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Newton Public Schools: Systemwide Goals in STEM

The Newton Public Schools recently adopted the following STEM-related goals among its Systemwide Goals for the 2018-19 school year:

Elementary Schools

  • Implement Investigations 3 in grades K, 1, 2, and 5.
  • Roll out new science units in grade 3 to align with MA Science and
    Technology Engineering (STE) Frameworks and Next Generation
    Science Standards (NGSS).
  • Develop and revise science and engineering units in grade 4 to align
    with new standards.

Middle Schools

  • Implement Illustrative Math curriculum in all middle school grades.
  • Plan for improved research writing across disciplines in accordance
    with the MA DESE Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies,
    Science, and Technical Subjects in collaboration with library teachers.
  • Develop a plan for improving students’ literacy skills across disciplines
    in accordance with the MA DESE Standards for Literacy in
    History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.
  • Begin developing short performance assessment and embedded
    assessments in new science curriculum to measure student progress.
  • Evaluate the use of anchoring phenomenon to engage students in
    critical and creative thinking in STE.
  • Continue the Calculus Project.

High Schools

  • Support Calculus Project students in grades 9-11, monitor course
    placement and achievement in both high school cohorts.

Mass. DESE Survey on Sci/Tech/Engineering Assessments, due July 10

The Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education invites educators and members of the public to complete a 10-15-minute survey about upcoming revisions to the MCAS assessments for Science and Technology/Engineering.  Responses are due by July 10.  If you have questions about the survey, contact Darin LaSota at

Change in Newton High Schools’ Pathway to AP Biology

NNHS and NSHS Science Departments have announced a change in the pathway leading to AP Biology.  In the past, this course was taken mainly by juniors as an intensive introduction to biology.  Starting with the Class of 2016, students interested in AP Biology will complete Honors or Advanced College Prep (formerly “Curriculum I”) Biology in junior year and then elect AP Biology in senior year.

Grades 9 & 10: Feb. Biology MCAS Affects Scholarship Eligibility

From the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education:  “Beginning with the class of 2016, a student’s score on a high school Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) MCAS test will be added to the eligibility criteria for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. Therefore, the score for a grade 9 or 10 student who takes the February 2014 Biology MCAS test will count toward his or her scholarship eligibility.”