Transforming science education through research-driven innovation

Professional Learning for BSCS Biology: Understanding for Life

Welcome to BSCS Biology!

Alejandro Lopez says BSCS Biology: Understanding for Life is the best investment his district has ever made in science. As a leader in Compton Unified School District, he’s walked through high school biology classrooms and personally seen a significant change in the way teachers and students are engaging in science. He attributes this change to BSCS Biology’s instructional materials and professional learning (PL) support.   

Learn about professional learning for our newest high school biology program.

Alejandro isn’t alone. He’s surrounded by a growing community of educators across the country who agree BSCS Biology is exciting and powerful. Experts agree—including the great folks at EdReports who reviewed BSCS Biology and gave it All-Green Ratings, based on the program’s outstanding quality and usability. So get excited. Your district or school has made an amazing decision to adopt BSCS Biology. And you are now part of a community of educators who are going to change the way high school biology students learn and use science throughout their lives!

How to Maximize the Impact of BSCS Biology

Step one is adopting the best program for high school biology programs.

Step two is preparing to implement this program effectively.

We designed this program with teacher support in mind. It is critical to prepare teachers for the exciting journey they’re about to take. We want teachers to feel as confident and effective as possible in their first year of teaching BSCS Biology

That’s why we highly recommend setting high school teachers up for optimal success with professional learning. BSCS’s robust professional learning program will prepare teachers to smoothly transition to BSCS Biology and maximize their impact in the classroom. 

It’s always a challenge to teach a new program for the first time. BSCS Biology is no exception. It’s challenging because it is also a new type of program, designed to give students a sense of agency to engage in, figure out, and apply science in meaningful ways beyond the classroom. This is not a traditional high school biology program. And that means it requires a non-traditional teaching approach. 

We’ll explore this approach together in professional learning.

What to Expect from Professional Learning

Our Focus

BSCS Biology professional learning helps teachers develop an understanding of the program’s goals, new Anchored Inquiry Learning instructional model, and resources. As teachers dive deep into the program, their own content and pedagogical knowledge will deepen. And they’ll be ready to completely change what biology teaching and learning looks like in their classrooms. 

BSCS is working with districts and schools all over the country in varying capacities to prepare teachers for the effective implementation of BSCS Biology. All of our PL programs achieve the following goals to different degrees: 

  • Deepen understanding of three-dimensional, phenomenon/problem-driven teaching and learning as described in the NGSS.
  • Deepen understanding of the Anchored Inquiry Learning (AIL) instructional model.
  • Increase ability to apply knowledge of equitable teaching and learning in classroom practice to support student construction of a coherent science content storyline.
  • Experience Anchored Inquiry Learning lessons and enhance understanding of literacy, emerging multilingual learner (EML), and sensemaking strategies embedded in the curriculum.
  • Build community and a common vision for BSCS Biology: Understanding for Life.

BSCS Biology teacher professional learning in Compton, California.

Pathways for Professional Learning

BSCS will work with your district or school to identify the ideal pathway for professional learning. We offer in-person and online PL formats for 2-day (introductory), 5-day (standard), and 7-day (extended) intensive sessions. Sample pricing is shown below for in-person PL for up to 25 participants. Please contact us for other PL formats, number of participants, or pathways.

Time CommitmentExperienceCost
Introductory Pathway2 daysFocused on Unit 1, the 2-day program supports teachers in understanding the Anchored Inquiry Learning (AIL) instructional model, the role of the Anchor lesson, and the literacy and sensemaking strategies to support student learning.$10,500
Standard Pathway5 daysBuilding on the 2-day program, the 5-day program adds three days, each day focused on the unit phenomenon or problem and storyline. Teachers deepen their understanding of the AIL instructional model Investigate, Synthesize, and Gap Analysis lessons. The role of formative and summative assessment in student learning is investigated.$25,000
Extended Pathway7 daysThe 7-day program builds on the 5-day program with an additional day each for Units 2 and 3. Teachers deepen their understanding of the role of the Culminating Task lesson in developing student agency, consider the role of the program’s assessment system in effective lesson planning and support of equitable student learning.$32,000

Additional Opportunities for Professional Learning

Tuition-based Professional Learning Opportunities +

In addition to the pathways for districts described above, BSCS offers scheduled Teacher Professional Learning Institutes that individual or small groups of teachers can enroll in on a space-available basis. These programs are generally offered in a virtual format, but we will add in-person institutes when there is sufficient demand in a particular region. These opportunities are designed as a support for districts that do not have enough teachers to justify a program dedicated to their teachers. The design of the tuition-based institutes is the same as the 2-day and 5-day programs described above. Tuition for the 2-day program is $500 for the first teacher from a district/school and $400 for each additional teacher. Tuition for the 5-day program is $1,000 for the first teacher from a district and $800 for each additional teacher.

District/School Leader Professional Learning Programs +

To help school and district leaders in supporting their high school teachers in effective and sustained implementation of BSCS Biology after the conclusion of the Teacher Professional Learning Program, we offer leadership professional learning for school and district leaders. This program will prepare leaders as they lead professional learning communities, coach, and onboard new teachers to support them in planning, teaching, and analyzing student work. This program is offered concurrently with the Teacher Professional Learning Program. In addition to deepening understanding of the Anchored Inquiry Learning instructional model and the program resources, leaders will deepen their understanding of Curriculum-Based Professional Learning, systems of support for effective science teaching and learning, and change management. 

Districts interested in conducting a Leader Professional Learning Program should contact BSCS for pricing and logistical information.

Professional Learning Facilitator Institute +

BSCS offers a Facilitator Institute to prepare teacher leaders and others to lead BSCS Biology professional learning for teachers. The goals of the Facilitator Institute include:

  • Understand the design of BSCS Biology and of the professional learning program supporting its implementation.
  • Increase abilities to make decisions when planning, leading, and reflecting on BSCS Biology professional learning aligned with the program philosophy, goals, and curricula.
  • Enhance abilities to establish and grow a community of learners focused on the implementation of BSCS Biology.
  • Deepen understanding of the change process and increase abilities to support high school teachers as they implement BSCS Biology.

The program consists of an in-person institute and virtual follow-up sessions. Participants who successfully complete the program are eligible to be certified as BSCS BIology PL facilitators. Certified facilitators gain access to BSCS Science Learning’s proprietary facilitation guides, slides, and additional resources for BSCS Biology professional learning.

What Educators Are Saying

There’s no shortage of inspiring stories about BSCS Biology from the classroom. But some of our favorite stories are about teachers. Because they are the ones showing up to professional learning, and working hard behind the scenes to curate the most meaningful experiences for their students.