Student Opt-Out of dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part of a course of instruction
from Michael Heinz,
Science Coordinator. Office of Standards, New Jersey Department of Education
With the start of a new school year, it is an opportunity to gently remind educators of New Jersey Statute 18A:35-4.25. In short, the law requires that a student be offered an alternative to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part of a course of instruction. The law has been in place since 2005. The complete Statute is below.
18A:35-4.25 Refusal to participate in certain school activities related to animal dissection , etc.
2. a. A public school pupil from kindergarten through grade 12 may refuse to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part of a course of instruction.
b. A school shall notify pupils and their parents or guardians at the beginning of each school year of the right to decline to participate in the activities enumerated in subsection a. of this section and shall authorize parents or guardians to assert the right of their children to refuse to participate in these activities. Within two weeks of the receipt of the notice, the pupils, parents or guardians shall notify the school if the right to decline participation in the enumerated activities will be exercised.
c. Any pupil who chooses to refrain from participation in or observation of a portion of a course of instruction in accordance with this section shall be offered an alternative education project for the purpose of providing the pupil with the factual knowledge, information or experience required by the course of study. A pupil may refuse to participate in an alternative education project which involves or necessitates any harmful use of an animal or animal parts.
d. A pupil shall not be discriminated against, in grading or in any other manner, based upon a decision to exercise the rights afforded pursuant to this act.
from Michael Heinz,
Science Coordinator. Office of Standards, New Jersey Department of Education
I am looking for science educators to donate 15 minutes to take the following survey. District leaders, folks in informal ed, etc., are welcome to take it, as well! The link is here: https://cuboulder.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cFOn6spXQQ8fNVH. This survey is from the ACESSE Project.
The Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE, or “access”) project brings together partners from educational research and practice to improve equity by building coherence in science education. The project is based on a deep collaboration between the University of Colorado Boulder, the Council of State Science Supervisors [including Michael Heinz], and the University of Washington.
I am seeking volunteers to score student applications from February 14 – March 5, 2019. We are already receiving applications so the process can begin prior to the deadline. Typically, readers score up to 5 applications. I can take up to one hour to score each application. Individuals who are willing to serve on the panel should email me at Michael.Heinz@doe.nj.gov.
For more nformation on National Youth Science Camp, visit:
2019 National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp)
The New Jersey Department of Education is pleased to announce its participation in the 2019 National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp). NYSCamp is an academically challenging residential science education program and will be held June 27-July 20, 2019 in Barstow, WV. Two delegates and two alternates will be selected from every state and Washington, DC to participate in this program. These students will have the opportunity to participate in lectures and seminars with nationally-recognized STEM professionals, attend special events in Washington, DC and engage in a variety of outdoor adventure activities.
Students who are interested in applying to attend the 2019 NYSCamp must be a graduating high school senior from a public or nonpublic school, resident of New Jersey and submit their completed application by February 28, 2019. The NYSCamp staff will work with families to ensure that delegates from New Jersey are able to attend their high school graduation ceremony, should there be a conflict. All travel and accommodation expenses are paid for by the National Youth Science Foundation.
As part of the application process, students will be asked to demonstrate high academic achievement, particularly in areas of mathematics and science, strong leadership abilities, and a strong commitment to school and/or community activities. In addition, students should be interested in pursuing higher education and a career in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) related field. A panel of New Jersey STEM professionals will score the applications and select two delegates and two alternates. Applicants will receive a notification of their status by March 19, 2019.
Please contact Michael Heinz, program administrator, for additional information about 2019 NYSCamp or the application process at email@example.com.
DOWNLOAD MEMO or read below.
From: Zakiya Smith Ellis, Ed.D., Secretary of Higher Education, State of New Jersey
The selection process for the prestigious Governor’s School of New Jersey has begun, and we would like you to identify high-achieving high school juniors who may be interested in these rigorous and demanding STEM summer residential academic programs.
There will be two programs operating in 2019. The Governor’s School of Engineering and Technology will be hosted at Rutgers University from June 30-July 26, 2019 and the Governor’s School in the Sciences will be hosted at Drew University from July 14-August 3, 2019.
The Governor’s School is open to outstanding juniors who are selected by their high schools, and you all play an instrumental role in identifying and encouraging potential applicants for these programs. As always, this program is free of all tuition and fees.
The applications and information for the Governor’s School in the Sciences and Governor's School of Engineering and Technology can be found on the following links:
Please note that applications are due by January 10, 2019.
High schools with up to 325 juniors may submit one application for each of the Governor’s School programs. If your high school has between 326 and 650 juniors, you may nominate two applicants for each of the two programs, and if your high school has 651 or more juniors, you may nominate three applicants for each program.
If you have any questions regarding application process or programs, please contact the respective program administrators listed below:
Thank you all for your continued interest and commitment to connecting students with supplementary academic enrichment opportunities.
Subject: Evaluating the coherence of science lessons and units with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science.
This two-day workshop is designed to train teachers how to use the Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubric for science to measure the degree to which lessons and units are designed for the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science.
The purpose of the rubric and review process is to: (1) review existing lessons and units to
determine what revisions are needed; (2) provide constructive criterion-based feedback and suggestions for improvement to developers; (3) identify examples/models for teachers’ use within and across states; and (4) to inform the development of new lessons, units, and other instructional materials.
This workshop is a cosponsored by the New Jersey Department of Education, Liberty Science Center, and Achieve. There is no cost to attend.
Audience: This workshop is most appropriate for K-12 science teachers, building administrators,
and informal educators.
Workshop Dates & Times: December 13-14, 2018 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
There is no cost to participate in the training. Registration, parking, and a box lunch are
provided for day fee for parking. Participants are responsible for their own snacks, beverages, and lunch. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the Café Skyline, located on the second floor of the LSC.
Registration for New Jersey Educators: https://tinyurl.com/EQuIPNJ2018
Registration for New York Educators: https://tinyurl.com/EQuIPNewYork2018
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The team at UW and CU Boulder is pleased to announce the publishing of a new ACESSE resource to support the process of selecting phenomena that can anchor units of instruction or be used in a scenario as part of a 3D assessment.
Resource E: Selecting Anchoring Phenomena for Equitable Teaching
This pair of workshops is designed to introduce you to the process of selecting phenomena that can anchor an entire unit that supports students’ 3D science learning or that can serve as a basis for a multi-component assessment task. This resource can also be used by individuals wanting to refine their teaching practice around phenomena based instruction. You may have heard a lot about phenomena, but you may also be wondering what exactly they are, and whether using phenomena is any different from how teachers teach today already.
This learning experience will help you:
With respect to the assessment process, this resource supports the task of clarifying learning goals and eliciting evidence of student learning. Specifically, analyzing standards helps to clarify learning goals. In assessment, scenarios present phenomena to students, and then specific prompts are designed to elicit student understanding of core ideas, practices and crosscutting concepts. Once written as a scenario for an assessment, teachers can use the resources introduced in ACESSE Resource B to design specific prompts for their assessments (SEP Task Formats Tool, CCC Prompts Tool). This resource complements Resource C, in that it provides some ways to integrate tools to connect science instruction meaningfully to students’ everyday lives and cultural practices. This workshop has multiple segments, and it is broken into two sessions that last roughly three hours each, which can be organized as a full-day session or across multiple days.
For those of you new to CSSS, ACESSE is a partnership between researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Colorado Boulder and the Council of State Science Supervisors. We are developing and testing resources to help create more coherent and equitable systems of state science education. The resources center on supporting equitable assessment practice and on development of state teams. There’s a link from the CSSS website, and all resources we have developed can be found here. You can follow us on Twitter at @ACESSE_Project.
All of the resources are Creative Commons licensed and can be adapted and used by anyone to support the vision of equitable teaching and learning articulated in A Framework for K-12 Science Education.
NJDOE Science Coordinator, Michael Heinz, created parent information pages about the science standards. Schools are welcome to use them as they are or even rebrand them as their own.
Dear NJ Science Educators,
Currently NJ science educators are invited to apply for participation on an item writing committee related to an assessment grant in which New Jersey is participating. Those who are selected will be required to work onsite in Baltimore, Maryland August 7 - 9 as well as complete advance online training. An honorarium of $1225 will be provided as well as lodging and reimbursement for travel mileage.
The committee is still in need of general education science teachers in the following areas: Teachers of science with expertise in 1) elementary life science and/or physical science, 2) middle school life science and/or physical science, 3) high school biology.
Interested individuals must complete the recruitment survey as soon as possible and no later than June 21, 2018. The recruitment survey is available at https://kansasedu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9zzPbrfDmRoMlwN.
More information is available in the attachment (below), and also by emailing recruitment staff at Ismart@ku.edu. I-Smart staff will respond directly to selected participants with more details. Thank you for considering this opportunity.
Michael Heinz, Science Coordinator, Office of Academics
Division of Teaching and Learning, New Jersey Department of Education
Science Homepage: http://www.state.nj.us/education/aps/cccs/science/
Since the adoption of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science (NJSLS-S) in 2014, educators have been looking for high-quality instructional materials that will support student instruction toward the goals of the science standards. In response to this demand, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is working in collaboration with a group of state education agencies, school districts, classroom educators, experienced science curriculum developers and the science education community to create research-based, open-source science instructional units that align to the NJSLS-S. Once field tested, the materials will be free to use.
The NJDOE is seeking 12 teams comprised of three science teachers, one each from grades 6 to 8 to field test two of the new science instructional units. Each team will participate in four days of professional development in August 2018 and then ongoing sessions throughout the year. The initial trainings will focus on how to utilize the instructional materials. The focus then shifts to providing ongoing support for the pilot teachers.
A comprehensive description of the pilot project, answers to frequently asked questions, and a nomination form can be obtained by emailing Michael Heinz, NJDOE Science Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations must be submitted by 4 p.m. on June 8, 2018.
February 13, 2018
To: Chief School Administrators, Charter School and Renaissance School Project Leads
From: Linda Eno, Acting Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Division of Teaching and Learning
Opportunities to Highlight STEM Month March Activities in March Through the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network
March is STEM Month in New Jersey, and the goal of NJ STEM Month is to celebrate New Jersey’s commitment to excellence in STEM programs and showcase them in each region of the state. This represents an opportunity for school districts and other organizations throughout New Jersey to highlight ongoing work that is designed to increase access to STEM learning and prepare learners of all ages for STEM careers.
STEM Month co-creators, the Research & Development Council of New Jersey and the New Jersey STEM Pathways Network (NJSPN), are partnering to provide an opportunity for schools and organizations in New Jersey to showcase and celebrate their STEM work. School districts and organizations can post STEM events and site tours to the STEM Month 2018 calendar by using the NJSPN Event Form.
Examples of NJ STEM Month events include:
Additional information can be found on the NJSPN’s STEM Month webpage.
For questions or comments about NJSPN or NJ STEM Month, please email Kim Case of the Research & Development Council of New Jersey at email@example.com.
On January 3, the State Board of Education voted to move the change to assessing students in grade 5 on the science assessments to the Proposal Level. There will be a 60-day public comment period on the proposal and then the state board would take up the proposal for adoption. Comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NJDOE will be providing additional information and resources in the coming weeks to support districts as they implement the new science assessments.
Download file: update_on_new_jersey’s_new_science_assessments_2017-11-08.pdf
The following announcement is from Michae Heinz, NJDOE Science Coordinator.
As you may know the Department of Education has almost completed the procurement of a statewide science assessment vendor. The vendor plays a limited role in the process of developing the science tests. In addition to the vendor, the production of science assessments depends on the members of the science assessment advisory committees. I cannot overstate this, the voice of educators is essential to insuring that the statewide science tests are of the highest quality. We need educators across grade bands and with expertise in physical, life, and Earth and space sciences. I am reaching out to ask that you and your colleagues apply for membership in a science assessment advisory committee. The deadline for application is October 12, 2017.
We know that many teachers need board of education or superintendent approval before they can commit to serving on a committee. Because the work on the statewide assessments is launching very soon, we encourage you to take care of the internal approval process and send in your application simultaneously. If an applicant does not receive approval from their school district after submitting their application, there is no harm done.
The New Jersey Department of Education is currently accepting nominations/applications for the science assessment advisory committees. The link below will take you to the Broadcast Announcement regarding the committee applications. We look forward to receiving your application.
Broadcast memo regarding the Science Advisory Committee:
Science Advisory Committee Nomination Form:
If you have any questions please feel free to contact John Boczany, Science Assessment Coordinator, at (609) 292-5622 or at John.Boczany@doe.state.nj.us
Professional Online Supports for Teaching - The POST is an online newsletter that offers many resources including some for the NJSLS for science, otherwise known as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), to make this implementation a smooth transition.
The current edition has links to STEM practice briefs, NGSS Early Implementer Districts’
lessons learned about professional learning, and information about the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.
The screencast of the final NGSS webinar of the program year has been posted on the NAGT/AGI collaboration website.
The webinar, NGSS Across the Sciences Curriculum, happened May 11 and featured presentations from Dr. Jo Ellen Roseman (American Association for the Advancement of Science), Dr. James Kessler (American Chemical Society), and Dr. Aleeza Oshry (Howard Hughes Medical Institute).
You can see the screencast, the presentation slides, and additional resources from the presenters on the webinar page.
Mark your calendars now for the first webinar of next program year. On Speptember 14, we will have a webinar entitled Achieve Resources and Tools for NGSS Implementation featuring a presentation from Matt Krehbiel of Achieve, Inc. Read more about the webinar and pre-register at