Elementary Science Update

June 9, 2017

Dear Shaker Schools Community,

In early May, Superintendent Hutchings provided clarity around the District's decision to enhance the science experience for our elementary school students. In that communication, he promised that we would refine our efforts to keep parents informed about curriculum changes.
To that end, I would like to take a moment to update you on the progress we have made related to elementary school science instruction. As of this date:
  • The Superintendent and I discussed the planned K-6 science changes with PTO leaders in May at our monthly Brown Bag lunch.
  • The Director of Curriculum met with elementary school teacher leaders to receive their feedback about science needs.
  • We electronically surveyed elementary teachers to assess science needs.
  • I met with principals twice to ensure all are informed about our actions and prepared to update stakeholders.
  • The Director of Curriculum met with community science providers to identify field trip opportunities, laboratory facilities and appropriate curricular materials.
  • I began organizing a science advisory group that will include a science teacher, higher education personnel, scientists and employees of STEM-related organizations and businesses.
  • A science professional identified high-quality, hands-on science kits that are aligned to the Ohio Learning Standards for grades K-8.
  • The Director of Curriculum met with PYP coordinators to identify curriculum needs and strengthen Shaker's International Baccalaureate units in science.
  • I conducted site visits to assess classroom space to ensure it is adequate for labs or inquiry activities on the first day of school.
  • A science teacher determined the laboratory equipment in the Woodbury lab that will need to be embedded in K-4 science instruction.
Shaker is committed to provide high-quality science instruction to all of our students. Our goal, as outlined in the District's Five-Year Strategic Plan, is to prepare our students for potential careers in science and math fields. The steps I have outlined lay a path to making good on our commitment to provide our youngest students the foundation they need to succeed.

We will share our full science curriculum plan with parents during our curriculum night in the fall of 2017. In the meantime, we will keep you updated on our progress. As promised, we are also working with our PTO Council to ensure parents are informed.

Please accept my very best wishes for a safe and relaxing summer.

Sincerely,

Dr. Terri L. Breeden
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction

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