NGSS Leader Pathway 2017-2018

Program Overview:

The Vermont Science Initiative (VSI) is seeking science teachers and leaders, science coordinators, and higher education faculty who are eager to learn more about translating the NGSS into instruction and, in return, support other science teachers in doing the same.  The NGSX Science Leader Pathway will provide professional development, support, and a learning community around best practice and the implementation of the NGSS.   Participants will utilize and have access to the Next Generation Science Exemplar System for professional learning (NGSX) which will be brought back and used by participants at their home sites.  

By utilizing this professional development platform, leaders will have a high quality “ready to go” program that they can implement to support a group of teachers in understanding what good instruction that aligns with the NGSS looks and feels like, and how to plan instruction that aligns with the NGSS.  Leadership Pathway participants will receive support from VSI as they implement the program by leading their own study groups.  To watch a short video and learn more about NGSX, please visit  NGSX

Key Features and Requirements:

  • Audience:   Science teachers, science teacher leaders, and science coordinators serving schools geographically distributed throughout Vermont-coming in teams of 2 or more from their district/school.  
  • Dates:   July 9-14 2017 plus 3 days TBD in 2017-2018 school year.  Sunday 4:00-7:00 PM, Monday and Tuesday 8:30-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 PM, Wednesday-Friday 8:30-4:00, plus 3 Follow up dates during the school year TBD.       
  • Location: Lyndon State College
  • Requirements:  Administrative support; participation in the summer institute and follow up days; implement a study group back at the home site during 2017-2018; completion of evaluation tools such as surveys.  

What will an SU/District receive?

  • NGSX Leadership training for 2 participants (one week in the summer and 3 follow-up sessions)
  • A stipend for the leaders to compensate them for time spent facilitating and NGSX study group (12-20 teachers) in the school/district.
  • Access to and use of the NGSX PD platform and program-no charge at this point
  • Access to an NGSX materials kit for on-site study groups
  • 2 site visits by VSI staff (determined by the needs of the site)
  • Opportunity to network with other SUs participating in the VSI-NGSX program.
  • Support from VSI staff in planning for science professional learning in year two and beyond.  This planning might include next steps for the year 1 study group as well as planning for additional study groups in the supervisory union.  


  • Cost:  $6800 per team of 2 participants ($3400/participant) 

What is the NGSX?:

The NGSX is a new kind of learning environment. It is a web-based system designed to help teams of K-12 science educators apply the pedagogical shifts described in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards to their own teaching. NGSX brings the expertise of NRC Framework developers, experts in teacher learning, and expert professional development facilitators to science educators.
NGSX is organized into learning pathways structured to immerse participants – as learners and as teachers -- in 3-Dimensional learning using a web-based system of tasks, tools and resources in a study group format. The NGSX experience combines first-hand science investigations, videotaped expert commentary and classroom case studies along with facilitated individual, small group and whole group discussions.  Because these tools, tasks, and resources are located on a web-platform they are available to participants at any time outside of scheduled study group meetings.   
In a collegial, seminar-like environment, NGSX participants will engage in modeling and constructing explanations of complex phenomena, hallmarks of Next Generation Science. They will also learn to use questioning strategies, or “talk moves”, to create a classroom culture in which students explain their thinking, listen to and build on the ideas of others and function as a community of critical thinkers. To watch a short video and learn more about NGSX, please visit About NGSX

What will the NGSX Science Leader Pathway Involve?

The goal of the NGSX Science Leader Pathway is to develop a cadre of science education leaders across Vermont who can serve as facilitators of the knowledge-building processes reflected in NGSX including understanding how to dig into the standards and beginning to plan instruction. 


Part I:  Leadership Participant Training
Participants will be part of a leader training which includesengaging in all 7 of the NGSX unit modules as well as a facilitator training. This facilitator training will not only prepare participants to lead an NGSX study group, but also provide quality professional learning for the leaders themselves around model-based inquiry, evidence-based reasoning and talk, and adapting curriculum to align with the NGSS. This training will take place during a week-long summer institute with 3 follow up leader support sessions.  Participants will receive a certificate of completion and the option of 3 graduate credits.  
Part 2:  Study Group Implementation back at the home site
Equipped with the training and the NGSX program, the leaders (in pairs) will co-facilitate an NGSX study group of (12-20) teachers back in their home school or district as an expected part of the program.  This on-site study group will engage in the 6-7 NGSX units which involves 30-45 hours.  VSI will provide support in the form of on-site assistance during parts of the implementation, use of the materials needed for the science investigations, a stipend of $1000 for each facilitator, and additional leader support.
The school/SU administrator (curriculum coordinator, principal, etc) will lead the recruitment of the study group participants as well as set up the logistics of the study group (e.g.  location, time, stipends, etc).  The SU is encouraged to provide incentive for the study group teachers by arranging for graduate credit, recertification credit, or stipends.