California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative
An initiative under the direction of the K-12 Alliance/WestEd funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.
Official Site for the Initiative on WestEd's website
A few educators participating in the California K-8 NGSS Early Implementation Initiative are sharing their experiences with readers of CSTA's newsletter California Classroom Science. CSTA began publishing the articles in fall 2014 and the series is our most popular one.
- Finding My Student’s Motivation of Learning Through Engineering Tasks (July 2017)
- Learning Across the Village: Planning K-12 Projects (July 2017)
- Engineer Turned Classroom Teacher (July 2017)
- Using Online Simulations to Support the NGSS in Middle School Classrooms (May 2017)
- Science Helps Build Language for All: An Early Implementer Perspective (March 2017)
- Equity and Access for All Students (March 2017)
- Laying the Foundation: Our NGSS Journey of Getting Elementary School Students Ready for Middle School (January 2017)
- Read and Talk to Construct Science Knowledge (January 2017)
- NGSS Implementation: A Leap of Reason (December 2016)
- Kindergarten Teachers Take On the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (November 2016)
- Second Grade Seed Dispersal Engineers! (November 2016)
- Taking “Risks” with NGSS: A Growth Model for the Classroom (September 2016)
- SciEd Side Bar: Let Them Figure It Out! (September 2016)
- Sensemaking Notebooks: Making Thinking Visible for Both Students and Teachers! (August 2016)
- Cross Cutting to the Concepts (Or How My Own Use and Understanding of CCC’s Evolved) (June 2016)
- Taking It to the Field—Where Students Become the Experts (June 2016)
- Practical Tools to Begin Implementing the NGSS in a First Grade Classroom (May 2016)
- Activity Mania, This Is Not! (April 2016)
- From Hot Asphalt to Solar Radiation (March 2016)
- The Big Idea Page: A Creative Way to Emphasize the Crosscutting Concepts for Three Dimensional Learning (February 2016)
- An Early Implementer Teaching Learning Collaborative: Connecting Science and Literature (January 2016)
- Planning STEM-Based Professional Development – A Behind the Scenes Look (December 2015)
- Using Phase Changes to Remove Contaminants from Water (November 2015)
- Supporting Argumentation Through Student Talk (October 2015)
- Phenomena Are Jawsome! (September 2015)
- Cup of Tea (June 2015)
- NGSS — Next Generation Science Students (May 2015)
- California’s NGSS Early Implementers Meet for Mid-Year Training (March 2015)
- Bold: adj. Showing the Ability to Take Risks (February 2015)
- Next Generation Science Standards: Jump Right In (January 2015)
- NGSS Early Implementation Begins! (September 2014)
The California K-8 NGSS Early Implementation Initiative Launches!
To get a jump-start on the implementation in California of the Next Generation Science Standards, eight school districts and two charter management organizations (CMOs) have been selected to participate in the California K-8 NGSS Early Implementation Initiative. Developed by the K-12 Alliance at WestEd with close collaborative input on its design and objectives from the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, and Achieve, this Initiative will be a fast-start demonstration project to build local education agency (LEA) capacity to fully implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in grades K-8. The Initiative begins its work August 4-8, 2014 with a weeklong Academy in Southern California.
The LEAs will engage with the K-12 Alliance in the Initiative over a four-year period to collaboratively develop and participate in leadership training for teachers and administrators, and in teacher professional development in content and pedagogy to meet the conceptual shifts required by NGSS. The participating districts and charters will form a CA NGSS Collaborative Network as a learning community for sharing best practices and addressing challenges of practice. In addition, the participating LEAs will serve as a lab to selectively beta-test NGSS-aligned instructional materials, implementation tools, and performance assessment prototype items. Learnings from these districts will be shared statewide to advance high-quality science teaching and learning.
Selected in a competitive application process, with input from expert reviewers, and funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the eight California districts are: Galt Joint Union Elementary School District, Kings Canyon Unified School District, Lakeside Union School District, Oakland Unified School District, Palm Springs Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, Tracy Unified School District, and Vista Unified School District.
The two California CMOs in the Initiative are Aspire and High Tech High, whose participation is funded by the Hastings/Quillin Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
The districts and CMOs broadly represent the diversity of California schools in terms of demographics, location, and size. They were chosen based upon previous demonstrated commitment to science education, high capacity to begin implementing NGSS in 2014-15, and a commitment to implementing the CA NGSS Integrated Model for 6-8. Collectively, they will impact approximately 200,000 students.
The CA K-8 NGSS Early Implementation Initiative will provide teachers and administrators with in-depth, content-rich professional development support from leaders in California's science education community that have been deeply engaged with NGSS content from the beginning and have strong experience in the professional learning of science educators. In addition, through informal collaborations among the K-12 Alliance, Achieve, and others, the LEAs in the Collaborative will be given unique opportunities to be in the forefront of pilot testing new NGSS-aligned tools, processes, assessment item prototypes, and digital and other instructional materials to help the developers ensure their value to science educators. Charters and districts participating in this NGSS early implementers initiative will be paving the way and eventually serving as resources for NGSS implementation across California, and in other NGSS-adopting states as well.
The Early Implementation Initiative is now on Twitter:Tweets by @EarlyImplement