NGSS Assessment Design Institutes for District Teams

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

NGSS Middle Grades Assessment Design: 3-Day Institute

To reserve space for your team, call 973-655-7753 or email

January 8, 15, and 22, 2019  8:30am-3:00pm 18 PD Hours

three-day attendance required

Fee: $3000 for a team of 2-4 persons for all 3 days.  Add team members at $450 per person.

Turnkey materials and resources included.  


This program serves district-based teams to support changing assessment practices through on-going turnkey processes.  This nationally-vetted program of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study Group focuses on middle grades, but has flexibility to scale in either grade-direction.  Phenomenon-driven curriculum, task-based assessments, and 3-dimensional learning are interwoven during the three days. Teams will:

  • Deepen understanding of what phenomenon-focused, three-dimensional assessments look like, through an assessment design process that aligns with the NJ State standards.
  • Create locally-relevant instructional unit blueprints that meld together science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and cross-cutting concepts, as a basis for assessment task writing.
  • Create model assessments through this design process and prepare to turn-key in-district. 



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.

To reserve space for your team, call 973-655-7753 or email