Secondary Social Studies

The secondary social studies course of study is designed to develop the knowledge and skills of history, geography, civics, and economics that will enable students to put into perspective people, places, ideas, and events that have shaped our state, our nation, and our world.

In grades 6 through 12, students will develop an understanding of the past, present, and future of our society and the society of others through the study of history. As they study geography, they will develop an understanding of spatial relationships by looking at human and physical characteristics of places, how different groups interact with their environment, and how our communities and nations are affected by conditions and events in other places. Studying civics will help them understand politics and government in order to be informed citizens and to participate in the public life of our community, state, and nation. Studying economics will help them understand the function of the economy in our society and the world; their role as an employer, worker, producer, or consumer; and their role in the global marketplace.

In addition, the courses in the social studies program are designed to develop the following skills and proficiencies:

  • Using information sources to analyze and interpret artifacts, primary and secondary sources
  • Analyzing geographic skills to use geographic information to determine patterns and trends
  • Organizing information to interpret charts, graphs, diagrams, and pictures to determine characteristics of people, places or events
  • Questioning and using critical thinking skills to use evidence to draw conclusions and make generalizations
  • Comparing and contrasting to compare and contrast historical, cultural, and political perspectives
  • Determining cause-and-effect to determine relationships with many causes or effects
  • Making connections to explain connections across time and place
  • Making economic decisions to use a decision-making model to identify costs and benefits of a specific choice made
  • Exercising civic responsibility to identify ethical use of material or intellectual property
  • Demonstrating comprehension to investigate and research to develop products orally and in writing

Course of Study

Students take a sequence of social studies courses in grades 6 though 12. Three high school social studies courses (including US History and Government) are required for graduation. However, students must take and receive credit for four high school social studies courses (including US History and Government) in order to earn an advanced studies diploma.

High School social studies courses required for graduation are offered at average, honors, and advanced (AP, IB) levels.

In addition to required courses, high school students may choose from the following courses: Sociology , Introductory Psychology, AP Psychology, American Foreign Policy, International Relations, Practical Law, African American History, History and Film.