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San Dieguito Union High School District

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Next Generation Science Standards Overview

Next Generation Science Standards Overview


New Science Standards
California formally adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in September 2013.  A guiding tenet of the NGSS is "All Standards, All Students," meaning all students will have the opportunity to experience learning in all disciplines of science, including:  Life Science (Biology), Physical Science (Chemistry and Physics), Earth-Space Science, and Engineering.  The state provided school districts with a variety of course models from which to choose. Helpful parent guides to the NGSS can be found here.

Middle School
San Dieguito Union High School  District (SDUHSD) selected the California Preferred Integrated Model for middle school, meaning students in our 7th and 8th grade science classes will experience all disciplines of science.  Our five elementary feeder districts have also agreed to implement the integrated course model for 6th grade science, and SDUHSD will continue its practice of hosting vertical articulation discussions between our districts to support our students' transition from elementary to middle school.  

High School
For high school, SDUHSD selected the California Three Course Model, where Earth-Space Science and Engineering content is embedded within Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses. (in the timeline it shows ESS as available for 11th and 12th, no criteria - should this be specified?) In our district transition timeline, all 9th grade students in the Class of 2024 will enroll in Biology: The Living Earth for the 2020-2021 school year, and Chemistry: in the Earth System or Honors Chemistry: in the Earth System for the 2021-2022 school year.    As part of our transition plan, the science graduation requirement may change from two to three years, with the expectation those three classes are: Biology: The Living Earth, Chemistry: In the Earth System (or Honors Chemistry: In the Earth System), and Physics: In the Universe. The timeline for implementation of this three year science graduation requirement is to be determined and will depend on School Board approval.  The graduating classes of 2021-2025 will not be impacted by this potential or future change, and will still be required to complete two years of science (one life and one physical) to graduate.
NGSS Timeline
Instructional Materials
SDUHSD science teachers have engaged in multi-year pilots of instructional materials to determine the best curricular resources to support our students in their science courses. After multiple years of piloting state-approved instructional materials, our middle school science classes have adopted Lab Aids SEPUP as their instructional materials for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond.  Our Biology teachers have piloted multiple instructional materials for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 and school years, and have recommended Savvas’ (formally Pearson) Experience Biology the Living Earth program for adoption and implementation in the 2021-2022 school year.  Chemistry teachers began piloting materials in the 2020-2021 school year, and will continue to pilot along with their Physics colleagues in the 2021-2022 school year.

Course Pathways and Transition
SDUHSD is committed to supporting all students in accessing all disciplines of science. Approximately 80% of SDUHSD high school students already complete three or more years of science.   The three course pathway shown below was implemented with the class of 2024 because they were the first class to experience NGSS integrated science beginning in 7th grade, and will continue with all subsequent graduating classes. 
Science Pathway 2024-2025
Students in the graduating classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 will follow the pre-NGSS pathway shown below.
Science Pathway 2021-2023
UC/CSU Approval
SDUHSD has obtained UC/CSU laboratory science area "D" approval for Biology: The Living Earth, Chemistry: In the Earth System, Honors Chemistry: In the Earth System, and Physics: Of the Universe. Currently, the CSU/UC admission requirement for science is 2 years of laboratory science required, 3 years recommended.   

Parent Communication
SDUHSD schools have hosted middle school parent coffees and three sets of high school parent information nights (presentation in English and Spanish).  Additionally, NGSS has prepared Parent Guides to the NGSS

Have a question about NGSS?  Please complete this brief form.

Jennifer McCluan, Science Teacher on Special Assignment