Success For All Students

We believe that great teaching allows students the best opportunity to succeed in school. The science teachers at La Paz collaborate regularly and are dedicated to their craft, making sure that lessons are engaging, current, and meaningful for 21st century learners.

Next Generation Science Standards - NGSS

Why new science standards? Why now?

Science—and therefore science education—is central to the lives of all Americans, preparing them to be informed citizens in a democracy and knowledgeable consumers. If the nation is to compete and lead in the global economy and if American students are to be able to pursue expanding employment opportunities in science-related fields, all students must have a solid K–12 science education that prepares them for college and careers. Needless to say, major advances have since taken place in the world of science and in our understanding of how students learn science effectively. The time is right to take a fresh look and develop Next Generation Science Standards.

Former science standards focused on content but NGSS transforms the learning experience within the classroom using a 3-dimensional approach. The 3 dimensions are Disciplinary Core ideas (knowing science), Cross cutting concepts (thinking like a scientist) and the Science and Engineering Practices (working like a scientist). This approach dramatically changes the classroom for teachers and students by increasing the hands-on experiences, level of critical thinking, and student engagement.

NGSS at La Paz Intermediate:

We are proud to announce that we have been implementing NGSS for the last three years. While we are continuing to strive for the vision of NGSS, all middle school science units are fully aligned to the new standards. The staff at La Paz believe that NGSS engages and challenges students to be better learners. Walk into any of the science teacher's rooms and you will see all dimensions of NGSS in action.

NGSS Parent Guide

NGSS Parent Guide (Spanish)

7th and 8th Grade Standards

7th Grade

  • Earth Moves and Shifts
  • Everything's the Matter
  • The Real World Wide Web
  • Utilizing Resources
  • Catastrophic Changes of State

8th Grade

  • Gravity in the Universe
  • Electric and Magnetic Forces
  • Colliding Objects
  • Observing Waves on Earth
  • Exploring Evidence of Earth's History
  • Sources of Genetic Modifications
  • Our Impact as Humans

Class Supplies

  • College ruled spiral notebook (150+ pages) - Must be size 8 1/2 x 11
  • Pencils and erasers (extra lead if using mechanical)
  • Set of colored pencils
  • Small covered pencil sharpener for colored pencils
  • 2 pens, blue or black
  • 2 red or green pens for grading
  • Set of 3 highlighters
  • Expo whiteboard marker
  • Several glue sticks (bring one to class and keep stocked for entire school year)
  • 1 pack of 3x5 index cards

Additional 7th grade materials:

  • 1 pocket folder
  • Honors: Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat to be read 2nd Trimester

Lab Safety

Classroom Laboratory Safety

A teacher may remove any student at any time for any behavior that endangers themselves or others.

1. Equipment and chemicals should be used only in the classroom, do not take anything from the classroom.

2. Clean all pieces of equipment after use and return them as directed by teacher.

3. Keep chemicals away from eyes, ears, nose, mouth, clothing and skin.

4. Use chemicals only from clearly marked containers or as indicated by teacher.

5. Measure chemicals at the supply table and take back to your station only the amount you need.

6. Always replace caps, covers and stoppers on chemical containers immediately.

7. Mix chemicals according to instructions only.

8. Wipe up spills immediately.

9. Keep the open end of a test tube pointed away from you and anyone else when heating it.

10. Report any accidents to the teacher immediately.

11. Throw waste materials into proper containers according to teacher instructions.

12. Goggles MUST be worn whenever you are working with chemicals, heating materials, or you could be harmed by flying objects.

13. Wash your hands at the end of each laboratory period.

14. Never heat a sealed container.

15. Students with long hair must tie it back when working with an open flame.

16. Keep aisles and walkways clear of backpacks, binders and papers. All school materials should be placed under the tables.

17. Keep your movement around the room to a minimum. Stay at your lab station or seat unless directed by the teacher.

18. DO NOT SMELL OR TOUCH CHEMICALS UNLESS DIRECTED OTHERWISE. Use the wafting technique to smell chemicals when necessary.


Donation Letter

August 2017


Dear Parents and Guardians,

The science department at La Paz is committed to providing the best standards-based education possible for our students and to continue the quality education that is expected from a National School to Watch, a four-time California Distinguished School, a National Gold Ribbon School as well as a two-time National Blue Ribbon School.

In order to provide hands-on, inquiry-based science learning opportunities, we would like to ask for a donation to help support these consumable lab costs. Typically, donations in the past have been $25.00, but any donation possible at this time will gladly be accepted.

These donations will be used by the science department to elevate laboratory experiences while we transition into Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The donations go towards general lab consumables, lab-related technology, and basic upkeep of existing materials. In 7th grade, donations will be used to service microscopes, replace dissecting materials, improve laboratory equipment and purchase specimens. For 8th grade, donations will be used toward maintaining CPO physics equipment, optics kits, the egg launch, and paper roller coasters. Funds will also help cover the cost of science based applications and current event readings such as Science News for both grade levels. Your donations will enable us to give each student more individual lab experiences as opposed to whole group demonstrations. More learning occurs when a child personally experiences the science concepts.

If this donation creates a hardship, please do not be concerned. Your child will still receive all the benefits of the excellent programs here at La Paz.

Please make the check payable to La Paz Intermediate and have your child give it to his/her science teacher. Cash is also accepted.

We are asking that all students return this letter with your signature so that we can be assured you have seen it.

The La Paz science team thanks you for your support.


Jean Walker, Principal

Student Name________________________________________

Parent Signature______________________________________

Teacher Contacts

Boni Beck -

Matthew Bettino -

Aime Camey -

Ian Keith -

Michelle Stafford -