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“A coherent and consistent approach throughout grades K-12 is key to realizing the vision for science and engineering education...: that students, over multiple years of school, actively engage in science and engineering practices and apply crosscutting concepts to deepen their understanding of each field’s disciplinary core ideas.”- National Research Council. (2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. pg. 2.  


Tolland Public Schools recognizes the power of a strong K-12 Science program in developing students’ understanding of science and engineering content, concepts, and skills. The current curriculum is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, and is designed to meet the key teaching and learning shifts intended by the Framework for K-12 Science Education. The Framework and NGSS are based on decades of research on brain and child development, teaching and learning in science, and work toward on the following overarching goals:

“...by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science; possess sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues; are careful consumers of scientific and technological information related to their everyday lives; are able to continue to learn about science outside school; and have the skills to enter careers of their choice, including (but not limited to) careers in science, engineering, and technology.” (Framework, pg. 1.)


The NGSS is organized into grade level Performance Expectations that weave Disciplinary Core Ideas (content), Science and Engineering Practices (skills), and Cross-cutting Concepts (overarching scientific principles) together, requiring teachers to facilitate students' learning of science by allowing them to "do" science. Within the Tolland Science curriculum, each grade's Performance Expectations are organized into units, each with an anchoring phenomenon that engages and excites students to learn scientific concepts and employ scientific and engineering practices in order to fully explain the phenomenon or meet a design challenge. The curriculum also employs a spiral approach, allowing concepts and skills to develop in complexity across grade levels at developmentally appropriate times. 


For more information about the units in each grade, please visit the school sites and click on Curriculum ---> Science. 


For further details and information about the NGSS, see the links below.

A Framework for K-12 Science Education- Outlines the research and rationale used to develop the NGSS.

NGSS K-12 Performance Expectations- Organized by grade level and core ideas

Science and Engineering Practices Learning Progressions- details about each of the 8 practices, as well as how these important skills are expected to develop during the course of a student's K-12 education.

Cross-cutting Concept Learning Progressions- details how students develop an understanding of these key scientific principles across disciplines during the course of a student's K-12 education.

Conceptual Shifts in the Next Generation Science Standards- Key teaching and learning shifts that are inherent in the implementation of the NGSS.



Mark Ruede 

Curriculum Supervisor of Science, K-12

mruede@tolland.k12.ct.us

(860) 870-6850 extension 6

Adrienne Ernest Secretary to the Curriculum Supervisors aernest@tolland.k12.ct.us (860) 870-6850 extension 6