Overview of the 2020-2021 Academic Year for Science

Chelmsford Public Schools is committed to engaging and rigorous Science Curriculum. Over the last three years, we have undergone several revisions to assessments, pacing guides, syllabi, and pathways to transition to the 2016 MA STE Frameworks. In this process, a large focus on student-driven inquiry is occurring related to the following 8 core Science Practices:

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information


General Description of Science at our Building Levels:


Grades K-5:

Students are engaged in the FOSS Complete Science System in the areas of Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth/Space Science to meet the demands of the 2016 MA STE Frameworks. For more information on FOSS, please visit their website, https://www.fossweb.com/ or login with Clever for your student’s access. Students in grade 5 will take the digital Grade 5 MCAS STE Assessment.

Grades 6-8:

Teachers worked this summer to develop new pacing guides and syllabi for each grade level that address the new frameworks. Work has begun to develop benchmark assessments across the district in grades 7 and 8 as well. Students in grade 8 will take the digital Grade 8 MCAS STE Assessment.

Grades 9-12:

Chelmsford High School offers several options for students to learn in a variety of Science Topics. Students have courses geared towards Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Science. Dual Enrollment options are currently available with Biotechnology and Chemistry through Middlesex Community College. AP course options are AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics 1, AP Physics C, and AP Environmental Science.

Science Honors Placement

At CHS, the Science Department offers instruction at various academic levels. Level 1 Honors courses are by teacher recommendation only. The recommendation is based upon performance in both Science, Mathematics, and ELA. The student should also have exhibited a sincere interest in STEM. Level 1 Honors courses are for the self-motivated and academically mature students. It is assumed that the Level 1 Honors science student is also in Level 1 Honors math course. AP courses are aligned with College Board’s expectations for curriculum and assessment. All other Science courses offered at Chelmsford High School are of the College Preparatory Level.

Quality science education is based on standards that are rich in content and practice, with aligned curricula, pedagogy, assessment, and teacher preparation and development. It has been nearly 15 years since the National Research Council and the “American Association for Advancement in Science” produced the seminal documents on which most state standards are based. Since that time, major advances in science and our understanding of how students learn science have taken place and need to be reflected in state standards.