Minutes for August 31st Meeting

September 6, 2018

Community Educators Network Monthly Meeting

August 31st, 2018

Udall Building, Museum Hill


In Attendance: Dana Greenblatt, VISTA; Mary Massey, SFPS; Diego Medina, SAR; Leslie Farge, MOIFA; Mollie Parsons, SFBG; Alanna Herrera, Wise Fool; Sarah Zurick, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; Katrina Stacy, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; Patricio Pacheco, City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Office; Rene Harris, NMHM; Antonia Barela, Railyard Park Conservancy VISTA; Nadine Stafford; Shannon Bay, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; Shannon Palermo, The Railyard Park Conservancy; Lucia Duncan, Hands on Heritage; Katie Weeks, Audubon NM; Leona Hillary, Santa Fe Children’s Museum; Joanne Lefrak, SITE Santa Fe; Mollie Toll, Office of Archaeological Studies; Melanie LaBorwit, New Mexico History Museum; Winoka Begay, SITE Santa Fe; Veronica Black, SITE Santa Fe.





II.Mollie Toll Presentation on Next Generation Science Standards(30 minutes)

  • History of Science Education in New Mexico and Commitment to Standards

    • Relatively new, NM adopted them on July 1 2018

    • NM accepted the standards in their entirety with addition of a couple things about NM  in particular

      • Can actually ONLY practice standards if you practice them as a whole

      • Can't pick and choose what you do and do not want to teach based on the teacher’s personal beliefs or opinions

        • This is prevent teachers leaving out topics such as evolution or not teaching human caused climate change

    • When standards were adopted, educators from all over the state convened

      • Discussed what standards are and why they matter

  • In NM, the LANL foundation decided to support inquiry based hands on science education

    • When science standards were committed to - training had to take place all over again

  • LANL program has made an effort to support more schools and teachers with dwindling funding

    • LANL program does include physical science and earth science, but has dropped life science → therefore leaving it to teachers

      • Life sciences are expensive and messy to teach

      • You can go on the LANL website to see what they are studying → it is helpful to know what students are currently learning in the classroom and what they are not


  • What Next Generation Science Standards are meant to address

    • A committee of about 40 wrote this approach

      • They reflected on the root question of what the point of science standards are

    • These new standards are focused on innovations

    • DCI disciplinary core ideas

    • PE performance expectations

    • SEP science engineering practices

    • CCC cross cutting concepts

    • Standards indicate what is appropriate for students at different ages

    • → The standards aim to cultivate curious, confident, problem solver - even if all kids are not going to be scientists

    • Designed with equity in mind

      • Kids engagement should not be dependant upon what kind of household they come from

    • Note from an NYT article on respecting kids

      • Kids are curious, they learn, they don't let differences divide them, smarter than we think!

    • Standards are allowing children and teachers to speak and think in unique ways

  • Past standards have been designed to control teachers - almost expecting teachers to fail at implementing them

  • New standards recognize that kids want to be engaged in important ideas and discussions - teachers want that too

  • Need plan that makes sense K - 8, with specific thinking processes in place

  • Goal is both kid and teacher centered

    • Rooted in a belief that teachers are smart enough and capable enought to teach kids

  • → (Attached) NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas by Grade Level  one pager

    • List of sciences covered

    • Science and engineering practices: ways of doing things in the classroom and thinking about them

  • Screening on PBS math/music special

    • This is an example of why you might care about one subject when you are teaching something else

    • Information attached


  • Implementing These Standards in School Program

    • Teachers have fear and anxiety about meeting these new standards

      • It is helpful if you as a community educator are able to come up with ideas about how you can help teachers implement these standards

      • Help teacher’s see how certain unexpected experiences and disciplines relate to the standards -- keep experiences from being cut

    • Focus on practices and connection between different subject areas


    • Scientific and Engineering Practices

    • 1. Asking questions or defining problems

      • Asking a good question is a real skill

    • 2. Developing and using models

      • Students need ways to explain natural phenomenon that puts issue and in small enough framework to see and understand

    • 3. Planning and carrying out investigations

      • Can't do that without question that they want to answer

    • 4. Analyzing and interpreting data

      • Take information and organize

    • 5. Using math and computational thinking

      • Math for a purpose

    • 6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions

    • 7. Engaging in argument from evidence

      • Gather evidence for conclusions

    • 8. Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

      • Youth need to be confident enough to stand up and say this is what I think and why

      • This skill involves writing, speaking and drawing

  • Pull together across disciplines

  • Harder in high school to implement standards because teachers are attached to what they have been teaching

  • Community educators should have sense of what these standards are and be armed with correct terminology and skills to implement them


  • Resources:

    • NGSS one pager (attached)

    • STEM Ready Quick Start Guide (attached)

    • STEM Connect (Attached)

    • Three volumes of Next Generation Standards (NGS)

      • Frameworks

      • 2 sideways books

        • What each grade is focusing on and how you can pull together content

    • There are ways to get books other than buying them

    • Environmental Education Association of NM has been hosting training on standards

    • National Science Teacher Association (NSTA.org)

    • State department has good  resources

    • nextgenscience.org

      • Can type in grade level and get age appropriate activities and standards


The Santa Fe Outdoor Education Collaboration (Audubon, SF Botanical Gardens, and SF Watershed Association) is piloting an innovative formal-informal partnership with select teachers from SFPS. During LANL’s annual ISEC training, 12 teachers worked with our organizations to realign and redesign pre/post curricula & field trips to match the NGSS life science standards. The program gets 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders from participating schools into annual outdoor education programs that build on one another over the course of 3 years. The teachers REALLY liked being involved in designing the programs and creating materials that fit with their classroom, and tie in with the field trips better.  We have parts of our curricula online at https://santafeoutdoor.wordpress.com/home/ (much is still in progress).


  • Questions and Comments:

    • NGS are holistics and flip the hierarchy

    • Teachers can, understandably, be overwhelmed by the new standards → this creates a real opportunity for informal educators to step up because our programming often focuses on project based education anyways


III.Recap of the 21st Century Teachers Training

A.           Successes and Areas for Improvement

  • Teachers enjoyed location and were blown away by trainings and anxious about implementing curriculum


IV.Sub Committee Updates

  • Teacher’s Night Out

  • Deadline for early bird ($35) is September 4th, ($45)

  • Sweeney After School Program

    • Sweeney very excited about experimental opportunities for their kids

    • Many of the classes do not have field trip opportunities very often

    • Every organization sign up for two sessions consecutively, one session in class and other is field trip

    • Two organizations can partner together for the two sessions

    • Organizations are reimbursed $250 per Friday

    • Sign-up sheet attached


  • Adelante

    • Sign-up sheet attached


  • CEN Summer Program

    • Upcoming debrief meeting with the City


  • Creative Collaborations

    • We have funding again this year

    • What organizations would like to participate?

  • This program is an opportunity to bring experiential education into the classroom

  • Two organizations partnered together to come up with a project that can be implemented in 8 sessions

    • Based on research, 8 sessions on a row is the minimum length of time that it takes to make an impact on youth in the classroom

  • SEL evaluation will accompany the project

  • As a group of organizations interested in this opportunity, we will determine what grade level we can have the biggest impact in

V.Next Meeting: Alyssa Machida Workshop, September 28th, 12- 2

  • Detroit Institute of Art

  • Self reflection workbook for educators

    • Who they are and how that relates to them as an educator

    • Looking at inherent biases and identity

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Santa Fe Community Educators Network is a project of the Santa Fe Birth to Career Collaboration, a collective impact initiative supported by the Santa Fe Community Foundation.