• Department Vision:
    Our goal is to ensure that all students at all levels achieve science literacy, for science is the key to their future.  

    • Science is for all students. 
    • Science literacy is a combination of concepts and skills.
    • Science has practical applications in the real world and for students' lives.
    • Learning science is an active process that students do.
    • Teachers of science facilitate and guide this process.

    In NHPS Science, students FIGURE THINGS OUT, not just LEARN ABOUT!

    Science Department:

    • Elementary Science: Science Experiments 2-3 periods a week with classroom teacher, using science kits. 3 science kits per year. Science NGSS Test in 5th Grade.
    • Middle School Science Science experiments and science textbooks with homework several times a week. Meets every day with science teacher. Science NGSS Test in 8th Grade.
    • High School Science 3 years required (PhyChem, Biology, Chemistry). Meets every day, with science teacher. Science experiments at least once a week, and science homework daily. Science NGSS Test in 11th grade.

    District Curriculum For Grades K-8, PhyChem, Biology, Chemistry, Physics at https://www.welikescience.com/.

    • Curriculum, instruction, and assessment emphasize inquiry standards and practices as well as content.

    • These newly redefined science and engineering practices (Questioning, Modeling, Investigating, Analyzing/Math, Constructing Explanations, Argument from Evidence, Communicating/Discourse) align directly with Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language. See www.newhavenscience.org/NHPSScienceMasteryScoringCriteria.pdf

    • Connected to preparing students for higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

    Science Curriculum K-12 was written 2016-2020 to align with new state science standards and testing ), to be implemented in 2019 (7-12) and 2021 (K-6). Teachers are piloting NGSS units in the midst of current curricular pacing and outlines:

    Link to NHPS Science WebPage, including draft NGSS units/pacing, and curricular resources/assessments by grade level for teachers.


    • Students learn through the research-based learning cycle: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate. (Experiences come before explanation and students construct their own explanations/models based on their explorations.)

    • Elementary teachers utilize experiential science kits that include manipulatives for students as well as comprehensive teacher guides and videos.

    • Students are continually required to apply key inquiry skills/practices such as observation, measurement, controlling variables, and making conclusions via real- world investigations.

    • Students connect learning to societal issues through persuasive essays, forums, debates, case studies and simulations.

    • Student experiences mirror authentic practices and prepare for STEM careers.

    Science and Common Core: 
    Science standards include concepts and higher order thinking skills that use literacy and mathematics.
    Science inquiry skills and practices overlap with literacy and mathematics skills as described in the K-12 Common Core. (See overlap diagram)
    There are specific reading and writing Common Core standards for literacy across the content areas in grades 7-12. (See CCSS standards)
    Connecticut State Department Website on Science and Common Core
    Overall Common Core Guide for Families
    More info for Parents!
    Parent Guide to STEM K-12, (STEM Guia Para los Padres)  



    Further Science Vision: 

    • Science curriculum supports differentiation meeting students’ specific needs through multiple methods of instruction, including science talk, literacy strategies, experiential and project-based learning.

    • English Learners and Special Education Learners are included in ALL science instruction and assessment, and are supported with multiple methods including talking/listening, labs, visuals, and use of multiple languages.

    • Students also learn about science careers and the impact of science in different cultures and history.

    • Students access content through hands-on experiments, multimedia resources, use of technology, nonfiction readings, peer interactions, and data analysis.

    • Teachers receive support through access to science resources, curriculum and performance tasks developed by peers on newhavenscience.org and Google docs.

    • Teachers receive personalized support through observations and regular communication with the Supervisor and science mentors.

    • In district science professional development focuses on research-based learning strategies and peer discourse through professional learning groups.

    • Professional learning meetings include opportunities for teacher-choice and teacher-led workshops and wide variety of professional learning opportunities through our local universities and partners.

    Science is for all Students
     ll students, regardless of age, sex, cultural or ethnic background, disabilities, aspirations, or interest and motivation in science, should have the opportunity to attain high levels of scientific literacy. Excellence in science education embodies the ideal that all students can achieve understanding of science if they are given the opportunity. Our goal is to ensure that all students at all levels achieve science literacy, for science is the key to their future.

    Science Literacy
    Science literacy is a combination of understanding major science concepts and theories, using scientific reasoning, and recognizing the complex interactions between science, technology and society. Scientific literacy requires the ability to apply critical thinking skills when dealing with science-related issues. A scientifically literate person is able to transfer knowledge of the academic theories and principles of science to practical applications in the real world. Scientific literacy also implies having the capacity to pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and to apply logical conclusions from such arguments. Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. It means that a person has the ability to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press and to engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions. Scientific literacy implies that a person can identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed.

    Learning Science is an Active Process
    Learning science is something students do, not something that is done to them. In learning science, students describe objects and events, ask questions, acquire knowledge, construct explanations of natural phenomena, test those explanations in many different ways, and communicate their ideas to others. This term “active process” implies physical and mental activity. Hands-on activities are not enough—students also must have “minds-on” experiences. Science teaching must involve students in inquiry-oriented investigations in which they interact with their teachers and peers. Students establish connections between their current knowledge of science and the scientific knowledge found in many sources; they apply science content to new questions; they engage in problem solving, planning, decision making, and group discussions; and they experience assessments that are consistent with an active approach to learning. Emphasizing active science learning means shifting emphasis away from teachers presenting information and “covering” science topics. The perceived need to include all the topics, vocabulary, and information in textbooks is in direct conflict with the central goal of having students learn scientific knowledge with understanding. Inquiry into authentic questions generated from student experiences is the central strategy for teaching science.

    Teachers of Science Guide and Facilitate Learning
    In doing this, teachers: -Display and demand respect for the diverse ideas, skills, and experiences of all students. -Focus and support inquiries while interacting with students. -Encourage, model, and emphasize the skills, attitudes, and values of scientific inquiry, as well as the curiosity, openness to new ideas and data, and skepticism that characterize science. -Orchestrate discourse and ongoing discussion among students about scientific ideas. -Challenge students to accept and share responsibility for their own learning and the learning of all members of the community. -Recognize and respond to student diversity and encourage all students to participate fully in science learning -Enable students to have a significant voice in decisions about the content and context of their work. -Nurture collaboration among students.