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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:

  • 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
Horizontal and Vertical Alignment
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.

Community Engagement
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 


Coming Soon

  • Social Studies Adoption Public Review Survey
  • The top three sets of materials for World History I, II, & III, AP World History, U.S. History, AP U.S. History, and American Government will be on display in five high schools in the five regions of the city.
  • The display sites are Rainer Beach, Chief Sealth, Franklin, Ballard, and Nathan Hale.  All Social Studies materials will be on display in the library at each of the display sites.
  • We will provide on this Web site links to view the three sets of materials at the publisher’s Web site, so that you could view them at home as well.
  • Teacher and Public Input is welcome either at the display site or via the SPS Social Studies Adoption page website.
  • More information will be coming soon! We greatly appreciate your input. It is valued and used in this process.

Completed to Date

•Viewing Materials Memo
The Adoption Committee was selected on January 10, 2011 and was approved by the Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) on January 12, 2011.
•The Adoption Committee met for the first time on Feb. 2, 2011 to lay the ground rules and develop the Screening Tools.
•The Screening Tools have been developed by the Adoption Committee and revised based on recommendations from the IMC and approved again by the Adoption Committee.
•The Adoption Committee has meet on  Feb. 2nd, 10th, 28th and March 4th to review materials.
•Sets of instructional materials have been  on display in the Stanford Center since January 31st. 
•An evening public viewing was held on Thursday, March 3rd from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.


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