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This article discusses the impact of the New Science Coordinators Academy (NSCA) on two cohorts of participants. The NSCA is one of four components of the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA), a United States Department of Education (USED) science education reform grant. The NSCA is designed to support new school district science coordinators (with less than five years of experience) and to continue building the state science education infrastructure. Research in education leadership traditionally focuses on teacher leaders, principals, and district office personnel. Interestingly, research on district office personnel rarely distinguishes between the different roles of district personnel. This article seeks to inform the field by sharing the impact of an academy designed for new science coordinators on their learning, and to begin to understand their role and impact in their district. The five-day Academy engaged participants in a variety of experiences designed to facilitate the following: 1) build leadership skills; 2) build a common understanding and vision for hands-on science, inquiry, problem-based learning, and nature of science in the science classroom; 3) investigate data to improve student learning goals; 4) and, develop a science strategic plan. The data indicate that the NSCA was successful at meeting its goals to support the participants and to build a common language among these new coordinators. Initial data also support the variety of responsibilities of these participants and the positive impact of the Academy on their district work.





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