History/ Social Science Communiqué

Volume 3, Issue 6, January 28 , 2016

Updates/ Announcements

  • Congrats to the 60+ Sweetwater H/SS Teachers and Administrators who attended the 2nd annual San Diego County H/SS Conference on Wednesday. Participants had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Emily Schell about the current context of H/SS in California and learn about the many tools at our disposal to embrace the changes. Participants also attended three different workshops of their choice. If you didn't take advantage of the opportunity to attend this year, you should consider doing so next year.
  • Performance Tasks for this semester will be available on Canvas by Feb. 9th. There are new PTs for Geography, Economics, and Government. WC-7, USH-8, WH-10, and USH-11 PTs will look very similar to last year. Remember, PLCs determine when to give the tasks. Please read the Teacher Directions before deciding on details with your colleagues.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Feb. 1st: H/SS Bilingual/DL Pullout, Parent Center on Moss
  • Feb. 1st: Special Education H/SS FUND Pullout, Special Services
  • Feb. 9th: H/SS Cohort Meeting, Spec Svcs Conf Room, 8am-3pm (site curriculum specialists & admin only)
  • Feb. 18th: H/.SS Zone 4 PD Days
  • Feb. 19th: H/SS Zone 1 PD Days
  • Feb. 22nd: H/SS Zone 2 PD Days
  • Feb. 23rd: H/SS Zone 3 PD Days
  • Mar. 15th: Geography PD Day, PDC, 8am-3pm, (Critical for all Geography teachers)!

Featured Professional Reads/Articles

CA HSS Curriculum Framework Comment Period OPEN NOW!

The draft framework has been posted on the California Department of Education History–Social Science Curriculum Frameworks Web page. Members of the public may send comments on the draft Framework directly by email to hssframework@cde.ca.gov. The current comment period will remain open until February 29, 2016. All public comments received during the field review survey will be presented to the Instructional Quality Commission and the State Board of Education for review and possible inclusion into the final Framework. The Board is scheduled to take final action on the Framework by May 2016.

The San Diego County Office of Education is hosting two review sessions. Teachers and other interested educators are invited to attend a 90 minute session in order to read portions of the draft framework, discuss with colleagues, and prepare feedback that will be sent to the IQC. Review sessions will be held at:

San Diego County Office of Education, 6401 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, Annex C

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 3:30-5:00

Registration: http://sdcoe.k12oms.org/1014-109208

North County Regional Education Center, 255 Pico Ave., San Marcos, Comm Labs 2 & 4

Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 3:30-5:00

Registration: http://sdcoe.k12oms.org/1014-109210

For more information, contact Matthew Hayes, History-Social Science Coordinator: 858-292-3820 or mahayes@sdcoe.net.

Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute

Islam, Public Schools, and the Challenge of Teaching about Religions
By Charles C. Haynes

In recent weeks, fights have erupted in Georgia and Tennessee over how Islam is taught in public schools. Charges of “Islamic indoctrination” are countered by charges of “anti-Muslim bigotry” as people shout past one another at school board meetings and in the media. Charles Haynes, Vice President of the Newseum Institute and founding director of the Religious Freedom Center reminds parents and families about the importance of teaching about religion in public schools – as contrasted with religious indoctrination.

The article can be found at

Featured H/SS Conference

Facing History and Ourselves: The Civil Rights Movement

Feb 19th (9am-3pm)

By integrating the study of history and literature with ethical decision making and innovative teaching strategies, the Facing History program enables secondary school teachers to promote students’ historical understanding, critical thinking, and social-emotional learning, and facilitate transformative dialogue in their classrooms. As students explore the complexities of history, they reflect on the choices they confront today and consider how they can make a difference.

The Facing History program integrates compelling content and rigorous inquiry. It calls upon the teacher’s full engagement and mindful selection of resources, activities, guiding or “essential” questions, and assignments.

In this workshop we will examine this pivotal moment in the U.S. history and explore ways to engage students in the issues raised by the American civil rights movement and their implications today.

Featured Opportunities and Resources

History Blueprint: The Civil War
Feb 24, 2016

The San Diego County Office of Education, is pleased to announce that the UCI History Project, is presenting a workshop for 8th grade history teachers. The focus of this workshop will be on the implementation of the California History-Social Science Project’s History Blue Print: The Civil War. The History Blueprint is an innovative curriculum aligned to the California History-Social Science Content Standards and the Common Core State Standards. It combines historical investigation, carefully selected primary sources, activities to strengthen reading and writing, and practice evaluating arguments based on historical evidence. This professional learning opportunity will include a presentation by a content scholar, instruction in implementation of the blueprint curriculum, and practical examples of Common Core aligned teaching of both the reading and writing standards for the history classroom.


FREE Online Professional Development Seminars for California Teachers

Through an existing collaboration with the California Department of Education, NHC seminars are offered free to California educators. The NHC seminars are taught by distinguished scholars from across the nation and offer concentrated study of specific historical topics. Seminars are live, online, and enable teachers to interact with each other as well as with the faculty scholar. They explore historical documents, literary texts, and images to demonstrate and support teaching with primary sources.

The spring schedule can be found here: http://rce.csuchico.edu/event/professional-development/national-humanities-center-webinars-teachers. More information and registration can be found online at http://rce.csuchico.edu/teachers/nhc.

Cold War Home Front in Southern California

June 19-24, and June 26-July 1, 2016. (CSU Long Beach History Project, CSULB History Department, the California Science Center, JPL, Long Beach Airport, & the Wende Museum). Explore the development of the “Sunbelt”—aerospace-driven economic growth, rapid demographic and suburban expansion, white cultural dominance in the midst of ethnic diversity, and expanding public higher education—as a story of Southern California and of the nation as a whole. Read and discuss important historical texts with leading historians, visits Cold War Sunbelt sites and regional museums, and explore an outstanding collection of digital primary source materials. For more information, click here.

Selected applicants will receive a $1200 stipend which can be used to help cover travel and lodging expenses.

2016 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest, an essay and video competition for high school students

We are very pleased to announce that the United States District Court for the Southern District of California is participating in the in the western United States. The Southern District of California, comprised of San Diego and Imperial counties, will conduct its own contest and local contest winners will go on to compete for cash prizes in the circuit-wide contest. Those contest winners will be announced in June and the first place essay and video will be recognized in July at the 2016 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Big Sky, Montana. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona, the theme of the contest will be "50 Years After the Miranda Decision: How the Federal Courts Defined the Rights of the Accused.” The contest is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Entries will need to be submitted by April 15, 2016 and may be in either essay or video format.

Full contest information and rules are available at the Ninth Circuit’s website:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/civicscontest. Questions and requests for additional information may be directed to our Community Outreach Programs Coordinator, Kathleen Walford at kathleen_walford@casd.uscourts.gov or (619)557-6627. Registration for the competition is now open.

8 Research Lessons for African-American History Month

LiteracyTA is celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. and African-American History Month with state-aligned research lessons that honor 8 amazing Americans who have impacted American history. This is our second year doing this project. Our list of African-American's has grown from 5 to 8 and we now offer a one page assignmentthat you can use to organize this project. Join us in the celebration of athletes, activists, and patriots!

NWP - Letters to the Next President 2.0

Building on the success of the original Letters to the Next President campaign in 2008, L2P 2.0 will provide resources, events, and curriculum ideas for educators to help give youth a voice on the issues that matter to them leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Sign up today! More ›

World Geography Corner

Sylvia McBride represents SUHSD at SD County Conference

Props to Sylvia McBride who represented Sweetwater at the SD County Office of Education Conference by presenting "Teaching Students about the World." She continues to shine as a Geography expert in and out of our district.

Have you checked out ISTEP?

International Studies Teacher Education Project (ISTEP) promotes global education in San Diego and Imperial Valley schools through professional development for educators, learning opportunities for K-12 students, and collaborations among San Diego State University and other community partners.

Are you already a member of the California Geographic Alliance?

The California Geographic Alliance (CGA) is dedicated to supporting and improving geographic education and literacy in California through:

  • Professional growth seminars for teachers and credential students: school-site workshops, summer institutes, district in-service training, field trips, methods classes;
  • University Student-K/12 Student Partnering: field trips, tutoring, presentations, classroom support;
  • Developing and distributing educational materials: California Atlas, geographic literature, map skills packets, classroom exercises, thematic maps;
  • Promoting geographic awareness and literacy among the general public: newspaper inserts, editorials, national park handouts, “Family Geography Challenge”, and WEB awareness, and;
  • Advocating structural changes at local and state levels to institutionalize geographic education across the curriculum.

Teacher Q & A

Who do I contact if I have a suggestion, comment, or question for the H/SS Communiqué?

Kelly Leon- kelly.leon@sweetwaterschools.org

History/Social Science Contacts

Middle School Curriculum Specialist:

Olga Loya-Estrada

High School Curriculum Specialist:

Kelly León

Geography Curriculum Specialist

Joel Rodriguez

Special Services H/SS Specialist

Valerie Ruiz