Advanced Learning Secondary Science

Summary: In Seattle Public Schools, advanced learning services are changing so that each student has access to advanced learning opportunities.



SPS is “going farther than ever” in intermediate science.

At Seattle Public Schools (SPS), advanced learning services are being rolled out so that all students have access to advanced learning opportunities. An example of these changes can be seen within the medium of science.

While most students progress from the general science curriculum, others find the excitement in an additional challenge – known in some schools as “going the extra mile”. Students who choose to “go further” are given the opportunity to push their learning to the next level with more complex activities.

“I’m a big advocate for all children who have to struggle with content,” said Leah Van More, a science teacher at Jane Addams Middle School.

“Going Farther” includes additional aspects of a project that keep a student’s work at a higher level. From increased technical writing and computer skills, to more specific and rigorous tests and assignments, students are given access to advanced learning opportunities.

Although it has been part of Van Mure’s curriculum since 2016, SPS began to formally provide working examples — which include ideas for students to delve deeper into a topic — into all intermediate science teachers during the 2021-22 academic year. .

Before they had a chance to “go further,” students in advanced basic learning sciences were automatically transferred to high school science courses in high school. This was done in response to their advanced learning needs, but in the end it was revealed that the students were not prepared for the high school courses.

“That was problematic because the students didn’t get the basic science in the basic science [school]said Alisha Taylor, a specialist in the SPS Science Curriculum. “By the time they reached seventh grade, they were studying high school chemistry and physics and weren’t ready.”

The program was also failing to provide every SPS middle school student with access to fair learning experiences.

This led to the collaboration of the Advanced Learning SPS Science Department to help transform the previous system to help all students shine. The new type of teaching in secondary education is flexible enough to provide advanced lessons in the right place and, at the same time, to meet the need for a student to provide a level of support in other areas.

The learning model also serves as a bridge to higher science courses and offers advanced learning opportunities at a level that is more suitable for intermediate students.

“I want to make sure that all the students in Seattle — the children who are far from being educated, our black boys and teens — are given special attention so that our teachers and schools have access to everything they can bring to their children right now,” said Deenie Berry. , SPS Advanced Learning Program Manager. “They deserve it, and we have a moral imperative to offer that in every school in the neighborhood.”

Today, middle school science teachers meet monthly to share tools and resources and discuss new types of ideas and teaching that take into account the child’s needs. This will ensure that each student has access to advanced learning opportunities.

Advanced Learning also aims to organize a 2022 summer institute for teachers to delve deeper into new teaching concepts.

While making changes, it is important to keep in mind that advanced learning is not disappearing, it is improving.

“Going further, each student has the opportunity to learn science in more depth and with greater rigor,” Taylor said.

Intermediate science transitions are an important part of SPS’s new model of advanced learning services. The change will ensure that every intermediate science student receives sufficient level of education and that advanced learning services are available to all.



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