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Social Studies

Welcome to Fall,


Though the temperature may not show it yet, the opening of school means changes are coming.  Fall is the busiest time of year for many of you, as you build the foundation for another great school year. So, as you do that important work, we at DESE want to support your efforts in every way we can. 

There are many great opportunities and resources to assist you and your students as you begin another school year. Please take a few minutes to look at these resources and pass the information on to your peers who might be interested. 

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.



Dixie Grupe
Director, Social Studies
Office of College and Career Readiness
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
[email protected] 




Social Studies Colloquia 2016-2017

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/ 


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]