The Life Academy of Health and Bioscience (’16-’17)


Humanities: Christi Grossman, Shelly Goulder, Matthew Hayes, Amanda Issa, Yuji Okamura, Eva Oliver, Nina Portugal, Molly Porzig, Marguerite Sheffer, Samantha Solomon, Annie Tickell

Science: Angelica-Mae Corral, Rowan Driscoll, Mathew Hayes, Amanda Issa, William Juang, Julia Kamaroff, Jessica Oya

School Focus

The Life Academy of Health and Bioscience has two groups of teachers collaborating on teacher-led inquiry this year. The Life Academy Humanities Department is in its second year of inquiry, supported by a Light Award in partnership with Mills Teacher Scholars. The Humanities teachers are continuing to explore various forms of data to29077485713_c1d233b925_z better serve Long-term English Learners in grades 6-12. This year they are working to engage their whole school site and the greater educational community in conversation about language learners.

The Life Academy Science Department is in its first year of inquiry, supported by an Educate 78 grant. The Science teachers are using collaborative inquiry to build a common understanding around how to support the use of logical reasoning and analysis in science writing. They are also exploring how to best align their instruction and assessment of analytical science writing across the grades.

Sample Inquiry Topics


  • Creating collaborative spaces for ELLs to practice language, review content, and build on one another’s ideas
  • Supporting ELLs to clarify their thinking and use academic language in partner talks as preparation for writing
  • Building analysis and synthesis skills in ELLs so they can effectively assess and use evidence in their argumentative writing


  • Supporting students through the process of collecting, evaluating, and interpreting evidence in analytical science writing
  • Helping students collect and understand precise, accurate qualitative data that connects to larger science concepts
  • Fostering independence and creativity in data-driven analytical writing

Teacher Leaders

Samantha Solomon

Rowan Driscoll

Marguerite Sheffer

Christi Carpenter