FOSS Implementation Case Study 2
15 elementary schools
7300 students K6
320 teachers K6
I. CURRICULUM SELECTION PROCESS
One teacher experienced in special education and environmental
education, familiar with the SAVI/SELPH program, and driven by a
passion for hands-on science, hand-carried FOSS into the district
adoption process and maintained enthusiasm for the program right
through its approval as the district curriculum.
II. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/STAFF DEVELOPMENT
A. Initiating Leadership Development
- The full-time science coordinator started working with a team
of 14 lead teachers, 2 per grade level, serving the 15 schools.
These teachers studied the new California State Framework and
worked with a FOSS consultant to become familiar with the philosophy
and mechanics of the program.
- The second year 18 new lead teachers were trained to use FOSS
and brought on board. These teachers used their training to run
a summer school using FOSS.
- These 32 teachers formed the Lead Science Team and met every
other month through the early years of the implementation process.
They were the problem solvers.
B. Initiating Staff Development
The lead teachers conducted grade-level team meetings at the schools
to introduce the site staffs to the new program. The teachers were
introduced to the centralized system for replacement of consumables
and live organisms through the Instructional Materials Center.
C. Developing Collaborative Support
The support of a business partner, Intel, provided money to purchase
videos, literature, and other resource books, and provided funds
for lead teachers to attend State Science Teachers Association annual
D. Sustaining Staff Development and Implementation
- "Inculturate" new teachers. There is an ongoing mechanism
for introducing new teachers to the district science program.
Each new teacher goes through 30 hours of professional development
with a mentor teacher. The district science coordinator conducted
five after-school sessions on FOSS for new teachers.
- Keep it new and exciting for teachers.
- Bimonthly curriculum newsletter to all teachers
- Science songbook for all modules
- Balance toys sent out to grade 2 teachers (Balance
and Motion Module)
- Insect posters sent to teachers (Insects Module)
- Free owl pellets (Human Body Module)
- Correlation of FOSS to supplementary materials used in the
- Provide clear standards. The district provided student-learning
outcomes for each module for each grade level and distributed
those to the teachers.
- Support high expectations.
- Get the support of the principals, the instructional leaders
in the schools. Ask them to do FOSS lessons in the classroom.
- Ask principals to do evaluations when FOSS is being used
in a classroom.
- Promote science nights (one per year per school).
- Have the principal recommend that the teacher call the
lead science teacher for help if the teacher is having trouble
getting started (so the teacher asks for the help rather
than the principal).
- Have kit specialists at the school to help teachers who
might have special problems in working with organisms (insects,
- Use school improvement funds to support the science program
at the site, to purchase literature books, to send teachers
to conferences, or to support teachers who attend FOSS activities
outside the district.
- Evaluate and Celebrate
- Have yearly evaluation forms and ask the teachers to sign
III. MATERIALS MAINTENANCE
A. Housing the Materials
Kits are housed and maintained at the 15 individual school sites.
B. Managing the Materials
The lead teachers worked with the staff at each site to determine
the most efficient system for materials management.
C. Inventory and Consumable Replacement
All the consumables and live organisms were provided through
the Instructional Materials Center. One classified staff as manager
handles all the purchasing and shipping out to schools. Materials
arrive at the school site within 24 hours after they are requested.
D. Checkout (Rotation) System
Use of kits is determined at the school site with the assistance
of the lead teacher.
Through the lead teachers and the curriculum coordinators, the
principals were informed about the program.
Parents are informed about the science program through meetings
and science nights at the schools.
Financial support has been primarily district and Eisenhower funds.
A local high-tech industry has supported the purchase of multimedia,
literature, and the participation of teachers in state science conferences.