Today, my school district’s Science Curriculum Team met again. The primarily goal of the high school teachers on the team was to finalize our school district’s science pathway for high school. As many of you can imagine, this topic has generated significant debate and consternation. We were threatened with not being allowed to leave for lunch until a decision was made, which may have provided extra motivation. After reviewing Lexile scores and math readiness based on Common Core, we somewhat anticlimactically confirmed the decision to have the following pathway: 9th grade – Chemistry with integrated Earth Science; 10th grade – Biology with integrated Earth Science; 11th grade – Physics with integrated Earth Science. Seniors would have the option to take a variety of AP science courses and other electives.
We spent the rest of the day focused on how best to integrate the NGSS Earth Science performance expectations into each of the three courses. We still have some work to do in this area.
I hope that our next effort is focused on creating an engaging narrative that ties all three science courses together so students see it as a single progression and not three disjoint classes they have to take.