Soulsville Charter School Middle School Dean of Curriculum and Instruction Kalli Harrell is now among 26 distinguished educators from five states who have been selected to join the Instructors Project’s Science IPG Project. The Project’ goal is to help shape a tool that will be used nationally to ensure that science teaching is rigorous and provides opportunities for all students to engage in meaningful learning.

Joining Harrell in the “SIP” program will be current TSCS 6th grade science teacher, Alyssa Gurreri, who was Harrell’s resident teacher her final year in the classroom. Harrell was 6th grade science teacher from 2010-2016 and has been Gurreri’s academic coach for the past four years.

Instruction Partners is testing and refining a newly developed science Instructional Practice Guide (IPG) that is based on Student Achievement Partners’ IPGs for math and ELA and aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)/A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Science educators from across the country will participate in a process to collaboratively test and refine the science IPG between March 2020 and June 2021. The process includes training on the science IPG and then using the tool to observe science classrooms in participants’ respective states/schools. This work has been generously supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Science PIG Project is a 15-month process that requires each member to visit classrooms with a project partner during the designated window. Each participant will need to observe and submit scores using the science IPG for 3-5 science lessons for two observation windows of ~6 months each between March 2020 and March 2021. The Project kicks off training March 11 and 12, 2020 in New Orleans and culminates with the publication and release of its findings in June 2021.

Basically, the Instruction Partners organization works tirelessly to improve teaching so that students are better equipped to learn and become successful. It’s mission statement sums that up by reading, “We work shoulder to shoulder with educators to support great teaching and accelerate student learning. We focus on small systems, both districts and charters, and we work to ensure equitable access to great instruction for students in poverty, students of color, students learning English, and students with disabilities.”

According to former Soulsville Charter School teacher Bryan Hearn, who is now managing director of instructional support at Instruction Partners, “We know that too many students are ill-prepared to live the lives they hope for. Leaders and teachers are working incredibly hard to set students up for success–in the next grade, in postsecondary pathways, and in whatever they want they want to do down the road. We want to match our partners’ relentlessness and sense of urgency. Like them, we believe it’s possible that every student, in every classroom, gets the education they deserve.”

About the appointment to the Science IPG Project Harrell says, “As a self-declared science and education nerd I’m incredibly excited to work with other leaders from around the country to make an impact on science instruction beyond the four walls TSCS. Having the opportunity to continue working with influential leaders at Instruction Partners alongside my very own resident teacher here at Soulsville is an honor. I can’t wait to see how everything we learn about excellent science instruction through the Science IPG Project benefits the students we teach each day.”