NCOSP Tools

School Capacities for Improvement - Survey of Science (SCI-SoS)

Description: The SCI-SoS is a survey to help educators collect data they can use to inform their science reform efforts. Forty seven questions measure five components of "school capacity" that research has shown to be necessary for improved science teaching and learning in schools: 1) Shared responsibility for all students’ success, 2) Resources, 3) My knowledge and skills, 4) My colleagues’ knowledge and skills, and 5) Professional development. All responses are rated on a 5-point scale, where 1 = "Not at all" and 5 = "To a great extent". A summary of a school's capacity for science reform can be obtained when teachers, administrators, and school staff take this online survey. Additionally, these school stakeholders can complete this survey at the beginning, middle, and end of each school year to measure changes in the five capacity areas.

Based on data collected from NCOSP schools in 2007-2008, recommendations are provided to schools about how they might structure a PLC’s time and teachers' participation, and use resources and processes in order to maintain or improve a school’s performance in the five capacity areas.

Note: The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. All responses to the survey questions are anonymous. No identifying information is presented in the reporting of the data. The data report can be accessed by the individual (e.g., science coach, teacher leader, administrator, etc.) who coordinated the survey for a school through their personal login and password to the NCOSP website.

Resources:

Recommendations for PLC work:

There are several attributes of PLCs which are associated with schools whose survey-takers reported a consistently high rating and/or an improved rating in each capacity area. Stakeholders looking for ways to improve or maintain their school's capacity in these areas might take into consideration the following PLC practices.

Schools with high or improved ratings on Shared responsibility for all students’ success had PLCs with the following attributes:

Time
- Consistent meetings, once every 2 weeks
- Time to meet is provided by the school/district (e.g. planning time, LID days)

Participation
- Variety of people involved in PLC work (e.g. higher education faculty, teachers from various grades and science disciplines, TOSAs, teachers from other schools)

Schools with high or improved ratings on Teacher’s own knowledge and skills had PLCs with the following attributes:

Time
- Meetings conducted outside of the school day (e.g. before or after school, on weekends)
- Participants do some PLC work between meetings

Participation
- PLC has consistent membership throughout the year
- Experts are called upon to participate in the PLC (e.g. school specialists, TOSAs, teachers from other schools)

Working Processes
- PLC members have a common focus/goal
- Data collection guides PLC work (e.g. student work, classroom observations, anecdotal evidence)

Resources
- PLC work is funded by the school

Schools with high or improved ratings on Teacher's colleagues’ knowledge and skills had PLCs with the following attributes:

Time
- Meetings last between 2 hours and ˝ day

Participation
- Variety of people involved in PLC work (e.g. higher education faculty, teachers from various grades and science disciplines)

Working Processes
- Data collection guides PLC work (e.g. LASW protocol, classroom observations)
- PLC has a consistent focus/goals

Schools with high or improved ratings on Professional Development had PLCs with the following attributes:

Time
- Meetings last between 2 hours and ˝ day
- Meetings are consistent, and PLC meets at least every 1-2 weeks
- PLC time is funded by the school/district (e.g. substitutes provided or school schedule is structured to allow PLC to meet)