This letter brings exciting news! Louisiana’s revised science standards are almost official! The standards’ workgroup has finished their work on the new science standards having considered all comments from the public portal and standards committee. I hope you took a moment to offer your feedback on the draft version. I want to personally thank all of the members of the workgroup. Professionalism goes a long ways in these settings and the level demonstrated by the members was nothing less than exceptional! Their teamwork was only exceeded by their level of expertise of science content. I especially want to thank the efforts of Cathi Cox-Boniol. Her leadership of this process demonstrated the power of her expertise, charisma, and dare I say, southern charm!
The next phase of the science standards review process will move the standards to the Committee for approval at which time they are forwarded to BESE to review and hopefully quickly approve for adoption. Once BESE approves, the first steps of implementation will begin! As I’ve mentioned before, our previous standards (benchmarks) were 20 years old and the GLEs 13 years. The new science standards will offer a great opportunity to science educators to prepare students for this century’s issues. LSTA looks forward to supporting all Louisiana science teachers with implementation. LSTA will be working with the LDOE and other groups to provide outstanding sessions on the new science standards during the Teacher Leader Summit (TLS) in June. Let your administration know you would like to be sent to the TLS and participate in the first round of standards training.
I want to remind science teachers of the NSTA area conference coming to New Orleans, November 30- December 2. It is my understanding registration will open in late spring/early summer. Mark your calendars and inform your administration now! The conference theme is “Celebrate Science: Inspire, Integrate, Innovate.” Session strands will address how science teachers can Inspire young learners, Integrate science for ALL learners, and Innovate science education for tomorrow. The timing of this NSTA area conference could not be better to support the implementation of the new Louisiana science standards. We hope you will join us and other teachers from all over this region in December!
Applications for the 2017 National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) are still open! NYSC is an honors program for two high achieving high school seniors from each state in the United States. Students’ application deadline is Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Please share the following links with potential candidates: http://apply.nysc.org/ and https://nysc.fluidreview.com/. NYSC dates are planned for June 14 – July 8, 2017.
Be sure to view the numerous professional learning opportunities for teachers listed in the PD section of this month’s newsletter. Also, review the student opportunities available to engage students in STEM activities! If you have not done so, now is a final reminder to nominate teachers in grades 7-12 for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST). You can nominate a teacher here.
Continue to check the LSTA Facebook page for information between newsletters for more information on the new science standards and continuation of science assessments. Like our FB page, follow us on Twitter and share with your colleagues! I hope everyone has a productive spring!