Science Newsletter-September 2021


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

Professional Learning for 2021-2022

The Ohio Department of Education science team is offering professional learning sessions for the 2021-2022 academic year. This year’s focus is on high-quality materials, instruction and assessment. The science team will partner with Amplify to bring a series of sessions designed to support educators in these three key areas of student engagement.

In addition to the monthly sessions, the science team will partner with the Science Education Council of Ohio to offer even more professional learning opportunities during the year. Please join the science team on Sept. 14 at 4 p.m. for the kickoff the 2021-2022 academic year. Dates, times and meeting registration information also are published on the Science Resources webpage. One registration will be used all for the entire series.

Sept. 14, 2021, 4-5 p.m. - Back to School Kickoff
Oct. 26, 20214-5 p.m. - 5E model/Do, Talk, Read, Write, Visualize with Amplify
Nov. 16, 2021, 4-5 p.m. - Open Forum 
Dec. 72021, 4-5 p.m. - Assessments in 3D Learning with Amplify
Jan. 11, 2022, 4-5 p.m. - Probing for Understanding
Feb. 8, 2022, 4-5 p.m. - Science in Literacy with Amplify
March 1, 2022, 4-5 p.m. - Open Forum
April 26, 2022, 4-5 p.m. - Educator Panel with Amplify

2020-2021 Professional Learning Session Recordings

Recordings and materials from the 2020-2021 professional learning sessions still are available on the Science Resources webpage. Educators can use these resources within their science departments and are invited to contact the science team to schedule a live Q&A session with the consultants after viewing the series.

Physical Science Instructional Supports Now Available

New instructional supports for teaching high school physical science in accordance with the 2018 Ohio’s Learning Standards for Science now are available on the Ohio Science Standards and Model Curriculum webpage.

Watch on Demand: Building Bridges Series Helps Educators Learn About High-Quality Instructional Materials

On Aug.3-5, educators connected virtually with the Department for the Building Bridges to the Future: Instruction Using High-Quality Materials professional learning series. This online event featured sessions across all content areas, with a focus on using high-quality instructional practices and materials, leading to more equitable learning outcomes for all students. Recorded sessions and materials now are available for the education community to view. Please visit the Ohio Building Bridges for Educators webpage for links to each session and the related materials. Please feel free to share with colleagues. For questions about any of the science related content sessions, please contact the science team.

Please visit the Ohio Materials Matter webpage for more resources related to adopting High Quality Instructional Materials.

Back To School Resources

Resources for returning to school are available on the Ohio Department of Education website. Details regarding the American Rescue Plan, OTES 2.0 Implementation, Toolkit for Student and Staff Wellbeing and more can be found on the website.

Released Science Test Items Now Available

The 2021-2022 Restart Readiness Assessments now are available for districts and schools on the Restart Readiness Assessments Portal. These optional assessments, consisting of benchmark and checkpoint tests, are designed to help schools and districts identify student progress early and receive actionable performance data. Benchmark tests are full-length assessments that mirror the content and test characteristics of Ohio’s State Tests. Checkpoint assessments are short, six- to 10-item tests that offer a range of opportunities to assess within each reporting category.

Additionally, all released test items from spring 2021 are included on the Restart Readiness Assessments portal.

All benchmark tests and most checkpoint assessments are machine-scored and results are available immediately in the Centralized Reporting System.

Resources for the Centralized Reporting System can be found on the portal. These resources include:

For questions regarding the Restart Readiness Assessments, contact the Office of Assessment at

EPA Offering Grants to Promote Recycling in Ohio Classrooms

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Recycling Ohio Grant program supports communities, businesses and schools that initiate or expand recycling programs, encourage sustainable practices, stimulate economic growth and support litter prevention efforts through different grants. All public and private secondary schools are eligible for the Academic Institution Grant that supports recycling efforts, as well as outreach and education, recycling equipment and conference sponsorships. The 2022 Academic Institution Grant opens on Nov. 1, 2021.

Ohio EPA also offers the Encouraging Environmental Excellence in Education (E4) program. E4 recognizes any K-12 public or private schools for their achievements in environmental stewardship and efforts to educate and involve students in environmental topics. To learn more about E4’s three recognition classes, the program’s three guiding principles (reduce, reuse and recycle) and how to apply, check out Encouraging Environmental Excellence in Your Classroom.

Nov. 15, 2021, is National Recycling Day. To celebrate, Ohio EPA will be hosting its Virtual Art Show — highlighting artwork made from recycling materials. Learn more about this day that celebrates recycling on the EPA Recycling page and explore how educators and students can contribute and celebrate. The deadline is Oct. 29, 2021.

Need more inspiration? Watch the 2019 and 2020 National Recycling Day Videos.

The resources in this newsletter are free and have been reviewed using the Department’s Science resource filter against established criteria. Copies of the completed filter forms are available upon request. Inclusion in this newsletter does not represent a recommendation to use a resource. Many quality resources are available beyond those included here. Educators should use their professional expertise to determine the suitability of any particular resources for use in their districts, schools or classrooms.

Send comments/questions to:

Robin Deems, Science Consultant,