Shaker Heights K-4 Science Lab Coordinator and Field Trips
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Petition to keep the Shaker Heights K-4 Science Lab and grow the Science Coordinator Position.
This petition is to demonstrate that the community wants to keep the science lab regardless of the curriculum changes and also maintain the K-4 science coordinator position or create a similar position for each elementary school.
We, the members of the Shaker Heights community petition the Shaker Heights School District Superintendent, Dr. Gregory Hutchings, and School Board to reconsider the decision to discontinue the K-4 Woodbury Science Lab experiences and retain the science coordinator position and/or add additional science coordinators to each elementary building. We request that the district continue to provide K-4 students regular trips to the Woodbury science lab or build a new K-4 district-wide science lab within Shaker Heights.
1. We believe that all elementary school students need hands-on authentic science learning experiences, which cannot be accomplished in a classroom setting. We need to build/create lab space either in each building or find a common science laboratory space within the Shaker Heights school district for PreK-4 students to utilize. The science lab provides an enriched science environment that allows for our children to simulate and learn how to be scientists. It is a classroom where the teacher and students can safely investigate content that may not be appropriate for a regular classroom setting. A science lab is designed with such experimentation in mind. This ensures that instructors and students can use any chemical or biological hazards, and still be adequately protected while also making sure waste can be properly dealt with - these necessary precautions have been taken into consideration in the design of a science laboratory.
2. In addition, we believe that we need K-4 science instructors who teach science directly to students. There is no substitute for having an individual who is trained and passionate in the field of science teaching our children science. Many of our elementary school teachers, despite being extremely gifted in in their craft, probably feel a little out of their element when relating all parts of the state and PYP science standards to our children. Our science lab is facilitated with a trained scientist, providing the optimal environment for learning, while also serving as a window to inspire and excite future scientists. To truly grow our Shaker Heights Science curriculum, science teachers are needed in each elementary school building.
3. The science lab is an invaluable resource that many other schools do not or cannot provide. We have chosen as a district to provide facilities where experts in their field are employed to provide an enriched environment - where experiences such as the planetarium, science lab, theatre, art and music are common place. These are cornerstones of this educational community. Removing this seems contrary to what we have grown to expect from our district. Providing experiences that are not afforded to other districts is what separates us from the rest. The Woodbury science lab is part of the Shaker experience and one that both current and former students remember. It is a bridge into the world of discovery and investigation that will be virtually impossible to replicate to the same degree in the regular classroom.
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