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Social Studies

Happy August,

I know this is a super exciting time of year for Missouri students and educators getting ready to start a new school year. We’ve been busy here too. The last week in July we met with nearly 200 Missouri educators who wanted to learn more about the new secondary learning expectations in ELA, Math Social Studies and Science.  See the Quick Link Box, 6-12 Professional Development Series for resources from those workshops. August promises to be equally busy with many upcoming workshops and scholarship opportunities for Missouri educators and their students. I would like to call your attention to four such prospects:


This four-part series is designed to bring together Missouri educators, K-12, who have an interest in Social Studies pedagogy and content. In addition to providing updates on curriculum and assessment issues, sessions will focus on the theme, Thinking Like a Social Scientist, an idea central to the new Social Studies Expectations. See the Quick Links box for more information.

  • Professional Learning Series 2016

See the schedule for these regional sessions which examine the new Missouri Learning Standards K-12 Expectations and explore issues related to their implementation and to assessment. 


  • United States Senate Youth Scholarship Program

Two Missouri high school students will be selected to participate in the U.S. Senate Youth Program to be held in Washington, D.C., from March 4-11, 2017, and each Missouri participant is eligible to receive a $10,000 scholarship award.  See the Quick Links box for more information.

  • Arts Integration for All K-12 Teachers or Curriculum Leaders

This one-day workshop introduces non-arts teachers to the powerful effects of Arts integration across the curriculum. It will include hands-on experiences with Reading Portraits as Biographies, Improv and Six Word Story and practical ideas about application across content areas and grade levels. Date: September 12, 2016, Truman Building, Jefferson City MO, 9:00am -3:00pm 

Contact Tom Tobias, Arts Education Director, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for registration information [email protected] 


Also, as you continue your work towards implementation of the new Social Studies K-12 Expectations, please note the many resources available to you:

Resources for curriculum work on the new Social Studies K-12 Expectations


Professional Development Opportunities:

Bowdoin College: Founding Principles

Bowdoin College: Founding Principles is a video series of 15 episodes designed to provide an introductory, non-partisan overview and basic understanding of American government. Each episode is 10-15 minute long and designed to promote civic engagement. For more information and to access the free videos http://www.bowdoin.edu/founding-principles/(link is external) 

US Holocaust Memorial Museum: History Unfolded

US Holocaust Memorial Museum: History Unfolded is a new project at the museum asking “citizen historians” to help research the way the Holocaust was reported in local US newspapers from 1933 to 1945. For more information on this project:ushmm.org/history-unfolded. 

Veterans National Education Program

This on-line resource includes free resources tied to modern history, culture, geography and current events. For more information http://v-nep.org/global-awareness-map/ 


So you can see there is much happening in the world of Missouri social studies. If you have questions about these opportunities, or other topics related to social studies in Missouri schools, please contact me. My goal is to support you and your students.



Director, Social Studies



The Missouri Civics Education Initiative, passed by the Missouri legislature and signed by Governor Nixon in June 2016, requires any student entering 9th grade after July 1, 2017 to pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics.

The law states that the examination shall consist of 100 questions similar to the one hundred questions used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and may be included in any other examination that is administered on the provisions and principles of the United States and the State of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.   The full text of the law can be found at http://www.senate.mo.gov/16info/pdf-bill/tat/SB638.pdf


So what does that mean for Missouri Social Studies?

  • We will continue with the current Government EOC exam and the voluntary American History EOC exam.
  • Local districts will assure compliance.
  • School districts may use an online test to comply.  See http://joefossinstitute.org/citizenship-survey/ for ideas.
  • Districts may choose to create a crosswalk of the USCIS questions and their existing American Government, Missouri Government and American History assessment, and then to amend those assessments to comply with the USCIS content. Districts are encouraged to maintain the crosswalk and adjustments as verification of content assessed.  The USCIS site testing materials are available at https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test

If you have additional questions about this law and social studies testing, please contact [email protected]