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Focusing Remote Learning Through Standards Prioritization

Teachers collaborate to create recommendations


To prioritize standards needed for mastery, the district gathered together teachers who taught the same subject and grade level to analyze standards and determine prioritization.

When the pandemic abruptly forced Renton School District into remote learning, the district knew that it needed to quickly support teachers with guidance about not only how to teach but also what to teach. The scope and sequence as planned for a normal school year simply wouldn’t be tenable in an ever-evolving, limited, remote setting. So district leaders created collaborative space for teachers across the district to analyze standards, determine prioritization, and ultimately make recommendations for high-impact learning activities aligned to those standards.


To prioritize standards, district leaders brought together teachers from across the district who taught the same subject and grade level. Virtual meetings and shared documents allowed for cross-school synchronous and asynchronous collaboration. Some steps that the district took to ensure success included:

  • The district created a simple template for each grade level and subject area to use during implementation (e.g., 8th science).

  • The small groups of teachers then worked collaboratively to prioritize standards, break them down by unit, even down to the lesson level.

  • The district encouraged teachers to identify the most important learning activities and suggestions for adapting the activities for a remote setting.

  • The teacher teams created robust recommendations for each grade level and subject area, building confidence and agency among teachers, and ensuring that remote learning focused on the most important content and learning activities.

This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.

Strategy Resources

Focusing Learning Through Standards Prioritization at Renton Public Schools

This video of Bob Ettinger, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Renton School District... Learn More