Next Generation Science Standards

In November 2013, California officially adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  School districts across the state will begin the process of transitioning from prior standards to the NGSS between now and 2017.   You can view the California Department of Education's FAQs for the NGSS here.  

From  the  CA Department of Education FAQ
Q: When are schools expected to implement NGSS for California?
A: Full implementation of NGSS for California is planned to occur over several years and in the context of a continuous learning process. 

The CDE has identified three phases of implementation. These phases: Awareness (2013–2015), Transition (2015–2016), and Implementation (2016–2017), are similar phases as described in the Common Core Systems Implementation Plan for California.
  • The Awareness Phase represents an introduction to the NGSS, the initial planning of systems implementation, and establishment of collaborations.
  • The Transition Phase is the concentration of building foundational resources, implementing needs assessments, establishing new professional learning opportunities, and expanding collaborations between all stakeholders.
  • The Implementation Phase expands the new professional learning support, fully aligns curriculum, instruction, and assessments, and effectively integrates these elements across the field.


Important Facts to know about NGSS:

  • NGSS concepts and scientific knowledge build coherently across a student's entire K-12 science education.
  • The NGSS are distinct from previous science standards in three essential ways:
    1. PERFORMANCE: The NGSS embed performance expectations within each standard that outline what students should "be able to do" in order to demonstrate that they have met the standards, in contrast to prior standards' emphasis on what students should "know" or "understand."
    2. FOUNDATION: Each performance expectation incorporates a science and engineering practice, a disciplinary core idea, and a crosscutting concept. 
    3. COHERENCE: Each set of performance expectations are connected with other ideas within the disciplines of science and engineering and with the Common Core State Standards in English and Mathematics



Visit the VUSD Next Generation Science & STEM page here