SAVE SCIENCE PREP AT FOREST PARK To: Dr. Milt Werner, Ms. Parveen Ahmadi, Larry Sweeney, Lara York, Bryan Gebhardt, Lily Mei, Ivy Wu, Mr. Chuck Graves This petition seeks to ensure that students at Forest Park Elementary School, Fremont, California, receive excellent Science Education as described in the Science Content Standards. We, the undersigned parents at Forest Park School think that a dedicated Science Prep teacher will provide all students at the site the opportunity to develop scientific thought, and the ability to investigate and experiment with scientific phenomena in an equitable manner. 1. Forest Park School already has a state-of-the-art science laboratory that was given by FUSD after careful consideration, and considerable parent input. We, the parents, think that the science lab will not be used optimally if there is no science prep teacher present. 2. Even if the teachers at Forest Park School use the science lab to promote scientific inquiry in students, we do not believe that all students in grades 4-6 will receive identical opportunities, since all classroom teachers are not specifically trained on practical scientific experimentation. We believe that the science prep teacher is better equipped to fulfill the requirements laid down in the Science Content Standards ;Students should have the opportunity to learn science by receiving direct instruction, by reading textbooks and supplemental materials, by solving standards-based problems, and by doing laboratory investigations and experiments. The Investigation and Experimentation standards should be integral to, and directly and specifically support, the teaching of the content strands and disciplines Excerpt from: Science Content Standards, California Department of Education. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations Excerpt from: California State Science Standards Investigation and Experimentation Strand. 3. We understand that the current education budget cuts have deeply impacted FUSDs ability to provide all prep programs to all sites. It is our request that Science prep NOT be given up in favor of P.E., and that both be retained if possible. 4. If it is only possible to retain one prep program, we believe it is preferable to keep science prep. The environment and facilities provided by the science lab along with the hand-on tutoring that can be imparted by a science prep teacher cannot be replicated outside of the school environment. However, the same or similar types of physical activities that are provided in school are available to students through other venues as well. 5. It has been shown that scientific knowledge of high-school students in California lags behind that of students in most other states and developed countries. Hence, in order to bridge the scientific knowledge gap, it is imperative that students be inculcated with a solid practical scientific foundation at the earliest possible elementary school level. In conclusion, we urge you to keep the students of Forest Park Elementary uppermost in your minds when making this decision. It is the largest elementary school within FUSD, and therefore your decision will affect the largest single elementary school student body in the district.