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New Science Curriculum On Its Way

Bond funds replacement of nearly 20-year-old K–8 science curriculum 

New science curriculum materials will soon be on their way to Eugene School District 4J, purchased using bond funds approved by voters in 2013. The district has adopted new science curriculum for grades K–8 for the first time in nearly 20 years.

4J science curriculum in grades K–8 is kit-based, with kits consisting of laboratory equipment, texts, non-fiction reading materials and teacher materials. The new materials will replace science kits that have been in use since the district’s last elementary science adoption in spring 1997, and are now used in both elementary and middle schools.

The new curriculum will be purchased this spring and elementary and middle school classrooms will have new science kits to use beginning in the fall.

High school science curriculum updates will be considered next. The high school science curriculum adoption team will pilot curricula in physical science, earth science, space science, biology, chemistry and physics next school year (2016–17) and provide a recommendation for curriculum to be implemented as early as fall 2017.


About the curriculum and the adoption process

The district undertook an extensive and inclusive process to select these new science materials, spanning more than a year. Dozens of teachers across the district participated in piloting materials aligned to Oregon’s new science standards (New Generation Science Standards / NGSS). Each teacher piloted materials from at least two publishers and provided feedback to help select the potential curricula to recommend. Parents, educators and community members were invited to learn about and give feedback on science curriculum options under consideration at a two-day science adoption open house in January.

After the extensive review process, the science adoption team recommended and the Eugene School Board approved the adoption of FOSS Elementary science curriculum for elementary classrooms and IQWST Activate Learning for middle school classrooms. Each science unit for physical science, earth and space science and life science is designed to engage students in active science inquiry that involves instructional kits and non-fiction reading and assessment activities that align to Oregon’s adopted Common Core State Standards for English language arts.

News media about the curriculum adoption process: 
Eugene Weekly
Oregon News


About the school bond measure

In May 2013, voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly passed a bond measure to provide funding for 4J school improvements. The bond measure is paying for improvements at every 4J school, including updated science curricula and other instructional materials, new student technology, security upgrades, and building repairs, as well as replacing four of the district’s oldest, most inefficient school buildings. (Learn more)

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