In 2013 Washington State formally adopted the K-12 Science Learning Standards (WSSLS), which are the Next Generation Science Standards.  The standards describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.  The standards focus on three dimensional learning which incorporates Science and Engineering Practices (what students do), crosscutting concepts (what students connect across disciplines), and the disciplinary core ideas (what content students learn).


Students examining slides through a microscope

Northshore School District works to prepare our students for the increasing need for science education and science-related careers relevant to industries within the Puget Sound area, our state, and beyond. It is Northshore’s goal to provide a coherent program that demonstrates consistent, standards-based, science instruction in K-12 classrooms across the district. With a focus on continuous teaching and learning in science, across K-12 schools and grades, we provide equitable experiences for all in science education. The Northshore School District science program seeks to engage students in science and engineering practices and cross-cutting concepts alongside science investigations. Students apply critical thinking skills as they learn about core ideas and concepts across the science disciplines (physical science, life science, earth/space) and how the concepts are applicable to real-world experiences.

Core Instructional Materials

Adopted Curriculum
  • Grades K-5: 
    • TCI Bring Science Alive by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, adopted 2017  The curriculum is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Grades 6-8:
    • Carolina STCMS by Smithsonian Science Education Center, adopted  2017. The curriculum is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Grades 9-12: 
    • Biology course: Insights in Biology by EDC's Center for Science Education & Development; Kendall/Hunt Publishing, adopted 2012
    • Chemistry course: World of Chemistry by Zumdahl, Zumdahl, DeCoste; McDougal Littell, adopted 2005
    • Physics course: Physics - 6th ed. by Giancoli, 1998





Students at each grade level in elementary school experience science content in life science, earth and space science, and physical science aligned to the grade level standards. The link below provides a document that shows the grade-specific NGSS disciplinary content by grade level.

Middle School

Students at each grade level in the middle school experience science content in life science, earth and space science, and physical science aligned to the middle school science standards. The unit arrangement by grade level is aligned to the NGSS standards. The link below provides a document that shows the discipline and topic arrangement by grade level.

High School

For high school science course offerings, please see your neighborhood high school course catalog with descriptions.


Assessments for Learning


Students in the elementary grades participate in formative assessments aligned to the TCI Science curriculum, while students in the middle school grades respond to assessments from the STC Science curriculum. 

Students in grades 5, 8 and 11 take the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science. Information on the assessment can be accessed at the Office of Superintendent of Instruction science assessment page.


Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements
  • 2.0 Credits: Laboratory Science
  • 1.0 Credit: Student Choice*

*This credit is chosen by the student and is based on their interest and High School & Beyond Plan.

Parent Resources


Subject Areas