San Bernardino City Unified School District adopts $20 million worth of science textbooks

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On February 4, San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Education approved a $20,264,390 elementary and secondary school science textbook adoption.

“Science is one of our heavier adoptions because it typically comes with more hands on laboratories. I also want to assure the board all of our materials come with digital copies as well,” said Dr. Dale Marsden, SBCUSD Superintendent.

Science and English textbooks are the largest adoptions in the district and the length of textbook adoptions is seven to eight years.

“Our teachers had a hand in selecting the textbooks that will be best to aid our students in becoming global learners. All of the core curriculum textbooks are currently older than they should be. Some are 15 years because we held off on textbook adoptions when we were doing layoffs. Our schools are in desperate need,” continued Marsden.

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At the meeting, Board Member Abigail Medina asked, “You said a typical adoption is seven years. I was wondering that with these new additions, are there significant changes? Or are these texts consisting of minor changes? Will it impact the students if we keep the books that we have right now?”

“It would significantly hurt our children. Remember, we have transitioned to the common core state standards. The textbooks are completely different than what they have been in the last 20 years. Our students need to be able to compete on a world stage and these materials are updated, as you know science is always advancing,” Marsden said.

Throughout the item’s conversation, board members continuously alluded to student success being the top priority.

“I know that in many ways we are trying to push for better student achievement and we are struggling in some areas. I know this all depends on the teachers themselves, the way they teach and how they are able to connect with students. I do not know how much of a difference this will do in improving student achievement; because at the end of the day, it’s the teachers who make a significant impact,” concluded Medina.

One board member who was the least expected to support the textbook upgrade was Dr. Margaret Hill.

“I know I’m going to surprise you…I support this. The reason I support this is because we are moving into the high tech/global way of teaching science. I’m glad to hear about the supplements and new additions. I am hoping the teachers will understand that we expect them to prepare our students to become global learners,” concluded Hill. For more information, visit

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