Secondary Social Studies Study Committee
Every ten years, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) revises Social Studies standards. In 2020, MDE began its process of creating new standards which all public schools are required to implement by the 2026-27 school year.
To prepare for those changes, Anoka-Hennepin has begun the Four Phase Adoption Process to conduct a program evaluation of secondary social studies. This process involves multiple feedback loops and input from various stakeholders. One such group is the Social Studies Study Committee (SSSC) whose tasks are to:
- Review and evaluate current curriculum and align it with current evidence-based, effective practices;
- Review student data to define areas of need;
- Review and align curriculum with the standards approved by the Minnesota Department of Education;
- and make program recommendations that may include:
- course progression changes,
- adding/deleting current courses following state law,
- curriculum writing,
- materials adoption.
The SSSC is following the same model, format, and timelines as the secondary Science and English Language Arts departments as they reviewed their programs in relation to new state standards. The SSSC committee is made up of district staff, building teachers, community members, students, and other stakeholders including two School Board members.
Four phase curriculum adoption process
Phase one: Analyze existing course and materials
Phase two: Review and select instructional materials
Phase three: Implementation
Phase four: Monitor, evaluate, and adjust
Currently, the SSSC is in Phase 1 and will make recommendations to the School Board for about how to proceed with phases two-four. The School Board will make any final decisions about course additions/subtractions, material purchases, or changes to course scope and sequence. The SSSC is currently in Phase One of the process which officially began in February, 2022. The seven parts of this process are:
- Research evidence-based, effective practices in the subject area.
- Agree upon the standards to be used for the subject area (e.g. state, national, or local).
- Analyze the effectiveness of current practices in the subject area.
- Identify the preK-12 program understandings to include any of the following: review K-12 organization, course sequence, unpacking standards.
- Develop and collect stakeholder’s input: Stakeholder input may include: teachers, principals, associate superintendents, curriculum advisory council (CAC), community curriculum advisory council (CCAC), public hearing(s), curriculum instruction assessment committee (CIAC), superintendent, and School Board.
- Development of Minimum Criteria of Published Materials.
- Utilize stakeholder’s input. Development of Findings and Recommendations to determine next steps. (Curriculum Writing/ Curriculum Review Process/ Other) Report findings and recommendations to CIAC.
The SSSC will recommend an implementation plan and timeline for curriculum writing, materials selection, any scope & sequence changes, and any additional/deletion of courses. By the start of the 2026-27 school year, Anoka-Hennepin needs to implement the new standards.
What changes can be expected for social studies classes?
For public schools, what does state law require for secondary social studies?
Given the requirements from the state, for middle school, the SSSC will craft recommendations to the School Board that:
For high school, the SSSC will craft recommendations to the School Board that: