The Sciences in Chelmsford

    • Overview of the 2017-18 Academic Year for Science
    • As a district, we are transitioning to the 2016 Massachusetts 2016 Science, Technology and Engineering Frameworks.  In this process, a large focus on student-driven inquiry is occurring related to the following 8 core Science Practices:
    1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
    2. Developing and using models
    3. Planning and carrying out investigations
    4. Analyzing and interpreting data
    5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
    6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
    7. Engaging in argument from evidence 8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
    • Grades K-5: A committee was formed last year of teachers, administrators, and coaches to develop a plan for implementation of the new standards.  After piloting curriculum options, the district moved in a direction to utilize the FOSS Full Option Science System. This will be a 3 year rollout, with new kits (Physical, Earth, and Life Sciences) being implemented each year.  For more information on FOSS, please visit their website, or login with Clever for your student’s access.
    • Grades 6 – 8: Teachers worked last year and this summer to develop and consistent scope and sequence for each grade level that address the new frameworks.  Grade 6 teachers have been meeting with the curriculum coordinator to explore curriculum adoption options for the 2018/2019 academic year. Work has begun to develop benchmark assessments across the district in grades 7 and 8 as well.  The Grade 8 STE MCAS test will be a blend of of the 2001/6 and 2016 STE Frameworks in the spring of 2018, and a full transition will occur in 2019.
    • Grades 9 – 12: The standards and curriculum at the High School level has the least amount of proposed change from a .  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.


    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.

    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.

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