School districts sets science standards and curriculum

Science teachers and school district staff talk about science standards and curriculum. (Photo by Kayla Desroches / KMXT)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A panel of science teachers spoke with the Kodiak Island Borough School District Board of Education at the board’s regular meeting last night. They discussed a new approach to guiding students through science education.

District curriculum coordinator Ashlee Copper said the school district’s big goal is to implement a new science curriculum.

“So, some potential tasks to kind of get us to that goal would be to identify  of course school board members, teachers, community experts – we have a lot of really great science experts in the community – and parents to be involved in the process.”

She also said they’d provide teacher training and develop a curriculum map, which would break the science standards into units so that teachers can determine the appropriate pace for instruction.

As far as content standards go, staff said the district would use a national system called Next Generation Science Standards.

High school biology teacher Kinsey Allen said Next Generation shifts the focus away from memorization.

“It’s more teaching the kids how to think like a scientist, and it’s really big with critical thinking and creativity. It’s really more a way of thinking while learning that content.”

Board member Duncan Fields said he would be interested in the new curriculum’s real world effects and outcomes.

“We need to look at … how many more women in our school district are interested in science or will become interested in science through our programming? How many of our graduates when they leave – now I know many of us don’t know what we’re going to major in in college – have an interest in exploring whether they want a career in science?”

Staff said it aims to complete the new science curriculum by August.

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