Iowa has new science standards! The state board of education adopted the performance expectations of the Next Generation Science Standards on August 6th, 2015. To support the four year implementation plan recently released by the Iowa DoE, GPAEA science specialists will be offering the first in a series of Iowa Science Standards professional development modules during the first two days of any of the Science Network 1 sessions this fall. The strategic plan has Iowa AEA consultants delivering professional development for three initial years and in the future to districts and teachers. For more information, please contact Rosemary Peck or Tami Plein.
Congratulations to the science learning community on the new standards, which were adopted on Aug. 6 by the State Board of Education. This followed a recommendation by the Science Standards Review Team who engaged in a comprehensive process including review of existing standards, public feedback, and data-driven decisions.
Iowa Science Standards Kick-off. On Oct. 20, the University of Iowa and Grandview University will host a day of learning from national experts on the new science standards in Iowa City. This is intended for leaders (administrators, curriculum directors, teacher leaders, professors, and Area Education Agency consultants) who will partner together in the rollout and implementation of the standards. Click here to register for the Oct. 20 Iowa Science Standards Kick-off. The event will also be streamed with a link on the Department of Education website.
AEA Professional Development: To deliver a consistent message about the new Iowa science standards, the science consultants from each AEA are ready to provide the necessary professional learning about the three-dimensional learning to science teachers statewide. Contact your local AEA for opportunities.
Summer Symposium-Implementing the Standards: On June 15-17, a symposium for teachers will be held. National experts in science and the new standards will lead educators in job-alike groups: after-school providers, elementary teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers. The goal is to give educators tools they need to implement the shifts in their practice, creating three-dimensional science classrooms for students to learn the new standards.
Timeline and Expectation: The implementation of the Iowa science standards will be a multi-year process:
- 2015-16 Exploration, Awareness and Statewide Capacity Building
- 2016-17 Classroom Transitions, Shifts, and Practices
- 2017-18 Leveraging Materials, Resources, and Expertise
- 2018-19 Full K-12 Implementation*
A more detailed implementation plan with specific expectations during each transition year will be forthcoming by the Department of Education.
*Because of the unique nature of the assigned middle school/junior high grade level standards, the implementation process must include at least one grade by 2018-19; a second grade level must be included by 2019-20, etc.