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Amplify Science case study: Big Lake, Minnesota

“The teachers really hit the ground running.” —Dr. David Bernard, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at Big Lake Schools

Big Lake Schools serves more than 3,000 students and employs more than 160 full-time teachers, most of whom have been with the district for more than three years.The district has recently made strategic investments in technology across K–12.

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The challenge

In 2018, Big Lake Schools began the search for a new science curriculum. In anticipation of the NGSS rollout the following year. Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. David Bernard , asked the district’s science team to start researching programs. After attending a professional learning session on the NGSS presented by Amplify and the Lawrence Hall of Science, they decided Amplify Science needed to be in the mix. At the time, the district was also making relevant investments in technology and personnel support. Big Lake Schools brought a new tech integrationist on board to make sure that access to devices would not be a barrier between the district and any curriculum it wanted to consider.

A new approach to science instruction

Gaining access to a flexible, blended program like Amplify Science was exciting for the teachers. The program is designed to use technology and interactive resources to support and engage around standards-aligned instruction and assessments—and the teachers were willing to jump in and learn it. Bernard made sure the teachers were in close contact with their Amplify representative, which helped a lot. A few critical feedback meetings were set up to ensure teachers were heard and answers could be found quickly. Bernard notes that Amplify has been very supportive from the beginning, and the science teachers’ collaboration and dedication, along with the support from the district’s technology integrationist, helped teachers quickly go from 0 to 90 with technology.

For more information on Amplify Science, visit amplify.com/science.

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