these students from CORE’s Director of Mathematics, Dean Ballard.

Dean reviews:


Help accelerate math achievement with resources and strategies that ensure students receive instruction and supports appropriate to their individual needs.

Building a School Culture Where Everyone Grows

Adult development of teachers, leaders, and staff is often ignored or neglected, leading to toxic or compliance-driven cultures and limited growth. Join Pivot for two events to learn how they work with education leaders to design schools where adults, students, and communities can flourish and continuously improve together.

Webinar: February 7, 1:00-2:00 PM PST

Pivot’s Beyond High School initiative has helped schools transform their learning environments to continuously improve the performance of both leaders and students. Join us for a conversation and useful tools to help your school rethink adult development to support capacity building and school improvement.

Panelists include:

  • Arun Ramanathan, Ed.D., CEO, Pivot Learning
  • Laura Flaxman, Ed.L.D., Vice President, Pivot Learning
  • Daniel “PK” Diffenbaugh, Ed.L.D., Superintendent, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District




Symposium: February 28-29, 2019

Location: Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, Monterey, CA

See in action how one district designed a culture where individuals and team members are continuously growing and improving while tackling their equity challenges.

In our interactive professional development sessions, learn practical strategies and tools to help your school rethink its culture to support capacity building and school improvement for all.




Reading is a complex process that involves quickly and accurately recognizing words, understanding the meaning of words, and making sense of their meaning in context. Students identified with reading difficulties most often struggle with word reading.

During this on-demand webinar Dr. David A. Kilpatrick, author of Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties, discusses the importance of understanding the nature of word-level reading development and word-level reading problems in order to accurately assess reading difficulties and implement effective interventions.

Watch the webinar to learn: