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Science Materials Center

Meeting Minutes, April 10, 2019

Science Materials Center Cooperative Advisory Meeting
April 10, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Meeting called to order at 10:06 a.m.


Adrienne Somera – Meridian SD, Mike Schweigert – Sedro-Woolley SD, Darlene Patterson (for Mark Hall) – Ferndale SD, Diane Clifton – Shaw Island SD, Philippa Farrell – Snohomish SD, Dawn Walker – Lummi Nations School, Gina Anderson – Lake Stevens SD, Beverly Bowen – La Conner SD, Christine Espland – Lakewood SD, Frank Atkinson – Mount Vernon SD, Not present, but input gathered in advance from: Bridget Rossman – Mount Baker SD, Lloy Schaaf – Stanwood-Camano SD, Brynn Marcum – Marysville SD.

NWESD Staff – Joanne Johnson, Brian MacNevin, Kelly Spears, Nancy Menard, Pam Estvold, Jennifer Longchamps

Decisions Made:

  1. NWESD SMC Cooperative has adopted Amplify Science Materials for K-5.Refurbishment fee for current kits will need increase in Fall 2019 to $155 per kit.

Action Items:

  1. Joanne will provide “adoption packet” for districts to use with their School Boards. Most of the process is documented on the NWESD webpages: https://www.nwesd.org/smc/ Click on button, “Process Supporting NGSS”.
  2. Joanne will create a parent survey that could be used by our piloting teachers and the data then shared with the SMC Cooperative if parent/community input is needed for a School Board Adoption process.
  3. The NWESD SMC Members will be asked in a Doodle poll to help with “planning next steps moving forward”. Joanne will send the poll for a May date.
  4. Joanne has a phone call scheduled with Amplify on Monday, April 15.

Joanne Johnson is retiring from the NWESD, August 1, 2019. Pam Estvold, NWESD Assist Supt will oversee the running of the SMC.  Kelly Spears, who has managed the SMC for fifteen years, will remain in her position.

NWESD SMC Vision Consideration:

All agreed on the vision statement. It can be modified at any time.

The NWESD Science Materials Center (SMC) Cooperative supports the use of materials that align to the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS. It is the vision of the SMC that by the school year 2023/24 all teachers in member Districts will have at least 6 hours of professional learning per set of materials and they will all be using the same aligned curriculum.  This will streamline operations, create cost savings and allow for ongoing professional learning efficiencies.


  • One benefit is reduction in the number of kits refurbished by the SMC from 52 to 24.
  • Kit training can be held at the NWESD or in a district.
  • One new kit per grade level per year is the LASER model and is recommended.
  • Amplify provides 6 hours of training for every $50K that is spent.
  • Additional training from Amplify is $3,200 per 6 hour session.
  • Amplify can support a train-the-trainer model.
  • Piloting teachers lens for consideration was always NGSS: how well do the materials support NGSS?
  • If adoption is approved this could start as soon as Fall 2019.
  • Per our vision statement, the SMC would discontinue support for current FOSS/STC materials in the 2023/24 school year.
  • License fee: $25 per teacher per year K-5.
  • Gina Anderson from Lake Stevens SD shared that they are piloting a bigger selection of Amplify – K-5 materials, and considering STEM SCOPES as well.
  • Teachers are loving Amplify and STEM SCOPES do not support NGSS very well.

 Pilot Teacher Recommendations:

SMC Advisory considered the NGSS District Implementation Indicators.  Using the 13 indicators as a lens, the Advisory group considered the data teachers provided when making their recommendations.

The Advisory noted the following things:

  • Strong Amplify ELA component.
  • Challenge: making sure all teachers understand the current WSSLS/NGSS.
  • Engaging practical interventions supporting ELL and Special Ed. Not worried about the rigor.
  • Challenge: providing the professional learning for ALL K-5 teachers.
  • Felt solid about the rigor used in the process. Materials are organized.
  • Challenge: shifts away from “hands-on” and understanding NGSS SEPs.
  • Amplify should be taught in pedagogical order during Kindergarten and First grade. Grades 2 through 5 do not need to be taught in any specific order.
  • Reviewed the Amplify Elementary School costs.

NWESD SMC Cooperative Decision:

  • Unanimous decision by 10 districts representatives present, and three that provided data prior to the meeting that the NWESD SMC Cooperative adopt Amplify science materials K-5.

Next steps:

  • In order to help NWESD budget and plan moving forward, Advisory members completed the SMC 2019-2020 Program Options for Adoption .
  • Budget information was shared and the Advisory unanimously approved raising the refurbishment per kit cost to $155 for K-5.
  • Individual districts must have approval from their School Boards for new adopted materials.
  • Joanne will generate a parent survey to send to the cooperative districts so that parents can weigh in on the Amplify science materials.
  • Joanne will prepare an “adoption packet” for districts to use with their Boards. It will include teacher and student data collected during the pilot.
  • Each SMC Member District will likely have a different path moving forward.
  • May 1st is the date districts must notify NWESD if they plan to exit the cooperative.
  • NWESD will need to know A.S.A.P. the level of participation planned by each district.
  • To help districts plan, Joanne will update the “Amplify Adoption Estimator” and re-send.
  • Moving forward, NWESD needs input from SMC Cooperative Members. Joanne will send a Doodle poll to set a date.
  • The NWESD Administration is considering offering a variety of options for getting Amplify materials. They include, but are not necessarily limited to:  districts purchase direct from Amplify and kits are pooled at the SMC for initialization OR NWESD purchases and districts can rent kits at a higher rate than refurbishment until a kit is fully purchased (likely 3 uses).
  • Teachers need training in NGSS prior to training to use a new set of materials. Brian MacNevin, Regional Science Coordinator provides this training once per month at NWESD.  He can also go into districts to provide the training.  Brian will consider asking Fellows if they can help provide training in NGSS.

Meeting Adjourned 12:09 p.m.