Austin ISD Social Studies News

Vol. 8, September 2015

Welcome to 2015-2016 Austin ISD Social Studies!

We look forward to working with you throughout the school year to provide the highest-quality curriculum and instruction to our AISD students! We are #AISDProud!


In this issue of our AISD Social Studies Newsletter, we have included information about the New Instructional Materials, upcoming professional development opportunities inside the district, information about National History Day, and links to resources to celebrate Hispanic American Heritage Month and Celebrate Freedom! Week.

Exploring our New Instructional Materials!

Austin ISD adopted the following materials for Secondary Social Studies beginning with the 2015-16 SY:


Middle School

6th: McGraw-Hill, World Cultures and Geography

7th: McGraw-Hill, Texas History

8th: Pearson, United States History, Colonization through Reconstruction


High School

World Geography: McGraw-Hill, World Geography

World History: Pearson, World History

U.S. History: Pearson, United States History, 1877 to the Present

U.S. Government: McGraw-Hill, United States Government

Economics: McGraw-Hill, Economics

Psychology: HMH, Psychology

Sociology: HMH, Sociology


These new instructional materials include:

  • Digital Access for each Teacher
  • Digital Access for each Student
  • Class sets of print versions


Some teachers who have accessed the materials have had questions about the different features. On Tuesday September 8, we will have one last instructional materials 1/2 day training.


Hopefully by this date, if you haven't been able to already, you will have had an opportunity to look at the digital resources and can bring specific questions you may have for the publisher representatives to answer.


Be sure to sign up for one of the two sessions below. AISD Social Studies will pay for a 1/2 day substitute and you will need to bring your laptop with you.


Understanding New Instructional Materials for Social Studies

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Science Health Resource Center


Middle School Sessions

AM - 8:30-11:30 Section# SOS.77774

PM - 1-4 Section# SOS.77775


High School Sessions

AM - 8:30-11:30 Section# SOS.77776

PM - 1-4 Section# SOS.77777

Austin ISD Secondary Learning Opportunities

History Alive! Level One Training: Fall 2015 (2 day training)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015

8:30am – 3:30pm

Section # 77773

Location: Baker


Just in Time Social Studies: Reach for the STAAR 2015 (For all secondary teachers)

Focus on Assessment writing to support student success

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

9:00am – 4:00pm

Section # 78159

Location: Baker

National History Day

National History Day 2016: Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History

2016 National History Day Theme Sheet

2016 National History Day Sample Topics

2016 National History Day Theme Book


National History Day Contest Rule Book


If you would like any support to initiate National History Day in your class or at your campus, please contact Melanie Kirchhof by email.


Important Dates!

December 2015 - Register to enter the Cen-Tex History Day Fair

February 2016 - Cen-Tex History Day Fair

May 2016 - Texas History Day

June 2016 - National History Day

Hispanic American Heritage Month Sept 15-Oct 15!

You can find teaching resources for Hispanic Heritage here

Celebrate Freedom Week! and Constitution Day!

Constitution Day: September 17. 2015


"Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution." (Public Law 108-477b)


Teacher resources: Links from Region 13


Celebrate Freedom Week: September 14-18, 2015


(A) Each social studies class shall include, during Celebrate Freedom Week as provided under the TEC, §29.907, or during another full school week as determined by the board of trustees of a school district, appropriate instruction concerning the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, in their historical contexts. The study of the Declaration of Independence must include the study of the relationship of the ideas expressed in that document to subsequent American history, including the relationship of its ideas to the rich diversity of our people as a nation of immigrants, the American Revolution, the formulation of the U.S. Constitution, and the abolitionist movement, which led to the Emancipation Proclamation and the women's suffrage movement.


(B) Each school district shall require that, during Celebrate Freedom Week or other week of instruction prescribed under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, students in Grades 3-12 study and recite the following text: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."


Teacher resources: Links from Region 13


Department Chairs: After your campus has completed the Constitution Day activities, complete the Constitution Day form at this link. Please have this completed by September 30, 2015.

Austin ISD Secondary Social Studies

Middle School Specialist - David Levee

High School Specialist - Melanie Kirchhof


If you have any questions or comments, please contact us by one of the means below.


Also, if you enjoy receiving resources more frequently than once a month, follow us on Twitter @AISDSoc !