The Foundation concluded operations on December 31, 2020. Learn more.

NGSS Early Implementers

Implementing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Eight California school districts are bringing science to life as a core subject through the NGSS Early Implementers Initiative. The progress, experiences, and lessons from this diverse group can inform all districts implementing NGSS. The initiative is managed by the K-12 Alliance of WestEd; it spans 2014 to 2020 and focuses on NGSS implementation in grades K-8.

In each district, the initiative is guided by a core leadership team of teacher leaders and administrators who participate in professional learning and coaching activities. Teachers engage in science lesson studies twice each year through a Teaching Learning Collaborative.

Early Implementers are demonstrating the benefits of science instruction that is inquiry-based and student-centered. Their experience shows that teachers, schools, and districts – regardless of their relative experience with science – can instruct to the rigorous new standards.

Participating public school districts
Galt Joint Union Elementary, Kings Canyon Unified, Lakeside Union, Oakland Unified, Palm Springs Unified, San Diego Unified, Tracy Unified, and Vista Unified

Evaluation and Learning

The initiative is evaluated by WestEd’s STEM unit independent of the K-12 Alliance. The multi-year evaluation is exploring the most promising strategies for NGSS implementation, and the impact of the initiative on districts, administrators, teachers, and students. Findings are disseminated statewide.

Science learning communities within and across the eight participating districts, and between Early Implementer districts and other districts, support the sharing and dissemination of learning.

Foundation staff documented their observations and learning as the initiative concluded. View these reflections.

Related Resources

Discover major, high-level learnings from the evaluation in this final highlights report.
See what NGSS instruction looks like in action through this rich description and analysis of real-life lessons.        
Discover how eight school districts worked toward districtwide implementation of NGSS over six years.
Learn about a suite of tools and processes for evaluating and selecting instructional materials aligned with NGSS.
Draw inspiration from this story about the tenacious science education leaders in California who are fueling NGSS implementation through united action.
Explore updated findings on how school and district administrators are making critical contributions to the implementation of NGSS.
Discover how teachers are integrating environmental literacy and NGSS to deepen student learning.
Learn how districts are using lesson study to help teachers experiment with the instructional shifts required by NGSS.
Discover how the Early Implementers Initiative prepared teachers to become leaders in NGSS teaching and change agents in their districts.
Learn how a diverse population of students is benefiting from instruction aligned to NGSS.
Learn how schools and districts are negotiating the transition to the integrated science instruction model in grades 6–8.
Explore 10 key tools and processes that aid NGSS lesson planning, instruction, and administrator support.
Discover lessons learned by districts about how to develop and use master plans for NGSS implementation.
Learn how school and district administrators are making critical contributions to the implementation of NGSS.
Learn how K–8 teachers are integrating science and English language arts instruction.
Follow the progress of eight school districts as they begin transitioning to NGSS.