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.

Using materials released by NYSED, teachers will be 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 New York’s Social Studies Standards, visit the NYSED Social Studies website. Visit the New York Social Studies Curriculum Framework website to download a copy of the Framework.

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.

Students in Kindergarten – Grade 2 use a web–based curriculum developed by teachers from the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES (PNW BOCES) along with inquiry units supplied on Engage NY.  Students in Grades 3 – 5 use a textbook from McGraw Hill as the main resource to learn social studies content and have access to the PNW BOCES curriculum as well.  Discovery Streaming is an additional resource that is available to students on all grades levels that provides opportunities for multi-media engagement to support our curriculum. 

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.

High School Social Studies

Graduation Requirements in Social Studies

In order to graduate with a Regents/Advanced Regents diploma, students must take and pass four units of credit of Social Studies. Including:

  • Global History & Geography – 2 Units
  • U.S. History & Government – 1 Unit
  • Participation in Government – . 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.

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.

Local Assessments

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

NYS Civics Readiness Diploma Seal

The NYSED Civics Readiness Diploma Seal is a diploma endorsement that recognizes a student’s high level of proficiency in terms of civic knowledge, civic skills, civic mindset, and civic experiences. The Seal of Civic Readiness distinction on a high school transcript and diploma: 

  • shows the student’s understanding of a commitment to participatory government; civic responsibility and civic values;
  • demonstrates to universities, colleges, and future employers that the student has completed an action project in civics or social justice; and
  • recognizes the value of civic engagement and scholarship.

Shenendehowa was one of the 117 pilot schools in the 2021-2022 school year to award the NYSED Civics Readiness Diploma Seal.  We have received approval from NYSED to grant the seal in the 2022-23 school year and beyond.   Shenendehowa students will be able to earn points toward the Civics Readiness Diploma Seal beginning in 9th grade in the 2022-2023 school year.  Social Studies teachers will present information about the Diploma Seal to all classes.  

In June 2021, we recognized 19 seniors with the NYSED Civics Readiness Diploma Seal.  Meet some of them here!