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Next Generation Science Standards OverviewTop of Page


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, 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.  As part of our transition plan, the science graduation requirement will change from two to three years, with the expectation those 3 classes are: Biology: The Living Earth, Chemistry: In the Earth System, and Physics: In the Universe.  In our district transition timeline, we anticipate this graduation requirement change to occur for freshmen students in the Fall of 2020.  

Course Pathways

Approximately 80% of SDUHSD high school students already take three or more years of science.  SDUHSD is committed to supporting all students in accessing all disciplines of science. With the input of science teachers, our NGSS transition team developed these course pathway options for students.   

Course Transition

Prior to the formal implementation of the three year graduation requirement in 2020-2021, all of our core science classes are shifting content and instruction to align with the new NGSS courses.  7th Grade is formally implementing the integrated model for the current 2018-2019 school year, and 8th grade will follow in 2019-2020. Those students would then enter high school in the Fall of 2020, when we anticipate the shift to the three year graduation requirement to take effect.  Click here for a graphic of our district transition timeline

UC Approval

SDUHSD has obtained UC "d" approval for Biology: The Living Earth and Chemistry: in the Earth System.  SDUHSD will submit Physics: In the Universe for UC approval in late winter/early spring. The UC system is also in the process of transitioning from a two to three year science requirement.

Parent Communication

We are hosting three sets of parent information sessions, and invite our community to attend to learn more about NGSS and our district transition.  Additionally, NGSS has prepared Parent Guides to the NGSS.

Middle School Parent Information Nights

Other Parent Information Sessions
  • High School Principals Coffee (Late Fall, 2018)
  • 6th Grade Parent Night (March 2019)

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


Jennifer McCluan, Science Teacher on Special Assignment (email)