Charter Schools

Charter Schools

Aligning Teacher Instruction with NGSS to Ensure Student STEM Success

The next generation of middle school students have the opportunity to be true scientists, thanks to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NGSS not only teaches science content but helps develop students’ knowledge while focusing on evidence-based explanations and application.

An innovative network of free public schools serving more than 1,200 students in South Los Angeles County, Environmental Charter Schools is equipping its teachers with training and resources to integrate NGSS into interdisciplinary, project-based, and environmentally themed curriculum.

At Environmental Charter Middle School – Inglewood (ECMS-I), 360 students in grades 6 to 8 regularly engage in interdisciplinary learning and use the environment to engage, connect, and discover what it means to become stewards of their communities. Their campus and curriculum reflect environmental sustainability at every turn.

Building Teacher Capacity for Next Generation Science Standards enlists a seasoned Science Instructional Coach (SIC) to train teachers in the new standards and identify helpful resources and professional development opportunities including STEM-focused conferences. Beyond that, the aim is to drive toward a three-dimensional instructional shift to disciplinary core ideas, scientific and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts to ensure student achievement. Outside the classroom, student interest in NGSS and STEM subjects is cultivated through STEM partnerships and school-based activities, such as the STEM Family Night and Earth Day event.

All Points North Foundation’s grant enables ECMS-I to not only transform its practice, based on innovative NGSS conceptual frameworks, deepen its understandings of science standards, and increase student science proficiency but inspire students to overcome community conditions and consider a STEM pathway for college and career.

For more information: www.ecsonline.org

Scene of middle school childrent working at table doing various tasks. Writing on paper, using laptop, waiting in line, and others. Hispanic middle school girl in a wearing a lab coat and raising her glasses to look through a microscope. Three middle school girls, outside, working together trying to spark a fire using a wood stick to cause friction. Three middle school girls, outside, in a parking lot, showing their tools they used to spark a fire with friction. All are smiling and happy. Ethnically diverse middle school boys and one girl working in garden. Two boys in blue shirts have their hands in the dirt, ready to plant.

Photo credit: Environmental Charter Schools

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All Points North Foundation provides grants for U.S.-based projects and initiatives that support our priorities: improving public middle school education and teacher training, and implementing effective solar programs and/or projects.

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