Curriculum Alignment - Social Studies
Seattle Public School’s Strategic Plan, Excellence for All, commits the District to ensuring high expectations and a high quality school for every student. As part of a system-wide effort to increase the number of Seattle Public School students that graduate from high school prepared for college and the 21st century work force, Seattle Public School (SPS) has committed to a curriculum alignment in core academic subjects across all schools.
An aligned curriculum is a coherent and consistent progression of content, instruction, and assessment within a course of study. Social Studies courses will align to the following:
Horizontal and Vertical Alignment
- National Common Core Standards
- Essential content knowledge and skill necessary to being successful in the next course in the sequence and a progression to college and work
- Washington State Social Studies Essential Academic Learning
Furthermore, each course in the core curriculum will be aligned horizontally with identified course outcomes so that courses with the same name across SPS reach the same goals. Some content courses will be aligned vertically to ensure students possess the knowledge and skills to be successful in the next course in the sequence. Where the skill and content knowledge is not required for the subsequent course, the content of the course will increase in challenge and academic content. Not only will the curriculum be aligned to the college ready state standards but also to the curriculum taught in the previous grades.
Social Studies Intructional Materials Adoption
Seattle Public Schools will adopt appropriate instructional materials for all required high school Social Studies courses. To do this we will be forming an Adoption Committee that will take input from educators and community members in order to determine the types of instructional materials to be reviewed. The committee will then select the materials for each grade level and proceed to get Board approval for the materials.
Seattle Public Schools is undertaking an adoption of instructional materials for High School Social Studies. This adoption, along with aligned curriculum, will provide consistency in instruction in our high schools, support for teachers and schools, and allow us to better focus our professional development offerings.
All adopted instructional materials will be designed to meet cultural relevance and accessibility standards, and will incorporate methods for teaching all students, including those receiving Special Education, bilingual, or advanced learning services.
High School Social Studies Adoption Process
The first step is to establish a high school Social Studies Adoption Committee. The committee will be made up of twelve Seattle Public Schools educators (10-11 Social Studies teachers and 1-2 high school administrators) and two parent/community representatives.*
Committee members, who will bring valuable insights and perspectives, will be selected by Monday, January 10th, 2011. The goal is to appoint a committee representing a diverse group of individuals with a variety of skills, knowledge, experience, and working style. Our team will reflect diversity in race/ethnicity, gender, school/student population representation, and perspectives.
We are asking that prospective applicants bring an open mind, with passion about student learning in Social Studies, and avoiding approaching the process with a specific textbook or set of materials in mind. Time commitment will be approximately 60 hours between January and April, 2011. We expect to hold five day-time meetings (8:00 AM – 3:00 PM), and four after-school or evening meetings. The committee will determine its schedule at the first session on Thursday, January 20th, 2011. (3 PM – 6 PM).
We are reaching out to potential family/community volunteers through established family
and community partnerships, including the School Family Partnerships Advisory
Committee, the Source, and PTSA. Applications will be made available to teachers, administrators, and the community, beginning Wednesday, December 8th, 2010, and must be submitted to John Brill , Social Studies Adoption Coordinator, by Thursday, January 6th, 2011.
Tentative timeline for the adoption process:
It is our hope to move the process as quickly as possible, while ensuring a thorough process is followed. The goal will be to get Board approval for the adopted materials and purchase these before the summer break. We will also develop a professional development plan for teachers so we are ready to roll out the adoption for the 2011-2012 school year.
* Family and community members can provide feedback about the materials the committee considers once public displays are set up in the community.
AP American Government / International Baccalaureate - Adoptions