K-5 Science Curriculum
SFUSD is implementing Amplify Science as a key component of the elementary Science Core Curriculum. In the 2018-2019 school year, all elementary classrooms will be teaching the Amplify Physical Science unit for their grade level as well as their Life and Earth Science FOSS units. The Earth and Life Science Amplify units will be implemented in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. For more information, please visit the elementary page.
Middle School Science Curriculum
The middle school science curriculum is a project-based curriculum built following the 5E instructional model. During the 2017-2018 school year, SFUSD implemented the 6th grade curriculum and this school year the 7th and 8th grade curriculum is being implemented. For more information and access to the curriculum: Middle School Science Curriculum.
High School Science Curriculum
SFUSD is developing curriculum for four high school science courses - NGSS Biology, Principles of NGSS Physics (grades 9-10), NGSS Physics (grades 10-12) and NGSS Chemistry. All courses are designed based on the 5E instructional model. During the 2017-2018 school year, SFUSD implemented NGSS Biology and Principles of NGSS Physics (grades 9-10). NGSS Physics is being implemented this school year and the NGSS Chemistry curriculum is being field tested for implementation in 2019-2020. For more information and access to the curriculum: High School Science Curriculum.
SFUSD's Science Core Curriculum
San Francisco Unified School District is committed to a district-wide implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through a core curriculum that positively impacts science learning for all students. The NGSS call for a shift in the way that science is taught, with an increased focus on the doing of science and engineering through making sense of rich phenomena and solving real-world problems. As students have increasing access to endless amounts of information, being good at science is no longer defined by a student’s ability to memorize science content. Instead, we are focused on their ability to identify patterns, ask questions, analyze and interpret data, argue from evidence, collaborate with other scientists, and communicate their understandings.
SFUSD has addressed these shifts by developing a Science Core Curriculum for middle and high school in partnership with SFUSD teachers and experts in the science education field. In designing for these shifts, the Core Curriculum aligns with SFUSD’s Vision 2025 and the expectations for student outcomes laid out in the Graduate Profile. Specifically, the curriculum engages students in taking on real-life tasks that use San Francisco as the classroom. Students are led to build mastery and personalize their learning in their approaches to the real-life tasks. A similar process will be happening for elementary science starting in the 2017-2018 school year.
The Core Curriculum follows the 5E Instructional model, a student-centered, constructivist approach to science learning that identifies students prior knowledge and through a series of experiences, has them build new and robust understanding of the science concepts. At each stage of the 5E lesson sequence (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate), students draw upon and build their literacy skills and their science and engineering practices. The 5E is a research-based model that ensures that students are developing deep conceptual understanding of the science that will transfer to new situations over many years. For strategies and supports for implementing the Science Core Curriculum, you can review our Science Teaching Toolkit.
The Core Curriculum has been field tested in science classrooms throughout SFUSD. Teacher and student feedback from field testing has been incorporated into this first iteration. As teachers across SFUSD begin to teach this first version of the curriculum, their feedback will be sought out to improve the instructional materials through ongoing annual revisions. This is a living curriculum that will move and grow over time as the wisdom from teachers across the district is more thoroughly incorporated. We are grateful for all of the teachers who have worked to develop this curriculum and look forward to more voices and experiences continuing to improve it.