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Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew...[and]education is the transmission of civilization.

- Will Durrant

DESK Standards

What are DESK Standards?

The DESK Standards define the content and essential skills for each of the social studies courses.  These documents are based on the Utah State Board of Education's Social Studies Standards and are the focus of instruction and learning in Davis School District classrooms.

Three types of standards

The DESK Content Standards are unique to each course and outline the major topics and concepts to be explored. In most courses, the Content Standards are accompanied by a Topic Checklist that provides direction for the teacher in how to use the the standards.

The DESK Skill Standards, identify and describe basic but essential skills used in the study of social studies course content.

The DESK Civic Engagement Standards describe how the use of current issues and events in every social studies classroom promote both and awareness of current issues and events, and ability to understand, apply, and discuss them.  They are the same for all courses.  (Printer-friendly Civic Engagement Standards

Grade 10: World History

Grade 11: US History 2

Grade 12: US Government and Citizenship

Elective: Psychology

Elective: Sociology

Civics Test

Davis School District supports the Utah State Legislature in promoting civic education for graduating students in public schools.  Utah law, and Davis School District, requires students to take and pass a civics tests based on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Civics Test. 

The full text of the law can be found here
The Utah State Board of Education administrative rule (which describes how school districts implement the law) can be found here
Guidance from the USBE regarding implementation can be read here

  • The test must include 50 of the 100 questions used on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Civics Test.
  • The questions to be used are selected by the individual school districts.
  • Students must answer at least 35 questions correctly to “pass.”
  • Students may take the test as many times as needed.
  • Students with disabilities and/or IEPs may be required to take an alternate test consistent with their needs.
  • The test may be given to students beginning in the 8th grade.
  • This law applies to all students who graduate on or after January 1, 2016

The guiding principle in Davis School District has been to use this law to best suit the educational needs of its students.  Therefore:

  • The test will be administered to 12th-grade students enrolled in US Government and Citizenship courses. 
  • The test questions have been selected to align with the DESK standards for that course.
  • The Civics Test will serve as the end-of-level exam for students in the course.
  • Students may also take the test at the Northern Utah Testing Center (no cost) located at 120 North Main Street in Farmington.  Call 801-402-5385 to make an appointment.

Teacher Resources

Graduation, Courses, and Credit

Davis School District requires 3.0 units of social studies credit for graduation.  The table below indicates the required course, the credit requirement, and acceptable alternative courses.   


World Geography is offered as both a year-long course and also as a semester course.  Students are encouraged, but not required, to take the full year. AP Human Geography is offered only as a full-year course.

The US History 2 requirement is not satisfied by HIST 1700 or FDAMF 101 (American Foundations, BYU-Idaho) because these are semester-length courses.

AP US Government and Politics is offered as a full-year course at some schools and as a semester course with others.  When offered as a semester it is typically paired with AP Comparative Government and Politics.  The US Government and Citizenship requirement is not satisfied by AP Comparative Government and Politics.

Core credit is not granted for experiential conferences or events, e.g. Boys or Girls State, People to People or other travel programs, etc.  Some of these programs do enable students to earn college credit which will show on their transcripts, but does not fulfill the graduation requirement for social studies courses.


About Us/Contact

Christopher Hall
Social Studies Supervisor
801-402-5328 (office)
801-336-7711 (mobile) 

Chris is a former Social Studies teacher and received a B.S in geography from Weber State University and then attended Syracuse University for graduate studies. He has wide experience in teacher training, having worked as a consultant for the College Board since 2001.  He was recognized as Secondary Teacher of the Year by Davis School District in 2006 and received the national Distinguished Geography Teacher in Secondary Education by the National Council of Geographic Education in 2007.  His passion is the promotion of effective instruction for all students.

Keri Moore
Social Studies Office Assistant