Secondary Social Studies
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- DESK Standards
- Proficiency Scales
- Civics Test
- Graduation, Courses, and Credit
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The DESK Standards identify the essential skills and knowledge for each of the social studies courses. They are the focus of instruction and learning in Davis School District history and social science classrooms.
Priority Standards clearly define the essential skills for each course. These skills are taught and practiced through the study of the course content identified in the Utah State Board of Education Social Studies Standards.
A primary goal of all social studies courses is to encourage civic engagement. The Civic Preparedness Statement describes the skills, habits, and qualities of character that should be developed through the incorporation of current issues and current evens in all social studies courses.
- Grade 7: Utah Studies
- Grade 8: US History 1
- Grade 9: World Geography
- Junior High School Elective: Current Issues
- Grade 10: World History
- Grade 11: US History 2
- Grade 12: US Government and Citizenship
- High School Elective: Psychology
- High School Elective: Sociology
Utah Studies is the introductory course for social studies in Davis School District. Curricular content consists of key themes and concepts drawn from the social sciences of geography, history, economics, and government. Each of the concepts is explored through the use of Utah-specific examples, or Utah Studies. Literacy, historical thinking, and spatial skills are developed through the study of the concepts in the abstract and real-world Utah examples. The course focuses on the reading of both informational text and authentic and primary source materials.
World Geography includes the study of both physical and human geography; the natural environment and characteristics of the human population are examined. This course can be taught as a single semester or over the course of a full year.
Students in a current issues class use current events as an entry point to gain an understanding of ongoing and/or recurring major issues. Political, social, economic, cultural, and environmental issues will all be explored. Issues at the state, national, and international scale will be examined and compared. Emphasis will be placed on looking at multiple perspectives, problem-solving, and evaluating sources of information. Students will have opportunities to respect the opinions of those with different views.
Proficiency scales are broad descriptions of a student's general ability-level on a specific standard. Teachers use assignment-specific and assessment-specific grading rubrics to determine a student's level, from 0-4, on the proficiency scale. All social studies proficiency scales are cumulative; i.e. a student who is at a level 3, for example, has mastered all the skills at levels 1 and 2.
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.
Three units (three years) of Social Studies credit are required for graduation.
The table below indicates the required course, the credit requirement, and acceptable alternative courses.
|COURSE REQUIREMENT||CREDIT REQUIREMENT||ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE COURSES|
|World Geography||.5 unit (one semester)||AP Human Geography|
|World History||1.0 uni-t (one year)|| AP World History
AP European History
HIST 1100 and 1110 (if BOTH are taken)
HIST 201 and 202 (BYU, if BOTH are taken)
|US History 2||1.0 unit (one year)|| AP US History
CE History 1700 (if taken for a full year)
HIST 221 (BYU)
|US Government and Citizenship||.5 unit (one semester)|| AP Government and Politics-US
CE US Government
POLI 110 (BYU)
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.
Approved and adopted materials for secondary social studies are as follows:
- Utah Studies, Foundations of Social Studies, Utah Studies: Concepts, Context, Case Studies (DSD created materials, 2011)
- US History 1: United States History: Beginnings to 1914 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)
- World Geography, Geography (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)
- World History, World History: Patterns of Interactions (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010)
- US History 2, United States History: Reconstruction to the Present (Pearson Education, 2010)
- US Government and Citizenship, United States Government: Democracy in Action (Utah Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2012)
- Psychology, Psychology: Principles in Practice (Houghton Mifflin Hartcourt, 2010)
Social Studies Supervisor
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.
Social Studies Office Assistant