Science Overview

  •  In City Schools of Decatur, our vision is: We will build the foundation for all children to be their best, achieve their dreams, and make the world a better place.

    We recognize the important role sciences play in ensuring that all children can be their best, achieve their dreams and make the world a better place. In our K-2 schools, students engage in science inquiry through their EL Expeditions and ARC units. Students have opportunities to ask questions, explore the world around them and learn through a hands-on approach to science learning. In our 3-5 schools, students continue the journey through GA Science standards with their IB Units of Inquiry. Students make conceptual connections to central ideas that are globally significant. In the elementary years, science standards are focused on building foundational understandings in the areas of Physical, Life, and Earth sciences.

    As students continue their studies of science in the IB Middle Years Program at Beacon Hill Middle School, they engage in a 3-year sequence that includes sixth grade Earth Science, seventh grade Life Science and eighth grade Physical Science. Science at Decatur High School is based on a physics-chemistry-biology sequence that leads students, over four years, from the simple to the complex.

    Beliefs of Effective Science Instruction-

    We believe that effective science instruction must reflect and address real-world concerns. It is a rigorous and joyful process with multiple entry points that lead to an ever-expanding examination of why and how. 

    • It is mentally stimulating

    • It is an ever-widening process of exploration in which students are able to ask 

    questions and process information from multiple sources when discussing science.

    • It is the development of comfort with hands-on and minds-on inquiry-based

     investigative work

    • It is engaging, transformative, and joyfully rigorous

    • It ignites students' desires to address real-world concerns through interactive

    activities and field experiences to empower change in the future

    • It is accessible to all.

    To reach these beliefs the Teacher and student moves are as follows:

    Teacher Moves

    Student Moves

    • Generates interest and curiosity
      Raises Questions

    • Assesses current knowledge, including misconceptions

    • Provides time for students to work together

    • Observes and listens to students as they interact

    • Asks probing questions to redirect student’s investigations when necessary

    • Asks for evidence and clarification from students

    • Uses students previous experiences as a basis for explaining concepts

    • Encourages students to explain concepts and definitions in their own words, then provides scientific explanations and vocabulary

    • Expects students to apply scientific concepts, skills, and vocabulary to new situations

    • Reminds students of alternative explanations

    • Observes and assesses students as they apply new concepts and skills

    • Allows students to assess their own learning and group process skills 

    • Asks open-ended questions

    • Uses culturally-responsive pedagogy

    CSD Scientists are:

    • Brave in asking and investigating

    • Investigators of the ways science has and can make the world a better place

    • Curious

    • Explorers

    • Persistent

    • Always thinking about their next thoughtful and relevant question

    Goals and Objectives

    To ensure that all science classrooms reflect and address these beliefs, the following program goals should be implemented:

    1. Develop and implement curriculum and instructional materials that incorporate real-world concerns, are mentally stimulating, and provide multiple entry points for all students in grades K-8.

    2. Provide professional development opportunities for teachers to support their understanding and implementation of inquiry-based, hands-on, and minds-on investigative work.

    3. Promote engagement in transformative and joyfully rigorous science experiences through interactive activities, field experiences, and opportunities for student-led inquiry.

    4. Foster an inclusive learning environment that promotes access and equity for all students, regardless of their background or ability.

    5. Encourage students in each lesson to develop a deep understanding of why and how things work, question the essence of reality, and apply scientific knowledge to address real-world concerns.

    6. Use assessment practices that focus on student understanding, skills development, and the ability to apply scientific knowledge to real-world problems.

    7. Establish partnerships with community organizations, businesses, and government agencies to provide opportunities for students to engage in real-world science experiences.

    By incorporating these program goals, science instruction can be made accessible, engaging, and transformative for all students, ultimately leading to empowered individuals who are equipped to address real-world concerns and promote change in the future.