Jan. 6, 2021
Happy new year! I hope that you were able to find time to rest and relax over the holiday season. As I was preparing this edition of the County Crier, I reflected on the past several months. I know this has been a challenging time for educators. I also know that the current political context has made this a particularly difficult time for history-social science teachers. However, I have been inspired by the many educators that I have spoken to who, in spite of all that has happened, have continued to do all they can to make learning possible for their students.

Below, you will find information about several upcoming events, including an information session on the newly adopted Seal of Civic Engagement.

History-Social Science Coordinator, San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
HSS county crier updates section header
Seal of Civic Engagement
SDCOE, in partnership with the Orange County Office of Education, will be hosting a webinar on Jan. 28 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for school and district leaders as well as educators who are interested in learning about the State Seal of Civic Engagement (SSCE).

During its September meeting, the California State Board of Education (SBE) approved criteria for the seal as required by Assembly Bill 24, signed it into law in 2017. This legislation required the SBE to develop a seal “to encourage, and create pathways for pupils in elementary and secondary schools to become civically engaged in democratic governmental institutions at the local, state, and national levels.”

The board adopted criteria for the SSCE requiring students earning the seal to:
  1. Be engaged in academic work in a productive way
  2. Demonstrate a competent understanding of United States and California constitutions; functions and governance of local governments; tribal government structures and organizations; the role of the citizen in a constitutional democracy; and democratic principles, concepts, and processes
  3. Participate in one or more informed civic engagement project(s) that address real-world problems and require students to identify and inquire into civic needs or problems, consider varied responses, take action, and reflect on efforts
  4. Demonstrate civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions through self-reflection
  5. Exhibit character traits that reflect civic-mindedness and a commitment to positively impact the classroom, school, community and/or society

Any pupil enrolled in California public schools, direct-funded charter schools, the juvenile justice system, and/or in alternative school settings up through grade 12 are eligible to earn the SSCE. The seal can be affixed to high school diplomas, general educational development certificates, certificates of completion, and transcripts (grades 11 and/or 12).

Initial steps for a district include: developing local criteria, identifying pathways to earn the seal, designing curricula, as well as possibly adopting a school board resolution. For additional information and support for the State Seal of Civic Engagement, visit the Guidance for Implementation on the CDE website.

Per the SBE adoption of the criteria, the CDE is currently exploring ways to integrate the SSCE into the College and Career Indicator of the California School Dashboard. Information regarding these developments will be shared CDE’s State Seal of Civic Engagement web page as it becomes available.

In addition to the SSCE, schools can apply and earn Civic Learning Awards. Applications are open and available until Feb. 12. The application has been streamlined, making it easier for schools to submit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum
California is required by Education Code Section 51226.7 to develop a model curriculum in ethnic studies. During its November meeting, the Instructional Quality Commission approved the CDE recommended edits to the draft model curriculum. The curriculum now enters a 45-day public-comment period. The ethnic studies model curriculum will be presented to the State Board of Education at its March meeting. The statutory requirement for the SBE to take action is March 31. Visit the CDE’s Model Curriculum Projects website to learn more about the curriculum and how you can provide feedback.

Ethnic Studies High School Graduation Requirements (AB 331)
Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed AB 331, which would have added an ethnic studies course as a state high school graduation requirement. In his veto message, the governor stated that he wanted to wait for revisions to the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum to be completed prior to the establishment of such a requirement. His veto does not impact the ability of local education agencies to develop their own requirements.
History-Social Science Community of Practice: Political Participation Across Time and Place
Come join the History-Social Science Community of Practice as it hears from Dr. Theresa Write, Political Science Department chair at CSU Long Beach. Dr. Write will be discussing political participation in China. She has written extensively on the topic, and her book titles include: Popular Protest in China, Party and State in Post-Mao China, Accepting Authoritarianism: State-Society Relations in China’s Reform Era, and The Perils of Protest: State Repression and Student Activism in China and Taiwan. Participants can also elect to participate in a follow up session during which they will be able to share their ideas and resources for teaching about political participation.

Dr. Write’s presentation will be held virtually on Jan. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. Click here to register. The follow up session is scheduled for Feb. 25 from 4 to 5 p.m. Click here to register.
The professional learning opportunities and resources contained below are intended solely to provide access to information. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by SDCOE.
History-Social Science News
In an effort to help keep you up to date on current events in history-social science, we have added a new page to the SDCOE History-Social Science website. Similar to this section of the County Crier, this page will include information about upcoming events, including workshops, educator resources, and student activities. The page is updated on a weekly basis, so you can receive timely information when you need it. Checkout this page today.

Online Workshops on the U.S. Constitution
The Los Angeles County Office of Education is inviting educators from across California to participate in monthly webinars it is conducting in partnership with the National Constitution Center. Below is a schedule of workshops and registration links.
Civic Learning Initiative 
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond have invited educators to apply for a 2021 Civic Learning Award. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12. This year, the Civic Learning Award program is seeking nominations in two areas: individual school programs that support, promote, and improve civic learning and advocacy opportunities for students; and local civics heroes, including business owners, school personnel, parents, and members of the public who have taken on the charge to engage California students in civics. Learn more about the application and apply here.

Judges in the Classroom
Teachers can sign up to have a remote visit by a judge to their classroom. The judges speak with elementary, middle, and high school students on a variety of topics with a goal of teaching students about the judicial branch. Visit the California Courts website for information on how your class can participate.

The National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center brings innovative teaching tools to your classroom. Its unique approach to constitutional education emphasizes historic storytelling, constitutional rather than political questions, and the habits of civil dialogue and reflection.

Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School Program
The Affiliate School Program is free to all K-12 schools. It provides a unique gateway to education resources, events, and tools designed to bring American history to life in the classroom. Participating schools receive access to the Gilder Lehrman Collection’s catalog of more than 70,000 primary sources, classroom resources, and the online journal History Now.
If you have any questions or comments about The County Crier, please contact Matt Hayes.
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