Social Science Curriculum Review

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Committee Members:
Jana Cissel, Robert Crawford, Pat Hess, Lori Holroyd, and Dan Snyder; who are working closely with the Middle and Upper School Social Science Department.  

Key Administrative Support:
Ray Sessman, Bob McGrath, Todd Huebsch, and Bob Goldberg on the Fort Lauderdale Campus.  Scott Wing and DeHaven Fleming on the Boca Raton Campus.

Project Objectives:

·          Improve the Social Science scope and sequence from 6th to 12th grade.

·          Standardize assessment methods from 6th to 12th grade.

·          Identify prerequisite skills necessary at each grade level, ultimately preparing our graduating seniors for academic success as college freshmen.

·          Enhance communication and cooperation within the entire Social Science Department, and create an engaging environment conducive for interdisciplinary instruction.

·          Prepare students adequately for the next level, thereby reducing undue academic stress.

 

Background Information:

·          The Curriculum Review Committee (“Committee”) has been working on this project as of February 21, 2002. 

·          The Committee has received positive feedback from the Social Science Department on the present course of direction.

·          Lori Holroyd and Pat Hess are currently adjusting the content for World Civilizations I, eliminating the coverage of repetitive information from 6th grade.

·          The Social Science department is encouraging qualified 10th grade students to sign up for AP United States History

·          Two members of the Committee attended an AP Vertical Team Summer Institute in 2002.

 

Recommendations:

·          The Committee has established the following steps toward achieving its objectives:

1)      Scope and Sequence:  At present, the scope and sequence is considered a strong point, with only minor adjustments needed.  However, further emphasis needs to be placed on the concepts of geography, economics, civics, and government throughout the curriculum of all required classes in addition to the core subject matter presently taught.

2)      Coordinate Evaluation: The Committee strongly recommends that ETS assessment standards be used to coordinate writing and skills assessment for all grades. 

3)      Prerequisite Skills: Recognizing that skills are as important as content, prerequisite skills (using NCSS standards as a framework) must be organized at each level working in descending order from 12th to 6th grade.

4)      Interdisciplinary Connections:  Reinforce and reemphasize interdisciplinary connections in existing core courses, with the future goal of creating new interdisciplinary electives.

5)      Scope and Sequence Revisited:  After the assessment standards and prerequisite skills have been established, the scope and sequence will be revisited to make any modifications as necessary.  Recommended tracks for electives will be created. 

·          All standards and skills will be closely coordinated with the Pine Crest Goals Across the Curriculum, the Social Science Scope and Sequence, and the Sunshine State Standards.

·          Fully utilize the Institute for Civic Involvement, including the library and lecture hall, for the Middle and Upper School with the future goal of establishing a Boca Raton Chapter.  The improved connections through the ICI will facilitate the incorporation of interdisciplinary lessons into the Social Science curriculum.

·          Team concept already in use in the Middle School to be evaluated for effectiveness in 9th and 10th grade.

 

Expectations:

·          Additional time is needed to evaluate the current situation and to propose the best possible course of action.

·          The target date for the completion of this project will fall before the beginning of next year’s scheduling process.

·          Half days and teacher workdays are to be utilized by the Committee for the completion of this project.

·          Members of the Committee will attend special conferences and visit schools to produce the optimal core curriculum for Pine Crest students.