January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Kudos and Thank You! CSTA Members Serve in a Variety of Ways

Posted: Monday, February 3rd, 2014

by Laura Henriques

Applause_Pres_ArticleFor the last couple of months, CSTA has challenged members to become active participants in California’s science education landscape, and you are stepping up to do that. In the past couple of months CSTA members have volunteered their time and expertise in a variety of ways. I want to take this space in this month’s column to highlight some of those efforts and to provide my heartfelt thanks. Your contributions of time and service will have positive impacts throughout the state.

ELA/ELD Framework Review Committees

CSTA extends a big thanks to Jeanine Wulfenstein, Cristina Trecha, Lisa Hegdahl, Mary Whaley and Marian Murphy-Shaw. Each of them hosted a review session of CSTA members to provide feedback on the ELA/ELD Framework. I also give a huge thanks to dedicated CSTA members who read portions of the Framework and provided their time and input during these meetings. There were five meetings throughout the state. CSTA members were invited to participate in the meetings. Prior to coming to the meeting they read a few chapters of the 1,000+ page draft framework. Teams then spent 2-3 hours together talking about the document and providing specific feedback. This will be compiled and shared with the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC).

A huge shout-out to CSTA members who participated in the review process with us. They include:

  • Long Beach Team: Sarah Aguiñaga, Stephanie Bauer, Amy Frame, Jill Grace, Deborah Gray, Laura Henriques, and Kurt Holland
  • San Diego Team: Norma Acosta, Josephine Golchcer, Denise Maggard, Cristina Trecha, Emily Tsai, and Jeanine Wulfenstein
  • Monterey Team: Rick Carriero, Christian Ceci-MacGillis, Lauren Foote, Elva Garcia, Celia McCormack, Laura Mercer, Heather Murphy, Hope Oliver, Lynda Rogers, Claudio Vargas and Diana Velez
  • Sacramento/San Francisco area Team: Elizabeth Cooke, Lori Corona, Mary Elizabeth, Lisa Hegdahl, Karen Murray, Jessica Sawko, Yvonne White, and Barbara Woods

If you want to provide your own feedback on the ELA/ELD Framework you may do so between now and February 13, 2014. The draft Framework and survey are available on the CDE website.

CSTA Members Participate as Focus Group Members for Science Framework

We know that lots of CSTA members applied to serve on the Science Framework Focus Groups and 26 of you were selected. In addition, several CSTA members observed the Framework Focus Groups as part of the public. Board Member Heather Wygant served as a focus group member at the San Francisco area meeting. You can read about the process in Heather’s article. A full list of Focus Group members is online. Among those who served/will serve are CSTA Members:

Peter Ahearn, Palm Springs Unified School District
Marie Bacher, Alameda County Office of Education
Gwen Blankenship, Newport-Mesa Unified School District
James Michael Boykin, Merced Union High School District
Linda Braatz-Brown, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
Brennan Brockbank, Burlingame School District
Melanie Brown, Sweetwater Union High School District
Juanita Chan, Rialto Unified School District
Ayham Dahi, Los Angeles Unified School District
Hilary Dito, Contra Costa County Office of Education
Mary Elizabeth, Twin Rivers Unified School District
Rae Fearing, Del Norte County Unified School District
Michelle French, Tulare County Office of Education
Jill Grace, Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District
Crystal Howe, San Diego Unified School District
Michal Kreiselman, Los Angeles Unified School District
Jared Marr, Tulare County Office of Education
Dawn O’Connor, Alameda County Office of Education
Ron Pembleton, Kentfield School District
Philip Romig, Sacramento County Office of Education
Rachael Tarshes, San Diego Unified School District
Eric Thiessen, Tulare County Office of Education
David Tupper, Lakeside Union School District
Don Whisman, San Diego Unified School District
Heather Wygant, Morgan Hill Unified School District
Anne Ybarra, Fresno Unified School District

CSTA Members are Writing for CCS

California Classroom Science (CCS) is your publication. We invite you, members of CSTA, to submit articles for inclusion. This school year has already seen more than a dozen articles by CSTA members. Thanks to CSTA members Peter A’Hearn, Tamara Araya, Minda Berbeco, Bethany Dixon, Stephanie Fisher, Susan Gomez Zwiep & Jody Sherriff, Jim Kisiel, Christina Morales, Walter O’Brien, Cheryl Romig, Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, Martin Smith and Steven Worker, and Rebecca Smith for their contributions to CCS this academic year. We still have 6 issues left this year. If you would like to write for CCS please see refer to the author guidelines and due-dates. As you think about what you might contribute, consider the types of articles you like to see in CCS. Successful lesson ideas, integration of NGSS practices or crosscutting concepts, and classroom management strategies are always popular topics.

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and past-president of CSTA. She serves as chair of CSTA’s Nominating Committee and is a co-chair of the NGSS Committee.

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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching.

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Opportunities to Support NGSS Implementation with CTC

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

What follows are several opportunities for science teachers to work with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) on various projects that have direct or indirect implications for the implementation of NGSS in California. Please consider applying to one or more of the following opportunities.

CSET Field Testing Opportunities

Field testing opportunities for future CSET Multiple Subjects and Science tests are available beginning Dec. 5, 2016. Participants will have the choice between a $50 Barnes and Noble eGift Card or a $75 test fee voucher that may be applied to future test registration fees. For more information, including how to register to participate, please visit: http://www.pearsonvue.com/espilot/cset.asp. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.