Common Core and Carden Conejo

What is the Common Core?

The Common Core State Standards were developed by state leaders through the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  The goal was to develop a consistent set of standards across all states in Mathematics and English language arts for each grade level so that a child will have the opportunity to become proficient no matter what public school they attend.

The Common Core is not a curriculum but a clear set of guidelines for what students should know and be able to do, at each grade level in Mathematics and English language arts.

What Does This Mean to Carden Conejo?

While public schools in California are mandated to implement these new standards, private schools can choose what standards to use to meet their educational goals and what is best for their students.  Carden Conejo aims for superior performance in academics, a high degree of accuracy in all work, and unflagging perseverance until a task is complete.  We have a 42-year tradition of consistency and high achievement that exceeds the narrow focus of the Common Core Standards by demanding a higher level of performance than proficient and offering a rich curriculum taught by specialist teachers.  Carden Conejo’s curriculum have been proven successful and current.

English Language Arts

In English Language Arts, the Common Core standards refer to specific standards of reading, writing, speaking and listening.  These standards guide students toward creative and purposeful expression in language.  The Carden curriculum has always met these goals, but also includes classical literature that teaches a lesson, tells a story or evokes a powerful image in the mind of each reader.  Our superior grammar standards enable students to learn a foreign language so that their future has no geographic limit.  When a student performs 15 poems a year and hears others present poetry each Friday, the wealth of knowledge and depth of understanding he attains is of incalculable value towards his future success. A Carden student is well-rounded, well-read, and articulate.


The Common Core standards call for, “learning mathematical content in the context of real-world situations, using mathematics to solve problems, and developing habits of mind that foster mastery of mathematics content as well as mathematical understanding.”  Carden Conejo implemented the Singapore Math program, modeled on mathematics teaching in Singapore, which consistently ranks high in international mathematics comparisons.   The curriculum was developed to increase student mastery of math and particularly the ability to solve word based problems. Singapore Math addresses concepts from a number of directions that challenge students to think and understand.  We currently use the California Standards Edition which introduces some concepts earlier than specified for Common Core.  The most striking feature about Singapore Math is that each unit has challenge problems so that students are not limited to performing at grade level but can solve above-grade-level stretch questions that keep them engaged and learning.