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Social Studies

The APS Social Studies Program engages students in 21st century education through meaningful and challenging experiences that allow students to understand the relevance of history and the social sciences in our global society.

The Social Studies curriculum:

  • Prepares each student to succeed in a diverse, changing world through curriculum and instruction that focuses on history and social science skills and other school experiences responsive to each students talents, interests, and challenges through personalized learning.
  • Develops, revises, and enhances curriculum and instructional programs to support a rigorous curriculum aligned with .
  • Offers flexibility in course delivery to provide options for students through virtual instruction.
  • Provides students and teachers with access to technology and other resources that support high quality social studies instruction.
  • Fosters connections with local history to provide links to classroom study.
  • Engages teachers in professional learning that focuses on best practice pedagogy and skills of the 21st century and beyond.
  • Builds effective relationship with parents and the community so that they know about and actively support the education of our students.

Leading for Educational Equity by Teaching Hard History and Current Events

As social studies educators, we support students in examining issues of justice and human rights around the world. Teachers should support student inquiry through exposure to primary sources, multiple perspectives, and compelling questions as students learn to communicate, collaborate, and take action as global citizens. Teaching complex history and current events can be a challenge for all social studies educators.? Issues from the present and the past can bring up many feelings for students and teachers. Addressing issues at the classroom level allows teachers to use the knowledge of their students to prepare them to engage in lifelong inquiry and informed civic action.

Local Alternative Assessments

In 2014, the General Assembly eliminated Standards of Learning assessments in Grade 3 History, United States History to 1865, and United States History: 1865 to the Present. Additionally, the Assemblys action required local school divisions to continue to teach the content and to measure student achievement with local alternative assessments, including authentic or performance assessments.?Current guidance for continued implementation of local alternative assessments is included in .

School divisions are required to continue to develop Balanced Assessment Plans for each course in which local alternative assessments are administered and to continue to utilize resources provided by VDOE that promote consistency across the Commonwealth. These plans are to indicate a variety of assessment types, including performance based assessments.???Performance Based Assessments measure subject-matter proficiency by requiring students to apply the content and skills they have learned to an authentic task.? PBAs should present opportunities for students to demonstrate acquisition of the Five Cs C critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and citizenship C rather than traditional assessments which focus more on factual rote memorization.

3rd Grade World History

Students in third grade World History explore 9 units of study (Civics, Government, Geography, Economics, Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Mali).? In each unit students will engage in a variety of assessment experiences that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Diagnostic Assessments: Brainstorming, Four Corners, Written or Oral Assessment, KWL Charts, etc
  • Formative Assessments: Exit Tickets, Quizzes, Questioning, Teacher Observation, etc
  • Summative Assessments: Teacher created assessments (multiple choice and performance assessments) and Division Performance Assessments (DBQs, Inquiries, Skill based assessments)

During the 2021-22 school year, students will participate in three common performance assessments developed by APS as part of the balanced assessment plan.? These assessments are as follows*:

  1. How was life in Ancient Egypt influenced by the geographic features of the area?
  2. How were the contributions of Ancient China and Ancient Greece to present day life similar and how were they different?
  3. What made Mali one of the richest kingdoms in history?

* Some schools and programs may be offering slightly different assessments based on the needs of the program and students.

6th Grade US History I and II

Students in sixth grade US History explore 4 units of study (United States Geography over time, Conflict and Change, Progress and Perspective, Turning Points and the Emergence of Modern America).? In each unit students will engage in a variety of assessment experiences that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Diagnostic Assessments: Brainstorming, Four Corners, Written or Oral Assessment, KWL Charts, etc
  • Formative Assessments: Exit Tickets, Quizzes, Questioning, Teacher Observation, etc
  • Summative Assessments: Teacher created assessments (multiple choice and performance assessments) and Division Performance Assessments (DBQs, Inquiries, Skill based assessments)

During the 2022-2023 school year, students will participate in three common performance assessments developed by APS as part of the balanced assessment plan.? These assessments are as follows:

  1. How did geography shape life in the past?? Students explore a variety of resources to determine one or more ways that geography has shaped life in the past.
  2. Cause and Effect:? Students explore a variety of resources in order to determine multiple causes of an event.
  3. Comparing and Contrasting Perspectives:? Students explore a variety of resources in order to answer a question in a way that compares historical, cultural, and/or political perspectives.
  4. Research Questions: Students will develop a research question around a topic and select relevant sources for research.

Locally Awarded Verified Credit Process in Social Studies

Virginia graduation requirements require all students to earn one verified credit in History/Social Sciences.? Once a student has earned a verified credit, they do not need an additional verified credit in History/Social Science.? The following courses allow students to earn their verified credit:

  • World Geography
  • World History I
  • World HIstory II
  • VA/US History

Traditionally, students earned the verified credit by passing the multiple choice SOL exam at the conclusion of the course. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, students taking History/Social Studies will earn their verified credit through a locally awarded verified credit process that includes instruction and assessment in the content and skills of the course.

In order to earn the locally awarded verified credit, students must:

  1. Not previously have earned a verified credit in Social Studies
  2. Be currently enrolled in the course for which they are seeking verified credit
  3. Pass the course
  4. Participate in a VDOE developed performance-based assessment in a majority of the eras or categories for the course
    • World History II: VDOE developed assessments required in two out of three eras.
    • World Geography, Word History I, Virginia/US History: VDOE developed assessments required in three out of four eras.
  5. Participate in teacher created/selected assessments that cover the content and skills not covered by the VDOE developed performance-based assessments.

Students may pass the course and earn a standard credit for the course without earning a verified credit.? This would happen if the student does not engage in the required number of VDOE developed performance-based assessments.? It is important that students attend class and submit responses to the required assessments at the time that they are administered.

Local History

鶹 has a unique history relative to the history of the nation and the world.? The Social Studies Office has worked in partnership with others to bring this history to life for our students.? Some of these initiatives include the following:

  • A is for 鶹?C This ABC book, authored by 鶹 Public School teachers Jennifer Burgin and Elizabeth Kuleski, highlights important events and landmarks in our county.? Used in elementary schools, this book aligns with the VDOE social studies standards which focus on the local community. Copies of the print book can be ordered through the APS Social Studies Office.
  • C In partnership with George Mason Universitys Center for New Media Literacy, a series of online modules designed for secondary students uses the landmark integration of 鶹 Public Schools in February 1959 as a foundation for studying the Civil Rights Movement.
  • ?C Featuring a variety of APS staff and community leaders, these short videos highlight some of the numerous historical markers located throughout the county.

Links to Other Local History Resources

Contact

Social Studies Office

Syphax Education Center
2110 Washington Boulevard
鶹, Virginia 22204

Phone: 703-228-6140

Terrell Fleming, Social Studies Supervisor terrell.fleming@apsva.us
Andrea Mendoza, Social Studies Specialist andrea.mendoza@apsva.us
Barbara Ann Lavelle, Social Studies Administrative Assistant barbara.lavelle@apsva.us