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Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

Policy on Dissection and Dissection Alternative Activities

To:Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, Principals, & Curriculum Coordinators
From:David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education
Date:November 14, 2005

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The purpose of this memo is to provide schools and districts with information about the Board of Education's new policy on dissection and dissection alternatives. On October 25th, 2005, the Board of Education adopted a policy on dissection and dissection alternative activities. The policy states:

All public schools that offer dissection as a learning activity should, upon written request by a student's parent or guardian, permit a student who chooses not to participate in dissection to demonstrate competency through an alternative method.

The policy is a supplement to the 2001 Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework, and includes a guidance document for schools and other interested parties. The guidance document, District and School Policies and Resources for Dissection and Dissection Alternatives in Science Courses Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document, includes: 1) recommendations for developing school and district policies for dissection and dissection alternatives, 2) a list of free alternatives and resources for schools to use in addition to traditional dissection activities, and 3) a sample school policy and a sample letter for parents.

If you have any questions or comments about the policy or resources, please contact the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology/Engineering at mathsciencetech@doe.mass.edu or 781-338-3492.

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document  District and School Policies and Resources for Dissection and Dissection Alternatives in Science Courses



Last Updated: November 21, 2005
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