NGSS Assessment Design Institute for District Teams

Location: PRISM – Blanton Hall
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning
Montclair State University


July 17, 18, 19
three-day attendance required
Runs from 8:30am - 2:30pm each day

This program model best serves district-based teams that seek to change their assessment practice and supports on-going work to turnkey the change process in their districts. The program is based on the nationally-vetted program of the Biological Curriculum Study Group. The focus of the model is on middle grades, but has flexibility to scale in either grade-direction. Phenomenon-driven curriculum, task-based assessments, and 3-dimensional learning will be interwoven in the daily experiences. During the three days of professional development and mentored collaboration, teams will:

  • Deepen understanding of what phenomenon-focused, three-dimensional assessments look like. They will experience how the assessment design process results in plans that align with the vision of the NJ State Science standards.
  • Create a locally-relevant blueprint for an instructional unit that is phenomenon-based, that melds together science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and cross-cutting concepts, and forms the basis for assessment task writing.
  • Develop formative and summative assessment tasks that align with the NGSS vision.
  • Collaborate to create model assessments while planning to follow the design process with resources provided in the institute to turn-key in the districts.

16.5 Professional Development Hours
$500 for a team of 2-4 persons for all 3 days. Add team members at $100 per person.

NOTE: This discounted rate is made possible by support from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Corporate Foundation. The same program will be offered in the fall/winter for a fee of $1800 per team.


Jacalyn Willis, Ph.D., founding director of PRISM and research biologist, is a member of the NJ State Leadership Team that advised the NJDOE on the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. She participated in national trainings in NGSS-aligned curriculum development and pedagogical practices. The PRISM team under her direction has developed effective PD practices during 22 years of federal and state initiatives.

Christopher Hunninghake has been working in the field of education for 30 years. After earning a BA in biology from the University of Virginia, Christopher taught a variety of science courses in both public and private schools in New Jersey. He then earned an MA in educational administration from Rider University and began serving as a high school building administrator and science/math supervisor. Christopher then obtained a Teacher of the Handicapped certificate and returned to the classroom teaching science to students with special needs.