Chancellor Announces Enhanced Science Curriculum for Grades K-5

  • Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 Updated: Mon Apr 23, 2018

Innovative Program Developed by DOE to Align with State and National Standards. Enhanced Curriculum for Grades 6-12 will be Released This Summer

NEW YORK – Chancellor Fariña today unveiled a new Science Scope and Sequence for grades K-5, a framework designed to increase student engagement in science courses and provide teachers with the tools to improve their instruction. By providing a holistic and progressive guide for science integration and instruction in these grades, the Scope and Sequence will improve continuity of science learning for elementary-school students. A new Science Scope and Sequence for grades 6-12 will be released this summer.

The new Scope and Sequence, updated for the first time since 2008, aligns with the Common Core Learning Standards, as well as the national Next Generation Science Standards and Excellence in Environmental Education guidelines. The new framework fosters the natural curiosity of students to explore the world around them and engage critically with systems ranging from the human body to the Milky Way. The document also includes guidelines for science units that build students’ skills in recognizing patterns, carrying out investigations, and analyzing data.

“Science has always been one of my favorite subjects because it engages students, connects them to their environment, encourages hands-on learning, and inspires outside-the-box thinking,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This new, cutting-edge curriculum will encourage students to explore, deeply understand, and celebrate science – whether it’s in the classroom or at the beaches, parks, and waterways around our City. I look forward to working with teachers as we use this tool to educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and great thinkers.”

“Today we are excited to present schools with a new and enhanced Science Scope and Sequence to ensure a strong foundation in science for all students,” said Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg. “It provides teachers with a roadmap to help them create engaging science experiences and high-quality instruction, and enable students to think deeply and critically.”

“The improved Science Scope and Sequence offers an innovative approach to science education in our classrooms,” said Anna Commitante, Senior Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning. “We are committed to supporting our science educators and helping our students discover their passion for the natural world around them. By engaging in critical scientific exploration, our next generation will be better prepared to be informed and thoughtful citizens.”

In developing the resources that support implementation of the Science Scope and Sequence, the DOE will work with local partners, including cultural institutions and universities. As New York City students embrace the discipline and are challenged to think like scientists themselves, the Department will continue to consult these partners to ensure high-quality content and skills education.

The Scope and Sequence will be implemented for the 2015-16 school year, with professional development and learning opportunities around the new program throughout this summer and the coming year. Among these opportunities – and reflecting the DOE’s commitment to high-quality STEM professional development – is the intensive three-day STEM Institute being hosted this July. Through funding from the GE Foundation and partnership with several New York City STEM businesses and organizations, over 350 teachers from 100 schools attended the first-ever three-day STEM Institute this April; teachers and school leaders from up to an additional 100 schools will participate in the STEM Institutes this summer and in Spring 2016. Starting in the 2015-16 school year, the new Scope and Sequence will also be integrated into the 80 minutes schools now devote to professional development each Monday.

The new K-5 Scope and Sequence signifies a crucial first step in the creation of comprehensive and thorough science resources for teachers that will improve classroom learning as well as students’ critical thinking and scientific literacy. The document is being distributed to schools with guidance via internal communications and by mail. For further information, the Scope and Sequence is available online.

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