New Visions Science Curriculum

The New Visions high school science curricula for Living Environment and Earth Science are designed to support teachers with enacting the vision of A Framework for K-12 Science Education, while attending to the requirements of  the high-stakes Regents examinations in New York State. The approach from the Framework calls for students to engage in the practices of science in order to explain phenomena using disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts. This type of three-dimensional learning is a shift away from a classroom in which students learn about science from the teacher or text and then conduct labs to reinforce and demonstrate scientific ideas, to one in which students engage in doing science through investigations and sense-making.  

Why are the materials “transitional” rather than “fully aligned?”

New York State adopted new standards for science in December 2016. The plan for implementation for these standards involves three phases:

Phase I: Raise Awareness and Build Capacity

July 2017 - August 2019

Phase II: Transition and Implementation

September 2019 - August 2021

Phase III: Implementation and Sustainability

September 2021 - August 2024





WHO: New Visions is working with Teacher Leaders & Administrators

WHO: New Visions is working with all teachers. Follow up with leaders.

WHO: Continue working with all teachers.

MATERIALS: Transitional curriculum materials are available on NV website.

MATERIALS: Mix of traditional and fully-aligned curriculum materials are available on NV website.

MATERIALS: Fully-aligned curriculum materials are available on NV website.

ASSESSMENTS: Students, teachers and schools are still held accountable to traditional Regents Exams.

ASSESSMENTS: Students, teachers and schools are still held accountable to traditional Regents Exams.

*Classroom assessment should begin to prepare students for Phase III new state assessments.

ASSESSMENTS: New state assessments are first piloted, then administered at scale.

PD: New Visions science teacher professional learning throughout the year will support teachers with the transitional units (currently on website).

PD: New Visions science teacher professional learning throughout the year will support teachers with both the transitional and the new units.

Field testing one new unit in ES and LE; Leadership Summit

Field testing additional, fully-aligned units in ES and LE; Developing new scope and sequence (course map) for ES, LE, Chem and Physics

The transition to new science assessments aligned with the NYS Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS) will not begin until 2021; therefore, today’s high school science students must be prepared for current Regents examinations, which are aligned to the NYS Core Curriculum, NY’s previous set of standards. It is for this reason that transitional curriculum materials used during Phases I and II must still address the old standards, while preparing teachers and students for the new NYSSLS.

How do our materials address both sets of standards?

The scope and sequences for the Earth Science and Living Environment courses cover all of the required topics for the Regents examinations. For Earth Science, connections to the Earth Science Reference Tables (ESRT) are embedded throughout the units. The traditional activities related to the Regents exam are included, such as calculating eccentricity, locating epicenters, and identifying rocks and minerals. For Living Environment, all of the required NYS labs are integrated into the units. Teachers can access curated Regents questions from the past few years related to each unit through the unit plans.

The structure of each unit in the New Visions science curricula follows a format that attends to the following components that are consistent with the vision of the new NYSSLS: anchor phenomena and related performance tasks, coherent storylines which connect the multiple learning cycles within the unit, use of BSCS 5E Instructional Model to address three-dimensional learning, and integration of group learning routines to promote student sense-making and discourse.

Coherence across a unit

Coherence within a 5E learning cycle

Group learning routines

Role “Productive struggle” (maybe this fits with the 5E section?)... opportunities for students to leave the room NOT knowing the right answer, teacher NOT necessarily correcting misconceptions the moment they are surfaced, etc.

Beliefs about science teaching and learning

Our beliefs about the importance of equity are at the core here.

Who created these materials?

Developed alongside of teachers in our network. Instructional specialists authored units. Worked with teachers in PD to prepare for enactment, which fed into revisions. Etc.

Our theory of action/beliefs about teacher learning OVER TIME