New NGSS Biology to replace CP



Junior Josh Noa works in Darcee Durham’s CP Biology class last Friday. A New NGSS course will replace CP Bio at the start of next school year.


Next school year, RJUHSD will offer the Next Generation Science Standard Biology course rather than the CP Biology course schools offered in prior years. The new class aims to offer students a more hands-on learning experience while integrating real life scenarios.

NGSS lead teacher Mike Purvines oversees the transition into the new course and believes students will benefit more compared to CP Biology.

“For me the intent of NGSS Biology is to have students doing and engaging in science over just learning science,” Purvines said. “We have multiple projects that will engage students in the scientific and engineering process.”

In order to teach the new course, science teachers across the district must undergo training to prepare for their updated classes. Science teacher Katherine Nurss serves as the content teacher leader for the RHS science department and is excited for schools to offer the new course.

“We want kids learning science by doing science,” Nurss said. “Hopefully we’ll see a greater and deeper understanding with that process.”


According to Nurss, the NGSS Biology course will feature concepts similar to CP Biology but advocates individual participation of each student as the class delves deeper into the curriculum.
“[Students] will be kind of in charge of their own learning,” Nurss said. “It will require for our students to have a little bit more in terms of motivation.”

Senior Kyle Gard enrolled in AP Biology last term and believes NGSS may better prepare and encourage students to take the AP course.

“I think a better class to replace CP Bio would definitely influence students to take AP [Biology],” Gard said.

According to Gard, busy work seems to become the default in most high school classes and deters students from participating in the course. NGSS Biology aims to target the class culture in which students remain disengaged in the content.

“[The course will have] a little bit less of the teacher standing in front of the room lecturing while the students quietly take notes and nod their heads like they understand everything,” Nurss said.
According to Purvines, course curriculum will be drafted to initiate NGSS classes and replace CP Chemistry and Physics once NGSS Biology launches.

“Once all three courses are developed we should see students much more engaged with the science and engineering practices instead of just the memorization of facts about science,” Purvines said. “The skills learned should have far more application and meaning toward future careers and skills.”