FOSS Implementation Case Study 4
7 elementary schools
6800 students K6
Average of three teachers at each grade level per building
The previous science program was hands-on and created by the
district from a variety of courses over a 20-year period.
I. CURRICULUM SELECTION
- Teacher discontent dictated change.
- Curriculum subcommittee studied available programs and recommended
- Major factors in the choice were that it was hands-on, was
appropriate for developmental states of students, included
a variety of assessments, incorporated cooperative groups,
and offered a complete set of materials.
- District has made a full commitment to the FOSS program.
- Implemented in grades 36 for the first year.
- Added units of combination grades and developed assessment
focus in year 2.
- Phased in K2 modules as they became available.
- Program phased in over a three-year period with full complement
of materials, including teacher guides, equipment kits, teacher
preparation videos, Science Essential Videos, and reading
II. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/STAFF DEVELOPMENT
Science Teacher Trainers
- Received strong support from district level administrators
and clerical staff.
- One classroom teacher per grade level became science specialist
as mentorship; each team continued full time in classroom
during school year and did extra summer work.
- Received stipend and release days for responsibility.
- Sold and disposed of the old science materials.
- Ordered all necessary materials.
- Prepared kits and teacher guides for distribution.
- Organized the District Science Materials and Conference Center.
- Planned and presented district in-services.
- Attended national, state, and local meetings, including
the FOSS Institute with LHS staff, the National Science Teachers
Convention, the State Science Teachers Convention, and a conference
on Teaching Science through Literature and Arts.
- Responded to numerous inquiries from other districts.
- Worked with district media coordinator to upgrade media collection
to support the FOSS program.
- Oversaw the science materials budget.
- Began a collection of science curriculum resource materials.
- Meet periodically to troubleshoot overall program implementation.
Teacher In-service Program
- Each teacher attended session at beginning of each of the
first three quarters, with the fourth-quarter session optional.
- Combination of district in-service days (2), release time
with substitutes (1), and after-school session. First three
were half-day sessions and the last one was 2 hours.
- Presentation of modules by grade-level science teacher trainers.
- Future in-service of teachers new to FOSS or changing grade
level will be done by a combination of science teacher trainers,
teacher preparation videos, and mentor teachers.
III. MATERIALS MANAGEMENT
FOSS Teacher Manuals
- Manuals signed out to each teacher to use and personalize
while teaching at a particular grade level.
- Added Think Sheets for identified Science Essentials Videos.
- Added Science Essentials Video listing with district order
- Prepared district FOSS resource books for each module.
- Set of 16 kits, 4 per grade level, housed in each elementary
- Measurement kit shared by two teachers.
- Added most teacher-provided materials.
- Reduced cooperative group size from four to three and provided
additional materials so all students have active role.
- Added some materials from the Measurement kit directly to
a few other kits.
- Provided ten basins for each classroom for organizing materials
- Repackaged materials in freezer zip bags with labels (kit
name, grade, item description, and number enclosed) to facilitate
organization, inventory, and ordering.
- Designed inventory and order form for each kit.
- Added available trade books to provide interdisciplinary dimension.
- For in-service purposes, scheduled by science trainers the
first year and by grade level within each school in following
- Materials for resupply ordered from district Science Materials
Center upon completion of the module and sent directly to
the teacher with the kit.
District Science Materials Center
- Inventory in database.
- Materials organized according to kit with multiple-use materials
- Staffed by part-time clerical position.
- Inventoried in December and April. Order in January to reach
maximum, and in April to reach maximum on nonconsumables and
get consumables for the following year.
- Science teacher trainers made special presentations to administrators,
board members, principals, substitute teachers.
- Received strong support from district level administrators and