The Social Studies Connection

More than a Newsletter for Secondary Social Studies Teachers


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Matthew I. Doran

Secondary Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator

Office of Teaching & Learning

Curriculum Division

Southland Center

In this edition:

  • Curriculum and Instruction: CCS Social Studies Points of Emphasis
  • Curriculum and Instruction: CCS Curriculum Documents
  • Curriculum and Instruction: TCI Implementation, Year 2
  • Ohio's State Tests: Spring 2022 Released Test Items
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Continuing DEI Initiatives
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Holocaust & Humanity Center
  • Professional Development: TCI Professional Development
  • External Professional Development: NCHE Equity Summit

Welcome to 2022-2023!

Welcome to CCS Social Studies for the 2022-2023 school year! I hope you had a relaxing and refreshing summer.

It's difficult to recall what a "normal" opening to a school year looks like. Two years ago at this time, we were preparing for an extended period of remote learning. Last year we were "all in" but with continued Covid protocols that made the school year anything but normal. This year we are "ready to go" and look forward to better days ahead.

This year marks my 17th year as CCS Social Studies Coordinator. I believe we are better positioned in social studies now than we have been at any point in my time here. After a long overdue textbook/resource adoption, we are entering our second year with TCI's engaging line of History Alive!, Geography Alive!, Government Alive! and Econ Alive! programs. Additionally, the District is fully implementing the Canvas Learning Management system this year. Canvas courses have been pre-populated with district curriculum resources and some supplemental learning activities that will support Blended Learning pedagogy.

I look forward to working with you this year as we continue to prepare students for success in college, career, and civic life. Please reach out any time with questions or concerns.

- Matt Doran

P.S. It was good to catch up with some of you on the sidewalk earlier this week.



CCS Social Studies Points of Emphasis

Each school year, we highlight a few points of emphasis for the year. These are ideas and strategies that help us focus our daily activities around the big picture and goals of CCS Social Studies. This year we are using the acronym TIE to remind us of the importance of Transfer, Inquiry, and Engagement in the social studies classroom. The document below will remain linked to the CCS Social Studies homepage throughout the year.


CCS Curriculum Documents

The CCS Social Studies Curriculum documents remain accessible on the public website from the "Curriculum" tab of the Social Studies homepage. The Curriculum and Instruction Guide sections have also been extracted and mapped to the relevant modules in Canvas Blueprint courses.

Current curriculum documents have a 2022-2023 date on the cover. However, most of the documents remain the same from last year, with the following exceptions:

Social Studies 7

  • Unit 1 was reduced to 2 weeks, as these standards can be incorporated throughout the year.
  • Unit 2 was reorganized with 2.2 Roman Republic at the end of Grading Period 1 and 2.3 Roman Empire at the beginning of Grading Period 2.
  • Unit 3 was reorganized with 3.3 Empires in Asia and 3.4 Empires in Africa.

American Government
  • 2.1 and 2.2 have been re-ordered. Federalists and Antifederalists will precede Basic Principles of the Constitution.
  • 2.3 has been removed in order to eliminate redundancy. The Bill of Rights content statement now resides only in 4.1 Bill of Rights and Civic Responsibilities.
  • Additional time has been allocated to Unit 4.
  • 5.2 Monetary Policy has been moved to the beginning of Grading Period 4.

See highlighted Year-at-a-Glance documents below.


TCI Implementation, Year 2

Last year we began using TCI's power programs in all core 6-12 social studies classes. With History Alive!, Geography Alive!, Government Alive!, and Econ Alive!, teachers have the tools to provide engaging, rigorous, and differentiated instruction.

TCI textbooks are available in both print and digital format. Printed textbooks are available in your building, and may be used as class sets.

Teachers and students will access TCI via the Clever platform. All your programs will be automatically loaded and your classes autorostered. You do not need to set up your classes or rosters.

To learn more about more about your grade/course level TCI programs and how to navigate the TCI platform, please see the CCS TCI Home Base page.

One additional note: Some TCI programs have an updated interface for 2022-2023. If you prefer to use the old interface, go to the settings tab in your TCI program. Then go to "Opt-In Features" and select "Turn off" (See image below).

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Released Test Items from Spring 2022 Test in American History and American Government

Released items from the spring 2022 Ohio’s State Tests are now available. The items give teachers insight into the kinds of questions students experienced and are a useful tool to inform classroom instruction and assessment.

Included with items in this release are the associated learning standard(s) and the scoring guides. The scoring guides contain answer keys, scoring rubrics, sample student responses and notes on scoring and rationales that describe why response options are correct or incorrect. The scoring guides also contain information about Depth of Knowledge (DOK).

CCS Teachers can use these released test items to build assessments using Mastery Connect (accessible through Clever and Canvas). These items, along with the 2021 released items, are located in the COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT (all caps) item bank. Released test items from previous years are located in the OH-AIR item bank. Teachers can create new assessments in Mastery Connect and add items from multiple banks by searching for items by standard.



Continuing DEI Initiatives

In fall 2020, CCS Social Studies began looking at ways to explicitly highlight and amplify issues of diversity, race, inequality, and social justice in our curriculum and programming. Over the past two years we have implemented the following ongoing efforts:

  • The Big Six Ideas (Change, Democracy, Diversity, Evidence, Justice, and Power) and Overarching Essential Questions ask students to wrestle with persistent questions of justice;
  • Increased allocation of time and instructional resources on global cultures and non-western civilizations in Social Studies 6 and 7;
  • Alignment of Social Studies Academic Electives with the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework to encourage informed civic action;
  • Greater attention to issues of diversity, stratification, racism, and social justice in Economics, Global Issues, Law, Psychology, and Sociology Academic Electives;
  • Development of new Academic Elective courses: Latin American Studies, Women's Studies, and Civic Reasoning; and
  • Acquisition of supplemental texts including Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You; The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness; Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America; and Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America.


Holocaust & Humanity Center

This year we have started initial conversations for collaboration with the Holocaust & Humanity Center in Cincinnati. The Holocaust & Humanity Center exists to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today. HHC provides onsite and virtual field trips, curriculum resources, and professional development workshops. You will hear more about and from HHC as our conversations continue throughout the year.

The study of the Holocaust and the events leading to it are vitally important lessons in these present times. We learn about the destructive consequences of the rise of fascism, intolerance, and prejudice for both historical and civic purposes, as these patterns persist and continue to rise across the world today.


TCI Professional Development

This summer, a group of teachers participated in TCI Coaches Training, an in-depth dive into the TCI approach. Coaches training will continue throughout the year, and we have spaces available for anyone new who would like to participate.

As the District PD schedule is solidified, we will schedule TCI Coaches Training and provide opportunities for sign-up.


Learn TCI at Your Own Pace

In addition to live PD opportunities, teachers can learn TCI at their own pace with these on-demand resources.

Click on the graphic below for the Interactive Guidebook



NCHE Equity Summit

Date: Saturday, September 24, 2022

Time: 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Free Registration

In partnership, the National Council for History Education and the National Council for the Social Studies present “In Pursuit of Equity.” The purpose of this Equity Summit is to engage multiple communities in deliberative discussions about opportunities for and challenges to equity in the United States’ past, present, and future.

Drawing upon the complex history of race, ethnicity, enslavement, poverty, and immigration in the American experience, sessions will emphasize opportunities, activism, and student empowerment. This Equity Summit fosters actively engaged and informed communities, fueled by the power of history.