Science K-12

Annamarie Russo, K-5 Coordinating Supervisor of STEAM-Math/Science/BSI/GRO Rachel Villanova, 6-12 Coordinating Supervisor of 6-12 Science, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Applied Technology

K-12 Science Program Overview

The Parsippany-Troy Hills Science Department is dedicated to providing our students with a rigorous and thorough science curriculum that establishes the essential foundational skills needed for success in any discipline of science. Our K-12 science curricula are built on the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), also known as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which continually spirals and builds upon knowledge in Life, Physical, and Earth and Space Sciences. Our science classrooms include collaboration and hands-on experiences deeply rooted in inquiry and discovery to pique student interest and provide opportunities for problem-solving, designing solutions, and using evidence to back up scientific claims. Within our science courses, our goal is to focus on developing critical thinking skills by providing students with an opportunity to engage in and develop a deeper understanding of the scientific phenomena in the natural world around them.

Elementary Science K-5

Our K-5 Science Program, Full Option Science System (FOSS) is a six-year sequence for elementary students and is aligned with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science, as well as the New Jersey Student Learning Standards of Computer Science and Design Thinking and Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills. The K-5 Science program emphasizes skill development, problem-solving and scientific inquiry in each of the three major Science disciplines: Life, Physical, and Earth Science. The students will employ a hands-on multisensory approach, incorporating kinesthetic, visual, and technology-based elements. In addition, students are asked to apply their knowledge to find solutions to problems in the world around them. The major focus is to have students build an in-depth knowledge of each topic studied through hands-on learning experiences that make connections in multiple content areas under the STEAM model (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). Teachers are encouraged to use the Engineering Design Process when developing lesson plans. Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, Computer Science and Design Thinking, and Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills will be infused throughout this curriculum as outlined in the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Our K-5 Full Option Science System (FOSS) program will develop and foster meaningful experiences while actively engaging students in scientific practices and further preparing them for scientific studies in middle school.

To view the specific course curriculum documents click here

Science 6-12 Courses

Our multifaceted 6-12 science program is designed to build upon the foundational knowledge and skills from our students' elementary science studies and experiences. Each grade level course dives deeper into the content of one of the three main science disciplines (Life, Earth and Space and Physical Sciences) while continuing to develop the pertinent science skills and practices aligned with the three dimensions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), also known as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The goal of our courses is to promote student understanding of scientific concepts relevant to both the individual and to society in order to foster an appreciation of the science disciplines, develop scientifically literate citizens and help to ignite a passion for lifelong learning. To accomplish this goal, our courses include collaborative hands-on experiences, experimental design opportunities, and engineering and design challenges to engage and pique student interest. Critical thinking skills such as model making, problem-solving, claim development, evidence analysis, and the application of scientific concepts and principles are used to help students develop evidence-based arguments, understand scientific content and hone crucial skills needed for both college and the workplace. Interdisciplinary connections, current events, and technology applications are also infused to demonstrate the interconnectedness of science and provide the students with a well-rounded experience.

The well-being of our students is our top priority. Placement decisions are determined collaboratively by the teacher and supervisor by a thorough analysis of each child's skill set and performance through multiple points of data to ensure that each student is challenged appropriately while at the same time not creating undue stress or anxiety. Students will have the opportunity to be evaluated for placement change yearly. Information about the scheduling process/deadlines can be found by clicking here.

Below are the course sequences for grades 6-12 and science electives for grades 9-12 in the Parsippany Troy Hills school district. To view the specific course curriculum documents click here.

MS Science sequence
HS Science Sequence

Alternate Math & Science Summer Course Program - High School Students Only

Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Schools has an alternate course approval process for Mathematics and Science courses. Current 9th-11th grade high school students must apply to participate by April 15th by notifying the appropriate supervisor and school counselor via email and filling out the online application using the following link:

The Alternate Course Approval process provides students with the option to take an approved summer course outside of the school district at an accredited high school or university at their own expense with the intent to skip a required prerequisite course. The summer alternative course must provide a minimum of 120 seat/instructional hours, and any alternative science course must include a laboratory component.

The alternate summer course must align to our district curriculum and performance expectations as its purpose is to prepare the student for testing to satisfy the requirements of a prerequisite math or science course. For example, as a current freshman in Algebra I, a student may apply for a summer Geometry course with the goal of testing out of Geometry to earn placement into Algebra II for their sophomore year. Final approval to place out of a prerequisite course is predicated on taking and passing PTHSD district exams with a minimum score of 70% and on there being room in the course in September of the next school year. In addition, in order to advance to an Honors or AP course, students must take the honors level exam(s) and earn a minimum grade of 85%. All exams are comprehensive, cover the entire course, and are designed to meet or exceed the NJ student learning standards. There are no exceptions to the testing requirements.

Any course that is taken over the summer is for advancement purposes only and no credit will be awarded, nor will it appear on the student’s transcripts. All costs incurred by a student’s enrollment in such a course, including costs of proficiency testing, will be absorbed by the student’s parent or legal guardian. The cost of the course will have no impact on the approval decision.