Standards & Instructional Support

The Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support is responsible for the areas of Healthy Schools, Humanities, Instructional Materials, Library Media Services and Instructional Technology, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Our mission is to provide leadership, coordination, and technical assistance for implementing legislation, State Board of Education policy and rule, and Department initiatives pertaining to curriculum and instruction for Florida students and teachers.

Services are provided for district and school staff members, parents and students, Department of Education staff, other state agencies, college faculty, and professional education associations. Our goal is for all Florida students totaling more than 2.6 million to receive a high quality education that will prepare them to be active citizens, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners.

The Bureau is responsible for the development and implementation of Florida's Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for the Arts, Health Education, Physical Education, Science, and Social Studies, as well as the implementation of Florida's newest sets of standards for English Language Arts/Reading and Mathematics. Our new standards also include standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Successful implementation of these rigorous and relevant standards will prepare Florida's students for college and career.

The Bureau also manages more than $30,000,000.00 in federal and state grants to support professional development for teachers and administrators throughout the state as well as the development of quality instructional tools.

Centers of Excellence in Elementary Teacher Preparation grant Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

Instructional Resources

The 2013-2014 "blended" course descriptions for mathematics aligned to our new standards as well as Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for assessment purposes during this year of transition are now available on Florida's standards database (CPALMS) at

The Mathematics Formative Assessment System (MFAS) contains a collection of formative assessment tasks and rubrics covering each of the Florida Mathematics Standards in grades K-8, Algebra, and Geometry. These resources are now available at

Professional Development Toolkits (K-8) specific to the Florida English/Language Arts Formative Assessment System and Florida Standards provide teachers with a storehouse of information and resources to support teaching and learning. These resources support teachers in completing lessons and can enhance the Lesson Study process through differentiated instruction. These resources are available at ELA Reposit.

Teachers' Standards Instructional Tools (TSIT) to allow teacher to individually Collaborate Plan Align Learn Motivate Share (iCPALMS) are now available online. Sign-in or register online for an iCPALMS account at Tools include but are not limited to the following:

  • Curriculum Mapping Tool
  • Lesson Planning Tool
  • Lesson Study Support System
  • Online Professional Development Modules
  • Standards Progression Mapping
  • Standards Visualizer

Race to the Top Projects

Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) - Mathematics Formative Assessment System (MFAS)

The Mathematics Formative Assessment System for the K-3 Florida Standards (K-3 MFAS-FS) is designed to support effective teaching and learning of more rigorous K-3 mathematics concepts associated with the Florida Standards, and for all students, higher mathematics achievement and a stronger conceptual foundation essential to the development of advanced mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Teachers practicing formative assessment ask students to perform tasks, explain their reasoning and justify their solutions. The evidence gathered enables teachers to differentiate instruction based on students' cognitive strategies rather than solely on incorrect answers. The system includes four interdependent components:
  1. For each K-3 Florida Standard in Mathematics, at least four tasks and rubrics are available to assist teachers in gathering evidence of students' thinking in order to identify gaps in students understanding as well as misconceptions. The rubrics provide guidance to teachers in differentiating instruction as their students progress from the earliest stages of understanding concepts associated with each standard through full understanding.
  2. A web-based system and tools will provide teachers with full access to the standards and rubrics as well as five professional development modules focused on formative assessment and the use of MFAS-FS in the classroom. All are available at, Florida's official source for standard information and course descriptions.
  3. Eighteen (18) lesson study toolkits aligned to the domains of the grades K - 3 FS in mathematics are available to support teachers as they work in collaboration to plan instruction related to the new standards. The toolkits are presented in the context of the Lesson Study Support System accessible at
  4. The results of two randomized studies designed to test the effects of formative assessment on students' mathematics achievement and teachers' mathematics content knowledge will be published.

The 2013-2014 MFAS Project

MFAS-FS Facilitator Training

The results of the year-long study of the Mathematics Formative Assessment System-Florida Standards (MFAS-FS) in grades K and 1 last year (2012-2013) demonstrated positive statistically significant effects on an end-of-year assessment of the FS in mathematics as well as statistically significant effects for MFAS on teachers' mathematics content knowledge. Critical to the effectiveness of MFAS is support for teams of teachers implementing MFAS with their students. This year, the MFAS project is offering lead facilitator training sessions to district math coaches and specialists throughout the state of Florida. The purpose of the training is build capacity for supporting teachers in implementing the K-3 MFAS-FS. Following the initial training sessions, these lead MFAS-FS facilitators will partner with MFAS team members to train and support additional MFAS facilitators in their districts.

MFAS-FS: Grades 4 - 8, Algebra I, and Geometry

The K - 3 MFAS is now being extended to include grades 4 - 8, Algebra I, and Geometry. An average of four tasks per standard are currently under development for each of the grades 4 - 8 Florida Standards in mathematics and for each Florida Standard in mathematics associated with the Florida 2014 and beyond Algebra I and Geometry courses. As with the K - 3 MFAS, the tasks will assists teachers in evaluating the evidence of student's thinking and work. The rubrics associated with each task will enable teachers to place student responses at one of several levels ranging from little or no understanding to a demonstration of proficiency. The rubrics will include specific misconceptions and errors that might be encountered, sample student responses, additional questions to elicit student thinking, and instructional implications. The 4 - 8, Algebra I, and Geometry tasks and rubrics will be available June 30, 2014 on CPALMS.

Algebra I and Geometry Lesson Study Resource Kits

To help teachers transition to the Florida 2014 and Beyond Algebra I and Geometry courses, two lesson study resource kits are under development, one for each course. These research-based lesson study resource kits will include guidance for teachers in developing explicit lesson goals and student learning goals aligned with the key knowledge, skills, and abilities of the FS as well as standards-based lessons. In the context of the resource kits, teachers are guided to collect data appropriate for monitoring student learning, including formative assessment data that can inform subsequent instruction. The Algebra I and Geometry resource kits will be available June 30, 2014 on CPALMS.

Panhandle Area Education Consortium (PAEC) - STEM for Gifted and Talented in Rural Districts

The purpose of this project is to provide gifted and talented students in small rural districts with an opportunity to participate in rigorous learning experiences related to content in the areas of STEM and to have access to highly effective mathematics and science teachers, professors, researchers, and business persons to provide instruction and mentorships to Florida's most gifted and talented students. Major milestones to date include:
  • Personnel from Florida's three educational consortia, the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium, Heartland Educational Consortium, and North East Educational Consortium are currently working with almost 1400 gifted and talented high school students from 54 schools across twenty-seven of Florida's small and rural school districts.
  • Project advisory boards have brought individuals from school districts, higher education, business and industry, workforce, and economic development together to join forces to explore issues related to the STEM talent gap from the various perspectives and to collaborate in order to provide STEM-related learning experiences.
  • Since January 2012, FloridaLearns STEM Scholars participants have taken part in 60 regional forums on the campuses of community colleges, regional colleges, or universities. Forums have provided opportunities for students to interact with faculty members, scientists, STEM business and industry professionals and take part in collaborative problem-solving and leadership development activities. As of June 2013 forum participation was 3,149.
  • STEM career and financial aid information has provided for 2,236 attendees at 105 parent/student nights since project inception.
  • The project's distance learning initiative has expanded to involve 34 schools. Two-way interactive distance learning equipment and iPads are in use as means to deliver and/or receive rigorous STEM content, such as AP science, AP calculus, Honors Chemistry, and dual enrollment college courses, in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.
  • Since the summer of 2012, 14 regional Summer Challenge experiences have been provided for 395 participants. During the Challenges students spent multiple days delving deeply into a variety of open-ended STEM problems, enriching knowledge and skills, interacting with higher education faculty, and learning more about STEM careers. In the summer of 2014 students will again have the opportunity to take part in regional Summer Challenges. At the end of the project's funding period, the curricula will be made available to school districts, regional colleges, community colleges, or universities in order to sustain this project activity with a minimal investment.
  • The FloridaLearns STEM Scholars Talent Development Initiative is well underway! More than 300 STEM-related businesses have been contacted and 111 have signed on to provide a variety of STEM talent development opportunities that include tours, career coaching, shadowing, mentoring, or internship experiences.
  • The STEM Talent Development initiative increased the intensity of experiences offered during the summer of 2013 as 93 students and teachers spent eight days "on the job" at a STEM-related workplace or field site. These experiences will be offered during the summer of 2014 and project personnel plan to expand the number of options and increase total participation.
  • Three project-sponsored, University of Florida Immersion into STEM experiences attracted 87 STEM Scholars to the UF campus this past summer. There students engaged in a series of lectures and hands-on STEM experiences, while gaining valuable insight into STEM academic and career options and living as college residents.
  • For information about project activities, please visit

Florida State University - Teacher Standards Instructional Tools (TSIT)

By the 2012-2013 school year, teacher support tools to implement the FS will be accessible to all teachers in Florida through CPALMS. CPALMS is an online toolbox that helps teachers effectively implement teaching standards through providing them information, resources, tools, and professional development. CPALMS is also the State of Florida's official source for standards information and course descriptions. The FS have been integrated within Florida's standards database and all the tools (e.g., lesson planning tool) available on CPALMS. Major milestones to date include:
  1. Thousands of Freely available Instructional/Educational Resources to Support the Implementation of the Standards
    CPALMS provides thousands of standards-aligned teaching resources and original content. All resources have been recommended, created, and have undergone a rigorous review process that includes educators and subject area experts prior to their publication on the website.

    Published resources are freely accessible and can be found on the standard or course description pages. By locating a course or standard, you will find all the available resources related to it.

    Resources on CPALMS include a wide range of variety such as: full lesson plans and units of instruction, Model Eliciting Activities (integrated STEM lessons and activities), virtual manipulatives, games/simulations, videos, formative and other type of assessments, lesson study toolkits, learning progression maps, professional development modules, and several others.

    More than 11,650+ resources have been submitted and undergoing review, approximately 5,650+ have been published, 4,100+ aligned to the FS, and thousands more in the review process through the following CPALMS initiatives:

    • Lesson Plan Development: Educators and subject area experts from across the state are engaged in teams to add more than 2,000 full model lessons specific to the mathematics, science, and English language arts standards. More information on lesson plan development
    • Model Eliciting Activities (MEAs): MEAs are open-ended, engineering-based interdisciplinary problems (e.g., science, mathematics, English language arts) that require students to create solutions in the form of mathematical and scientific models that reveal their thinking about concepts embedded in the problem. More than 250 MEAs are now available and more than 500 will be added by June 2014. Click to learn more about MEAs and watch an introduction video
    • Standards Progression Maps: The CPALMS standards progression maps are interactive visual representations of the flow of concepts and skills contained in educational standards. The interactive maps for the FS mathematics and English language arts have been developed in 29 total maps. The science standards will be mapped by June of 2014. Access the standards progression maps
    • Perspectives - a standards-based brief video series: 4-6 minute brief videos featuring FS mathematics and NGSSS science standards discussed by experts, teachers, professionals, and skilled enthusiasts! Resources for professional development, lesson/ curriculum development, and classroom viewing. More than 130 are currently available and a total of 200 will be created by June 0f 2014. Learn more about Perspectives and access sample videos
    • Lesson Study Toolkits & Support System: One of the project goals is to produce four toolkits by June of 2014 for each of the following subjects: mathematics, science, and English language arts. Several toolkits have been published and many more will be added throughout 2013. A Lesson Study Support System was added to iCPALMS and provides a step-by-step guide and collaboration platform for teams of teachers engaged in lesson study cycles. More information on lesson study toolkits and the support system
    • Rating the FS for Content Complexity: CPALMS developed and published a common description for the four different levels of content complexity, the ratings for each of the standards, an introduction video on the ratings and process, and a PD module specific for teachers. More information about rating the FS for content complexity
  2. Planning Tools and iCPALMS
    iCPALMS is the individualized portion of the system and it is a web 2.0 platform with embedded web apps, services, content, and professional development that together help bridge standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment through collaboration and customization by individual users. Access to iCPALMS requires setting up a free account. iCPALMS currently has 14 web apps that include:
    • My resources: provides recommendations for instructional resources that you can use in the classroom. It also provides you access to build and submit resources (e.g., lesson plans) to share on CPALMS.
    • My Planner: helps you create an interactive curriculum plan, share it with others, and integrate the plan with your district schedule and iCPALMS calendar.
    • Standards Visualizer: that enables you to interact with the standards like never before.
    • Lesson Study Support System: guides you through and serve as a collaborative tool through lesson study cycles.
    • Standards progression mapping tool: enables you to view the published FS maps and build your own.

    These are only few of the available apps on iCPALMS.

    Additional information on iCPALMS apps | Login/Register for an account | Open a tutorial for setting up an account

  3. Professional Development Opportunities
    The CPALMS team has provided hundreds of face-to-face and web-based training sessions to educators around the state and is available to do the same at your school/district. The following PD programs are currently available to all schools and districts in Florida:
    • Workshops and Conferences: CPALMS has provided more than 150 presentations so far and plans to continue presenting at statewide teacher conferences related to math, science, English language arts, and technology.
    • Regional Coordinators: the CPALMS regional coordinators are available to provide training sessions to districts, coaches, or even a group of educators interested in leveraging CPALMS/iCPALMS. Request your customized session today by filling the online request form.
    • iCPALMS Champions: The Champions is a network of expert CPALMS users who will serve as the professional development coordinator within their local school/district. There are currently 48 champions throughout the state and this number will double in the upcoming year.
    • Custom Webinars: More than 80 webinars have been provided to educators around the state. Request your customized webinar today by filling the online request form.

Online Tutorials: a series of online tutorials is available to support the website users with the use of the different tools and components of CPALMS. You can access these tutorials under the iCPALMS section of the website by clicking on "Related tips/tutorials". Many more tutorials are added to support the different website functionalities and tools.

Course Requirements K-12

Florida Statute, 1003.42, provides for required courses and instruction to ensure that students meet State Board of Education adopted standards. Most specifically, members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historic accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction.

State Board of Education Rule 6A-1.09412 Course Requirements - Grades K-12 Basic and Adult Secondary Programs reads: A course description directs district personnel by providing the essential content and course requirements for each course in grades K-12 contained in the "Course Code Directory and Instructional Personnel Assignments" adopted by Rule 6A-1.09441, F.A.C. Course requirements approved by the State Board of Education and are (available) online.

Course descriptions (requirements) define content standards for all subject area and grades K-12. For additional information, please contact any subject area specialist within the Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support.

BSIS Areas

  • Healthy Schools - The mission of Healthy Schools is to create supportive school environments that provide students and staff the opportunity to develop positive health related decision-making skills, leading to optimal academic success and quality of life. Staff members in our office are available to assist with health education curriculum, physical education curriculum, and the creation of healthy school teams.
  • Humanities - Humanities provides curricular and instructional leadership in the areas of the fine arts, the language arts, the social sciences and gifted education. Its mission is to enhance instruction and learning in these areas through curricular articulation and integration, as well as through innovative K-12 content organization and instructional pedagogy.
  • Instructional Materials - Instructional Materials implements the Statute driven State Instructional Materials Adoption process. The mission of the office is to ensure that the highest quality instructional materials, aligned to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (Florida Standards) are available to Florida’s students and teachers.
  • Library Media Services and Instructional Technology - The mission of Library Media Services and Instructional Technology is to collaborate with all stakeholders to assist schools in providing a quality education for all students and to provide guidance in delivering excellent library media and instructional technology programs. Specifically, through library media and instructional technology programs, students will become active and creative locators, evaluators, and users of information.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) - STEM works collaboratively with the Division of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and the Bureau of School Improvement (BSI) to define research-based state education policy and programs for the state of Florida to increase student knowledge and performance in STEM related content areas.

Other Related Curriculum Areas


Dr. Steve Neely, Bureau Chief
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 432
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
Phone: 850-245-7830
Fax: 850-245-0826