About This Site

Launched in April 2020 in response to the sudden suspension of in-person instruction in New York public schools, EssentialEd was a collaborative effort between Capital Region BOCES and its 24 component school districts to offer curated resources for P-12 educators to support them with online learning.

Moving forward, Capital Region BOCES has focused its efforts on lessons mapped to the priority curriculum standards for K-8 ELA, math, science and social studies. These customizable, standards-based units are available to teachers, districts or BOCES who sign up for the Essential Ed Website service through Capital Region BOCES. Although conceived of and created for Capital Region educators, we welcome educators throughout New York who may find it helpful.

The Essential Ed Components

Essential Ed subscribers receive access to the following materials to support curriculum planning:

Standards-based units

Curriculum units can be accessed using the grade-level links in the main navigation bar.

Essential Ed provides customizable, standards-based curriculum units in the four core content areas for prekindergarten through Grade 8. Each unit includes an overview and a customizable Google Doc lesson plan that educators can download to use for their own planning. 

Differentiated Support documents

These documents appear as links alongside each unit.

Differentiated Support Documents have been created for each unit to support teachers with identifying how to focus instruction to foster growth with all students. These documents lay out the typical progression of knowledge and skills that lead to common misconceptions within the unit. Advantages of using the Differentiated Support Documents include opportunities to: (1) individualize instruction (2) make significant concepts more accessible for students with learning differences (3) further learning for students who have already mastered the knowledge and skills within the unit.


These documents appear as links alongside each math and science unit.

Math and science units are also accompanied by a rubric to support teachers in evaluating student skills and understanding as it relates to that specific unit.

Skills Progressions

The ELA, math, social studies and science skills progression documents were developed to support teachers with gaining a more holistic vertical understanding of the progression of knowledge and skills within each standard/practice. These documents can be used to identify individual student understanding, allowing for focused direct instruction to bridge gaps in student learning and to stretch learning for students who are ready.

At a Glance

At-a-Glance documents have been created for each grade level to provide an overview of the standards that have been prioritized for each subject area and unit. These documents can be found on the grade- and subject-level landing pages.

Our partners

Launching this website would not have been possible without the collaboration and dedication of teacher volunteers throughout our region, who took on this work in addition to their own teaching responsibilities. Our thanks to the many professionals from our component districts:

  • Albany City
  • Berne-Knox-Westerlo
  • Bethlehem
  • Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
  • Cobleskill-Richmondville
  • Cohoes
  • Duanesburg
  • Green Island
  • Guilderland
  • Menands
  • Middleburgh
  • Mohonasen
  • Niskayuna
  • North Colonie
  • Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk
  • Schalmont
  • Schenectady
  • Schoharie
  • Scotia-Glenville
  • Sharon Springs
  • Shenendehowa
  • South Colonie
  • Voorheesville
  • Watervliet