• Gather advice regarding PreK-12 science instruction that is focused on developing Scientists as stated in the Bellingham Promise.
  • Meet two to three times a year to address issues related to science standards, instruction and assessment, and professional development needs.
  • Communicate findings to affected stakeholders.

Basis for Establishment:

  • To increase opportunities for teachers, principals and Department of Teaching and Learning to collectively collaborate around the development of scientists as stated in the Bellingham Promise.
  • To create an ongoing process for addressing standards, instruction and assessment decisions, alignment and communication regarding science instruction.
  • To advise regarding needs and priorities in science.

Decision-Making Process:

  • This group will make any necessary decisions based on a consensus of those present and primarily serve in an advisory capacity to Department of Teaching and Learning and the Superintendent.

Plan of Work:

  • Convene committee to understand the scope of the work of the year (and ongoing).
  • Understand how the Developing Scientists advisory group relates to other Teaching and Learning Advisory groups and the Bellingham Promise.
  • Review recent research on best practices in science.
  • Analyze current assessment data.
  • Examine current state, local and other related standards, assessments and instructional implications.
  • Collect feedback from staff, students and parents, as needed.


  • Rotating/staggered memberships: Three-year, two-year and one-year memberships will be established at each level, so that we can have an ongoing advisory group over time without losing momentum
  • Elementary teachers: Caren Pitsch, Alderwood; Lisa Conlon, Carl Cozier; John Livesey, Northern Heights; Brooke Wertz, Happy Valley
  • Middle school teachers: Miguel Boriss, Fairhaven; Julie Bennett, Kulshan; Sarah Walker, Shuksan; Sam Stoner, Whatcom
  • High school teachers: Jamie Yoos, Bellingham; Amy Hankinson, Sehome; Suzanna Laas, Squalicum
  • Charisse Berner, Director of Teaching and Learning – Co-chair
  • Michelle Kuss-Cybula, Director of Teaching and Learning– Co-chair


  • Communicate and make public all meeting agendas and minutes
  • Director of Teaching and Learning shares outcomes with DTL team to surface potential impact on priorities across the system.


2017-18 School Year – No meetings during the 2017-18 school year.

2016-17 School Year: All meetings are 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the District Office.

  • Feb. 28, 2017 – cancelled due to snow, will be rescheduled
  • April 11, 2017

2015-16 School Year: Teaching and Learning Advisory Group meets fall, winter and spring. All meetings are held at the District Office.

  • January 13, Room 212, 4 to 6:30 p.m. – Minutes
  • February 18, Room 205, 4 to 6 p.m.

2014-15 School Year: March- May 2015

  • March 19, Room 212, 4 to 6:30 p.m.
  • May 11, Board Room, 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Budget Implications:

  • $5,000 – Curriculum rate paid to members (for attendance at Advisory Group meetings) and if needed, paid time for substantial tasks between meetings.
  • The advisory group may recommend that a review committee be formed to address significant curricular needs.