The Sciences in Chelmsford

  • Overview of the 2015-16 Academic Year for Science


    As a district, we are working on transitioning to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  We are working on a two to three year transition process as we shift both the content and pedagogy of the new standards.


    Grades K-5: A committee was formed last year of teachers, administers, and coaches to develop a plan for implementation of the new standards.  It was decided that we are piloting two NGSS programs this academic year. Not all classes will be involved in the pilot, but throughout the district all grades and schools are involved in some capacity.  The pilots are FOSS kits and Inspire Science.  Both are aligned to the proposed standards.  A decision should be made in the spring as to which program to commit to and an implementation plan will be determined.


    Grades 6 – 8: Teachers worked last year and this summer to develop and consistent scope and sequence for each grade level that addresses the Next Generation Science Standards.  A partial implementation is expected for this academic year and full implementation is expected a year after the standards are finalized.


    Grades 9 – 12: The standards and curriculum at the High School level has the least amount of proposed change.  Once the standards are finalized, the department will work to make sure that all of the standards are covered for each of the courses that are offered.


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  • High School Scope and Sequence - Science
    Quality science education is based on standards that are rich in content and practice, with aligned curricula, pedagogy, assessment, and teacher preparation and development. It has been nearly 15 years since the National Research Council and the American Association for Advancement in Science produced the seminal documents on which most state standards are based. Since that time, major advances in science and our understanding of how students learn science have taken place and need to be reflected in state standards. The time is right to advance toward Next Generation Science Standards. (Source:
    At CHS, the Science Department offers instruction at three academic levels. Level 1 Honors courses are by teacher recommendation only. The recommendation is based upon performance in both science and math. The student should also have exhibited a sincere interest in science or mathematics. Level 1 Honors courses are for the self-motivated and academically mature students. It is assumed that the Level 1 Honors science student is also in Level 1 Honors math course. Level 2 (H2) courses are for college bound students. Level 2 Honors science students should also be enrolled in, at least, a level 2 math course. Any student intending to go to a four year college, no matter what career goal, should take Level 2 or higher science courses.
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