I can't speak to the secondary requirements. I am only concerned with the preK-5 implications. Notice I said "preK". Yes, Maryland will have pre-Kindergarten science standards. These have not been established. The bottom line is that I have to have at least six grades of curriculum ready by June 2017 in order to be ready for implementation in Fall 2017.
How will I do it? Well, I won't be doing it by myself. I have assembled an amazing group of teachers to be my NGSS Transition Team. More about them later. This team is meeting now to build the unit blueprints based on the Understanding by Design framework. Their job is to build what I refer to as the bookends of a unit. Once the performance expectations are established, essential questions, and enduring understandings help frame the big ideas (Stage one). They will also develop the initial performance based assessments that students will have to complete in order to demonstrate understanding (Stage two). The rest of my timeline follows a very simple pattern.
Once the NGSS team completes the blueprints, they hand it off to curriculum writers (which fortunately will be many of the team). These writers will write the initial unit drafts (Stage Three). Once these drafts are complete, my two resource teachers and I will add meat to the bones. This will include the addition and creation of learning objects for our new digital curriculum system. It will also mean the development and testing of the materials needed to implement the various hands-on experiments students will conduct. That's right, I get to play with scientific materials in my job. Envy me. Once we are satisfied with the unit drafts, we train a small pilot group of teachers. The goal is 10-15 schools scattered across our county. These teachers implement the units and report back on what needs to be changed. We make improvements and deploy to all schools the following year. The year I am most fearful of is 2016. I will be refining grades 3-5 and monitoring the pilot for grades K-2.
So, what is your plan to bring the NGSS to the elementary classroom?