With standardized testing now under way, I want to wish everyone good luck over the next few weeks. I hope your students’ scores accurately reflect the effort you have put forth over the course of this year. In science education, we are currently at a crossroads-to test or not to test. To my disappointment, the Governor’s Advisory Council has recommended to only assess science in grades 5 and 8. In my opinion, if it is not assessed, it will not be taught; especially not to the level at which the new science standards require. If free throws did not count for any points, who would practice them? I am glad to share with LSTA members that the State ESSA plan approved by BESE includes the assessment of science in every grade 3 through 8. On behalf of preparing our students for a quality science education in this century, I am looking forward to supporting that effort.
In light of the new science standards, professional development for science teachers has come to the forefront. I am proud to say LSTA will help lead the way by presenting one-day sessions at the Teacher Leader Summit for teachers in grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each of these three sessions will dive deep into parts of the standards especially the 3-dimensions. Now is the time to let your administrator know you want to be a Teacher Leader in science. The Teacher Leader Summit will be held in New Orleans June 6-9. LSTA’s sessions will be held Thursday, June 8. Teachers will need to register in advance for these sessions beginning April 20. LSTA also will be hosting workshops in your area to support implementation. Stay tuned to future newsletters for more information.
I want to again remind science teachers of the NSTA area conference “Celebrate Science: Inspire, Integrate, Innovate,” coming to New Orleans, November 30-December 2. Mark your calendars and inform your administration now! Dr. Debbie Silver will be the keynote speaker! For those that do not know Debbie, she is a best-selling author, educational speaker/motivator, and past Louisiana Science Teacher of the Year. We cannot wait to welcome her back to Louisiana for her engaging, humorous, and meaningful commentary on education! We hope you will join us in November! This summer, LSTA will release travel grants for teachers to secure funding to attend this year’s conference. Stay posted to the LSTA awards page and be sure to submit an application.
Now is also the time to consider becoming a leader of science education in Louisiana. Nominations are currently being accepted for positions on the LSTA board. The deadline for submitting nomination packets is Saturday, August 26, 2017. More information can be found on the nominations page of the LSTA website.
Be sure to review 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! Continue to check the LSTA Facebook page for 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 great end of the year!