Elementary Science Steering Committee


February 8, 2005

4:30 – 5:30 PM

Lyons Elementary School

1.    Sign in,  pick up handouts (),  help yourself to refreshments,   and look over today’s agenda:

Ø      Any additions or changes for today’s agenda?

Ø      Items #2-#8 and #18-#20 are targeted for review and/or discussion today.

Ø      Items #9-#17 are provided FYI and probably don’t require meeting time, unless you have questions or concerns related to them.  Nonetheless, PLEASE share this information with the staff at your school.

2.    Review and/or edit and/or approve the minutes from our previous ESSC meeting (1/11/2005)

   Minutes from 1/11/2005 ESSC meeting

   Current listing of ESSC Teacher representatives

3.    Preaching to the Choir Time:  Several memos are FAXed to each elementary school in advance of each science kit pick-up cycle.  Please make sure that science kits are ready to be returned at the end of each science unit and placed in the delivery/pick-up area for your school (not your classroom, not a storage room, not a random hallway, and not the office) by the date listed on the delivery and pick-up schedule, which we (ESSC) adopted on 9/21/04, unless you have made other arrangements in advance (e.g., to keep a kit a bit longer) with Peggy Barnes.  Failure to do this by several schools* is costing us both time and money!!!


*     No more protecting the “innocent” … for the last pick-up cycle, the following schools had significant problems having their science kits ready for return to the warehouse, which in turn required extra trips

      by warehouse staff to recover their materials:  Grand River, Gunnisonville, Kendon, Wainwright, Walnut, Wexford, and Willow.


4.    Safety concerns and precautions; equipment inventories; securing or removing unsafe (e.g., toxic, flammable, explosive, health hazards, or unlabeled) substances or materials K-12.

5.    Darrin Rockcole declined my request to include Celsius information for temperatures in their weather reports.  Next steps?

   Letter from Tim Smith to Mr. Rockcole, and his e-mail response

6.    Overview of “3c Magnets” PD session of 2/2/05, summary of feedback, and plans for follow-up:

Ø      33 attendees … ~22 of which are LSD third-grade teachers

Ø      feedback was generally very positive

Ø      several implications for planning and doing future PD like this:

          Production and distribution of supplementary instructions for teacher edition for the PD-presented activities

          Download, copy, and distribute BCMSC updates to teachers

          Production and distribution of supplementary pages for student journals (and incorporation into future editions)

          Inventory of PD-distributed materials

          Follow-up to PD feedback

          Budgeting, purchase, and distribution of supplementary kit materials to all third-grade kits (and teachers)

          Guidance for teachers not at the PD session

          Future refinement of the supplemental materials

7.    PD planning for 4/27/05    ideas or requests?

8.    PD Planning for 2005-2006 (ideas needed for 3/8/05 meeting with Dr. Banks)


9.    Thank you  to everyone who helped make last Friday evening’s

       Give Your Heart to Ebersole” dinner and auction a big success!

10.  Reminder to fifth-grade teachers:  please return any of the “thermometer tapes” that you may have overlooked when you packed up and returned your “5b” kit the end of January.

11.  VHS copies of the “Elementary Science Kits” programs for science units “4c” and “5c,” which ran recently on the district’s cable channel, are available for loan (from Tim) if anyone is interested.

12.  Status of delayed “3c” student journals and “4c” kits:  as of Friday (2/4/05) all “3c” student journals and “4c” kits have been delivered.

13.  Third-grade teachers should consider requesting free seed catalogs now for possible use during science unit “3d”.  Contact Tim for more details and suggestions for how to use these catalogs in the context of our “3d” plants” science unit.

14.  Plants photos (and ideas, and questions) potentially relevant to the “4c” science unit can be shared on-line.  Contact Tim for more details.  An example is available on-line at: 


15.  Delivery of the Kc and 1c kits “should” occur the week of 2/21/05

16.  The second round of district “quarterly assessments” this year will occur approximately within the latter half of March.  For elementary science, it will be the same sets of assessments as were used last year for the assessments at the end of the third quarter.  In other words, what will be tested is:

o        Second grade          Sound

o        Third grade              Motion, Force, and Simple Machines

o        Fourth grade            Electricity    and    Plant Growth and Development

o        Fifth Grade              Heat and Physical Changes    and    Weather

17.  NSF-funded PI-CRUST Project update:

Ø      Our 2005 Summer Learning Institute (SLI) will fall between June 15th and July 1st, with each grade’s Professional Learning Community (PLC) typically meeting for one week.  Note that PROM/SE has scheduled its first science summer institute at this same time (June 22-24), which we plan to try to work around.

18.   Science curriculum ongoing implementation – issues (e.g., splits, implications of the change in the MEAP testing date), refinement (e.g., lessons learned), and evaluation (e.g., recommendations for the next adoption cycle)

19.   Other new business (or agenda items for next meeting)



20.   Next meeting:  Tuesday, March 8th, 4:30-5:30 PM at Lyons