In alignment with the Know Justice Know Peace resolution, the DPS Academics team is conducting thorough reviews of social studies and history curriculum to continuously improve our curriculum and further ensure inclusive and accurate representation. The team’s aim is to insert the “missing pages of history” that have historically been omitted; we ultimately want to tell the comprehensive story of the contributions of all those who have been a part of this country’s history. This is also representative of one of our CRE Educator Mindsets, “Global Context”, which states “I work to dismantle systems of power and privilege that impact my students, myself, and my practice.” Turning this mindset into action means we intentionally identify opportunities in all planning that empowers students to understand, maintain, and honor their cultural identity and heritage; facilitate instruction that invites students to explore, consider, and analyze the ways in which their intersectional identities allow them access to or denial of power and privilege; and represent a diverse range of people thoroughly, complexly, and historically accurate.
Our Social Studies team has taken action by acquiring a K-5 elementary social studies curriculum over the fall to replace our more than 14-year-old curriculum, and is continuing work in middle and high school. In this process, CSCI worked with a committee of DPS elementary teachers and a multidisciplinary group to include: CRE, MLE, EdTech, DoTS, GT, AR&D and was also informed by community members to evaluate the submitted curricula in Fall 2019. The recommended materials received the highest interest and recommendation from the committee based on the quality of materials, as determined by the Achieve EQuIP Rubric adapted for DPS social studies. The resource chosen was Inquiry Journeys by InquirED. Grades 4 and 5 will be implemented in the 2021-22 school year, and grades K-3 will be implemented in the 2022-23 school year. At this point, 96% of schools have opted in to the curriculum.
The DPS 8th grade social studies course and 10th grade US History course are currently undergoing an external review led by Dr. Lagarett King, Founding Director of the CARTER Center of K-12 Black History Education and professor at the University of Missouri and scholars representing the LatinX, Asian, Native American and LGTBQ+ communities. Dr. King’s audit builds on previous internal audit work completed by teacher teams who reviewed 8th and 10th grade social studies resources in 2019 and the spring of 2020. Dr. King’s report is expected this month, and will help inform future curriculum review processes. Additionally, Isabelle Cordova (Founder of C&C Consultants) is reviewing the 8th grade social studies course, 10th grade US History Course and new 4th and 5th grade social studies resources for language learner supports called for by our Consent Decree and Language Allocation Guidelines. This review should be complete in April.
If you want to learn more, please contact our CSCI Senior Program Manager, Jacquelyn Wagner, at Jacquelyn_Wagner@dpsk12.org or our Director of Social Studies, Susan Olezene.