BOCES 4 Science Updates

June 2022

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Assistant Director Position

BOCES 4 Science is reposting for the position of Assistant Director.

We are looking for a visionary leader in the field of science education to help move our program forward. This is a 12-month administrative position.

Visit Job Posting - Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES ( for the complete job posting.

We made it....almost!!!

Like many of you, I am looking forward to the coming months and the promise of (some) rest and relaxation.

I believe it is a fair and accurate statement to say that this has been a stressful year.

Throughout the stress and challenges that we have faced there is one thing that continues to keep us moving forward -- students.

Just about every teacher I talk to says they are ready for the break, but they will miss their students and will continue to worry about them all summer long.

For me this is very telling. We hear a lot in the news and social media about the field of education. But the fact remains, teachers are in it for the right thing -- children!!!


Thank you for being an advocates for each student.

Thank you for being at school every day to help your students become the best versions of themselves.

Thank you for spending your own money to buy snacks, supplies, and anything else you need.

Thank you for making a positive impact.

Everybody at BOCES 4 Science appreciates the work you do each day to promote amazing science while keeping the focus on students.

I hope you are able to take advantage of all that summer offers and can do something amazing, joyous, and relaxing.

In this Smore you will see information about our summer Professional Learning Opportunities -- including our new "Train the Trainer" session. Also there are some updates from NYSED -- including links to sample 5th and 8th grade assessment questions and required investigation.

Finally -- we take the opportunity to recognize our Mary Thomas. Mary will be retiring at the end of June -- having worked for over 30 years to promote elementary science education.

Thank you for all you do to promote amazing science for all students. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you would like to learn more about our resources or would like to lease a unit for your classroom. I can be reached at

Again, thank you for your continued partnership.

Steven L. Montemarano, Jr.

Director of BOCES 4 Science

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Mary Thomas -- Assistant Director of BOCES 4 Science

Mary Thomas is retiring at the end of June. She has been a leader and advocate for science education, especially elementary science education, for over 30 years. Mary truly functions as the heart of all we do at BOCES 4 Science.

She has a passion for science and science education -- and tirelessly works to ensure that we continue to provide the best product, support, and services to all students, teachers, and districts.

Mary is the primary writer of several BOCES 4 Science units of instruction and is recognized as a leader across New York in the field of science education. She has truly earned the respect of her colleagues across the state.

Mary has led local, state, and national workshops on best practices in elementary science instruction. She has had articles published by Science and Children, a National Science Teachers Association Journal. Mary has one many awards for her work in science education -- including the Douglas B. Seager Award for Outstanding Contributions to Science Education and the Community Support STEM innovation Award.

If you are reading this, you have more than likely worked with Mary in the past -- either through ESP or BOCES 4 Science. I invite you to email her with some reflections, recollections, and kind words as she prepares for life in retirement. She can be reached at

We at BOCES 4 Science will miss her and wish her the best.

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Train the Trainer Session

This summer, BOCES 4 Science will be facilitating a "Train the Trainer" session in the Rochester region. This PD is designed to provide a deeper learning experience on NYSSLS and the BOCES 4 Science units of instruction to building level science leaders.

Participants will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of NYSSLS -- including a dive into the shifts in instruction, SEP's, CCC's, and PLD's
  • Explore interesting and challenging science content related to topics in BOCES 4 Science units of instruction
  • Utilize best practices to prepare for and train teachers in BOCES 4 Science units of instruction
  • Connect learning in BOCES 4 Science units of instruction within the grade level and across grade levels

Our intent is to help science leaders develop the skills necessary to engage teachers in the use of BOCES 4 Science curriculum and resource kits.

This training is free to participating districts!!!

Finally -- participants will receive endorsement from BOCES 4 Science to train in our units of instruction along with the use of individual resource kits for training purposes.

It will be a fun learning experience for all.

Please see the flyers for more information -- including dates and registration information for “Train the Trainer” along with our other summer PD opportunities

Feel free to contact Steven Montemarano, Director of BOCES 4 Science, with any questions –

Summer Professional Learning Opportunities

Sample Assessment Information

NYSED has recently released some sample test items for both the 5th grade assessment and 8th grade assessment. As of this writing, the anticipated first administration of each NYSSLS-based assessment is June 2024.

Required Investigations

The Office of State Assessment has released a memo regarding the new required investigations for the Elementary- and Intermediate-level Science Tests. The Elementary- and Intermediate-level Science Tests will be administered in Grades 5 and 8, respectively, for the first time in Spring 2024.

Attached here is a copy of that memo.

NYSSLS Implementation Timeline

Below is the revised NYSSLS Implementation timeline -- which includes the first administration of the Grade 5, Grade 8, and High School Assessments.

Note: The Grade 5 assessment will assess grades 3-5 standards (with a foundation of the PreK-2).

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K-5 NYSSLS Progressions Documents