January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

San Diego Early Implementers Take the Lead in Strengthening Support for Science in Their District LCAP

Posted: Friday, May 20th, 2016

by Jill Grace

For the past couple weeks, the *Core Leadership Team and Teacher Leaders of the CA NGSS (K-8) Early Implementation Initiative in San Diego have rallied together to positively impact San Diego Unified School District’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to increase support for science in their district. With State Board of Education President, Mike Kirst and Member, Trish Williams call to start implementing NGSS in this recent Ed Source article, I thought it prudent to share with you the grassroots work this team is doing to support those of you who are also raising up your voices as a stakeholder group in your district plan.

As a very large urban district of over 131,000 students (SDUSD is the second largest district in California), this team faced an onerous hurdle to try and make an impact. Realizing that support for science and implementation of CA NGSS was very weak in the plan (by law, districts must post these drafts on-line for public input), the team decided to take action. Two weeks ago, the team formed an “LCAP committee” making sure they had representation from all six “areas” in the district. The committee poured through the district website to get information on when area community meetings were taking place and set to work filling out a sign-up schedule for representation at all LCAP meetings. This is a big task for San Diego as each of their six areas have sub-area’s known as “clusters” which host their own community meetings. Each area representative on the committee then recruited teachers who would be available to attend and speak at the meetings.  Fortunately, cloud sharing documents make it convenient for the committee to set up and track a schedule.

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The committee then used resources from the LCAP toolkit and input from the California Alliance for NGSS to draft a statement to be read at the community meetings along with specific edits and recommendations they were calling for in LCAP. Finally, the committee created a handout organized around the district goals to be distributed at meetings and/or emailed so other teachers, administrators, parents, and community members could submit specific feedback via the district’s LCAP survey.

To date, the team has received mixed responses at the community meetings (held through the end of May). In some cases, they have a very short time to speak but were encouraged to give on-line feedback. In others, they were warmly welcomed and had meaningful discussions around the importance of supporting science in the LCAP.

The team has graciously agreed to share their work in the hopes that it might support others trying to strengthen their district LCAP:

Support NGSS in the LCAP Speech for Community Meetings

Support NGSS in the LCAP Handout (in English)

Support NGSS in the LCAP Handout (in Spanish)

The end of the year is a hard time for teachers who are tired, overwhelmed, and really just need a break. Despite that, this team decided to be proactive and take on a leadership role in rallying their District to support science and implementation of NGSS! Knowing how much work and support is truly needed to transition to the NGSS, the team knew they had to fight for strong support in their district LCAP. In doing so, they are fighting for a quality education for ALL students they serve, reducing the chances of inequity among schools, and empowering their students to be college and career ready. Power of one!

*The CA NGSS (K-8) Early Implementation Initiative is currently in it’s 2nd of 4 years and facilitated by the K-12 Alliance/WestEd. In each of the 8 districts and 2 charter management organizations that are a part of the initiative, they have set in place a leadership structure to retain capacity in the district long after funding for the initiative is over. The Core Leadership Team is made up of teachers, administrators, and science resource teachers that receive mentoring in supporting teacher leaders and outreach at the administrator and district level. Teacher Leaders are teachers receiving targeted support for implementing the NGSS and, in turn, provide guidance to their respective school sites.

Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is the President-elect for CSTA.

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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.