Nation's second largest school district implements active-learning to ensure access to a rigorous, standards-based science curriculum for students in grades K-3

Rigorous, standards-based science curriculum is the choice in LAUSD. For students in grades K-3, the District has continued its adoption of the Full Option Science System® (FOSS)®

NASHUA, NH - July 21, 2005 - Delta Education, the publisher of FOSS (Full Option Science System) has announced that the Los Angeles Unified School District has continued its support of inquiry-based science with a major purchase of the Full Option Science System (FOSS) for students in grades K-3.

FOSS, a hands-on inquiry-based elementary science curriculum, was created by the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California at Berkeley with support from the National Science Foundation. Over the past two decades, it has grown into the nation's leading hands-on curriculum. The FOSS program satisfies the requirements of a full and comprehensive K-8 science curriculum, providing all the activities and materials needed to help students explore, understand, and succeed.

Published and distributed exclusively by Delta Education LLC, the program is used in major districts throughout the United States including New York City, San Diego, Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Washington, DC. "The commitment in Los Angeles Unified School District for a proven science curriculum is evidenced in their selection of the FOSS program," noted Steven Korte, President of Delta Education. "With FOSS at the center of learning, children's critical thinking skills are developed and a passion for science emerges for both the student and the teacher."

FOSS investigations are carefully crafted to guarantee that the cognitive demands placed on students are standards-based and taught through a hands-on approach that better ensures that students have access to a motivating age-appropriate science program. Numerous research reports, case studies, and articles document FOSS to be an effective educational approach. There is also evidence that reading scores improve as a result of real-world FOSS experiences that motivate and exercise reading skills.

"We have been using FOSS in many of our K-3 elementary classrooms and are committed to its continued use," said Ronni Ephraim, Chief Instructional Officer, Elementary Programs for the Los Angeles Unified School District. "Delta has worked with us closely to align our FOSS units to our core instructional program in language arts. The commitment to work with us has led to a trusting relationship between Delta and the District."

Formative Research

  1. An extensive analysis of appropriate academic research precedes the development of a module.
  2. The instructional activities are thoroughly tested in the hands of both expert and novice science teachers. Feedback is gathered and analyzed. This formative research provides an assessment of each instructional component in such detail that the component can be improved, redesigned, or eliminated.
  3. The conceptual continuity of the FOSS program through all grade levels provides a "classroom laboratory setting" for researchers to examine the effectiveness of theories over time in real-world settings.

Other studies have indicated that inquiry-based science promotes the use of critical thinking skills shown to be associated with increased reading comprehension. In support of these studies, a positive relationship has been found between the number of years of FOSS instruction and standardized test scores in reading.

About the Lawrence Hall of Science
Established in 1968 at the University of California at Berkeley in honor of Ernest O. Lawrence, UC's first Nobel laureate, Lawrence Hall of Science is a national leader in the development of innovative materials and programs for students, teachers, families, and the public at large. Its mission is to develop model programs for teaching and learning in science and mathematics. The Hall is a resource center for children, parents, educators, and policymakers seeking to improve the understanding and increase the enjoyment of science and mathematics.