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Update on Science Sequencing at Central and South

On Oct. 23, the district presented the board of education with a report about science sequencing, which is part of the curriculum alignment work that is being conducted in conjunction with Goal 1 of the strategic plan.

In order to align the science curriculum between Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South, the district needed to look at the sequence of courses that are available to our students. Since the course sequences at the schools differed, we formed a team to investigate the science program options that would provide coherence across the two buildings.

After participating in several meetings and presentations, and also getting feedback from students, members of the science department, community members and members of the Board, the team came to the conclusion that the district's students should take a vertically-aligned sequence of science courses that builds upon the skills of the previous course. This sequence would begin with Physics in the Universe starting freshman year.

By making this change, the district will provide students with the chance to experience four different types of science (earth science, physics, chemistry and biology) over a three-year period, while also continuing to prepare them for Advanced Placement courses and electives. The change will also help us achieve the following goals:

  • Align course fees, texts, objectives and semester exams
  • Increase student exposure to and interest in core sciences
  • Align courses with college and career opportunities
  • Create a strategic and coherent science program
  • Provide informed student choice in coursework junior and senior year
  • Increase SEL considerations for students and parents/guardians

At the conclusion of the presentation, the board expressed its support of the change to the science program, which will be implemented at both schools by class cohort starting in August 2020. Since this change will result in a shift in the current core course sequencing at Central, we will be aiding the transition at the school by limiting freshman enrollment in the courses in August 2020. We will then implement the change with all of the incoming freshmen at Central in August 2021. Since the change will not result in a shift in the current core course sequencing at South, all freshmen will begin in the courses when they enter the school in August 2020. In keeping with our existing practice, a student's science placement will be based on his/her math placement.

You can access the report the Board received about science sequencing by visiting http://bit.ly/2pSJQ1S. You can access the presentation about science sequencing that was given during the meeting by visiting http://bit.ly/32LV0UT. You can also view/listen to the presentation and conversation about the topic that took place during the meeting by visiting http://bit.ly/35ZeQhn (presentation starts at the 57:17 mark and goes until the 1:50:50 mark).