Social Studies Department K-12

Social Studies is the integrated study of history, economics, geography and civics.  At Shen, the social studies curriculum is based on the New York State Standards and the New York Social Studies Curriculum Framework which has integrated the Common Core Learning Standards.

Beginning in the 2015, teachers are implementing NYSED’s Toolkit for Social Studies. Using materials released by NYSED, teachers will be using and developing instruction based on four dimensions:

  1. Developing questions and planning inquiries
  2. Applying disciplinary concepts and tools
  3. Evaluating sources and using evidence and
  4. Communicating conclusions and taking informed action.

For more information on the Social Studies Curriculum Framework, watch the Engage NY SS Framework video. For more information on the Tool Kit, visit the Engage NY Social Studies Toolkit Web page.

NYS Assessments

There are no N.Y.S. assessments for social studies in grades K-8. There are two social studies Regents Exams: Global History & Geography (typically taken in Gr. 10) and U.S. History and Government (typically taken in grade 11).

Elementary School Social Studies

In elementary school, social studies is integrated into the daily schedule and throughout our language arts program by the classroom teacher.

Students learn about geography; historical people, places, issues and events; local, state and federal government; politics; economics; civics and citizenship; rural, urban and suburban communities; and cultures around the world.

Beginning this 2015 school year, we will be using a web –based curriculum developed by teachers from the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES along with inquiry units supplied on Engage NY. To further support our curriculum and offer more opportunity for multi -media engagement, we will be using Discovery Streaming as an additional resource.

Students will engage in Social Studies practices such as:

  1. Gathering, using, and interpreting evidence
  2. Chronological reasoning and causation
  3. Comparison and contextualization
  4. Geographic reasoning
  5. Economics and economics systems
  6. Civic participation

Middle School Social Studies 

Beginning in gr. 6, students participate in daily social studies courses. The curriculum at the middle school begins with a study of the ancient civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere and ends with the study of American History.

Social Studies Honors begins in Grade 7. Student achievement is reviewed and teachers make recommendations for these courses. In addition, grade 7 and 8 students of the highest level of ability and achievement in the Humanities will be invited to participate in the ELA/Social Studies Acceleration program.

Local Assessments

All middle school social studies courses have a cumulative final exam. In Grade 6, the final exam is worth 5% of the students’ final average grade. In grade 7 and 8, the final exam is worth 10% of students’ final average grade.


High School Social Studies

In gr. 9-12, Shen  offers a variety of Regents level, honors, and college/Advanced Placement courses  and sequences to challenge students within their abilities.

For learners struggling in Social Studies, extra help is available. Students should work with their teacher to develop strategies for success.

Graduation Requirements in Social Studies

In order to graduate with a Regents/Advanced Regents diploma, students must take and pass four units (year-long course) of Social Studies. Including:

  • Global History & Geography – 2 Units
  • U.S. History & Government – 1 Unit
  • National Issues Forum – . 5 Unit
  • Economics – . 5 Unit

As of June 2015, students must achieve a minimum score of 65 on one of the Social Studies Regents exams (Global History Geography and U.S. History & Government) to earn a Regents or Advanced Regents diploma. Students will sit for both exams at the end of the respective courses. Students and parents should consult their Guidance Counselor for more information.

Local Assessments

All high school social studies courses have a cumulative final exam, or a Regents exam, or a final project.