A Tale of Two Districts: Implementing NGSS in Oakland and San Francisco

Presenters: Caleb Cheung, Sarah Delaney

Over the past few years, Oakland and San Francisco Unified School Districts have become state leaders in the implementation of the NGSS. Presenters will share their approaches to addressing the challenges of the NGSS to meet the needs of their teachers and students. Participants will learn about designing a districtwide science program, approaches to professional learning, grade-level challenges, and curriculum development. Questions and audience participation will be encouraged.


Caleb Cheung, Science Manager, Oakland Unified School District
Caleb Cheung is the science manager for the Oakland Unified School District after previously teaching middle school science. His 20-year career in education focuses on developing districtwide structures and regional partnerships for improving science education and implementing the NGSS. He oversees an extensive K–12 science program that includes curriculum development and implementation, assessments, monthly districtwide professional development, multiple summer institutes, teacher and principal leadership, and the SMART Center—a science support center for the district. He also organizes large districtwide events such as the K–12 Science Fair, Dinner with a Scientist, and Family Science Nights. Cheung has directed many professional development and curriculum projects including Improving Teacher Quality Grants and Math and Science Partnership Grants. In 2002, he was the Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute Distinguished Educator of the Year, and in 2005, he won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. From 2006–09, Cheung served as a commissioner and the chair of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. He served on the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee to align California’s Science Framework to the NGSS. His education background includes a BA in Biology from UC Berkeley and an MA in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University. He received his teaching certification from Cal State University, Hayward in single subject biological sciences and is National Board Certified in Early Adolescent Science.

Sarah Delaney, Science Program Administrator, San Francisco Unified School District
Sarah Delaney is the science program administrator of San Francisco Unified School District. Her primary focus is to ensure rigorous and relevant science learning for all students through the use of professional learning, curriculum development, and instruction coaching. She has been in this role for the past three years and has prepared the district for the implementation of the NGSS. Her experience includes six years as a middle school science teacher, four years as a professional development provider and instructional coach, and an exciting summer spent teaching science to three and four year olds. Delaney has successfully provided teacher professional development on the NGSS using science notebooking to support literacy, unit planning with Understanding by Design, the art and science of questioning, and the benefit of environmental education. She supervises a science team comprising 12 people and facilitates a strong network of 35 science education partners that support SFUSD teachers, students, and families. She has successfully written and obtained several grants to support SFUSD science programs and is dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to high-quality science learning. Delaney has a BS from UC Santa Barbara in Physiology and an MA in Organization and Leadership from University of San Francisco. She has an administrative credential and a single subject science credential.