Science Department K-12

At Shen, our science curriculum is based on the the New York State Standards.

NYS Assessments

NYS assessments for science are given in grade 4 and 8. There are two parts to the exam: written and performance, taken on two different days (typically in given in May/June). NYSED Science Assessment Web page.

There are four science Regents Exams: Physical Setting/Earth Science (typically taken in gr. 9), Living Environment/Biology (typically taken in Gr. 10), Physical Setting/Chemistry (typically taken in grade 11), Physical Setting/Physics (typically taken in grade 12).

For a Regents Diploma, students must achieve a minimum score of 65 on any Regents Science Exam. For an Advanced Regents Diploma, students must achieve a minimum score of 65 on the Living Environment Regents Exam and one other Science Regents Exam.

Elementary School Science

At Shen, science is integrated into the daily classroom schedule by the classroom teacher at the elementary level. The elementary science curriculum is focused on the development of science process skills. The application of these skills allows students to investigate important issues in the world around them.

Students who demonstrate higher abilities in science may be challenged through the science component to QUEST where students solve problems through inquiry based projects. For enrichment, students grades K-5 are also encouraged to participate in Shen Inventors. In this PTA-sponsored program, students develop an invention following the engineering design process. There are also enrichment opportunities provided through SAGE Saturday Scholars program.

 Middle School Science

Beginning in gr. 6, students participate in daily science courses. Instruction is focused on understanding important relationships, processes, mechanisms, and applications of concepts. Students play a central role in the discovery process. The curriculum is a student-centered, problem-solving approach to intermediate science.

Students demonstrating a high ability in science are challenged through a wide range of acceleration options beginning in grade 8.

For learners struggling in science, the district uses a Response-to-Intervention process that matches instructional interventions to students’ specific skill deficits. Progress is closely monitored and changes in instruction are based on data collected from on-going assessment. Academic Intervention Services (AIS) are provided to any student who is falling behind in meeting the state standards. Students are identified for AIS in science at the middle school based on  their performance on the gr. 4 state exams.

High School Science

In high school students take science classes with a laboratory component. Shenendehowa High School offers a variety of courses and sequences for science to challenge students within their abilities. We provide a strong foundation in science for students so they are well prepared for college and/or a career.

At the high school, students are challenged in science through a wide range of honors, acceleration and Advanced Placement courses.

For learners struggling in science, extra help is available. Students should work with their teacher to develop strategies for success. Information for all of the following tutoring services is available in the Counseling Center.

  • Teachers: the booklet “Academic Support for Students” contains a schedule of times during the school day when teachers are available to provide extra help to students.
  • National Honor Society students offer tutoring services. The student in need fills out a form and a tutor is assigned based on free periods available.
  • Community Volunteers: Shenendehowa Senior Citizens’ Care Links provides free tutoring sessions for student in grades 8-12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in Room 101 at High School East in most Math and Science subjects. Students are requested to bring class notes, textbook and problem sets to assure that the help given is consistent with the teacher’s presentation. Tutors are volunteers from the teaching, science and engineering professions. For more information, call Care Links at (518) 371-5179. Sessions are not held on any day there are no classes or school is cancelled.
  • Private tutors: the district compiles a list of tutors who are available by private appointment for a fee.
Graduation Requirements in Science

In order to graduate with a Regents/Advanced Regents Diploma, students must take 3 units in science.

For a Regents Diploma, students must achieve a minimum score of 65 on any Regents Science Exam. For an Advanced Regents Diploma, students must achieve a minimum score of 65 on the Living Environment Regents Exam and one other Science Regents Exam.

High School Lab Policy

According to the New York State Education Department, students enrolled in a Regents Science course must satisfactorily complete a Laboratory Requirement in order to be eligible to sit for the Regents Examination in that Science.
This policy requires that students complete hands-on laboratory activities accompanied by acceptable laboratory reports. Consequently, students must participate in and complete acceptable written reports for the laboratory activities assigned by their science teacher.

The laboratory requirement must also be met in order for a student to be eligible to take a Science Course in summer school. Therefore, if a student fails to complete the laboratory component of the science course in which they are enrolled, s/he will not be permitted to sit for the Regents Examination and s/he will not be eligible to repeat the course in summer school.
The deadline (as set by the New York State Education Department) for submitting the laboratory reports necessary for the student to meet the lab requirement is one week prior to the administration of any component of a Regents Examination in science. Since the Earth Science Lab Practical portion of the Regents Exam is generally administered on the first Monday in June, all laboratory reports for any Regents Science course must be submitted no later than the last school day before Memorial Day.

If a student is in danger of not meeting the laboratory requirement in science, the teacher will communicate with a parent or guardian as follows. In addition to attempting to reach a parent/guardian by phone, the teacher will:
Indicate that there is a concern on the interim reports that come home with the students in the middle of each quarter.
Send a letter home at the end of third quarter if there is still a concern that the student will not meet the lab requirement.
Send a second letter home a few weeks before the deadline for submitting the laboratory reports.
Send a final letter home after the deadline if the student has not met the laboratory requirement.

Two copies of a document including this information will be sent home with each student in September. One copy is to be kept at home for reference and the other signed copy should be sent back to the science teacher at the start of the school year.

High School Lab Safety Contract