Social Studies News: June 2019

civicsSocial Studies

Social Studies Education News

2019 Graduation Requirements, HB 1599


Earlier this month, the governor signed HB 1599, which, in part, makes the waiver process many students in the Class of 2018 used to meet graduation requirements available to the Class of 2019. Here is what you need to know for this year’s seniors.

Students in the Class of 2019 can now use the “expedited assessment appeal” to waive the graduation requirement of passing the high school assessment (Smarter Balanced Assessment). Students also can use an alternative assessment or courses to meet the assessment requirement. Find a list of those alternatives here.

In addition, local districts can waive up to two of the required 24 high school credits, provided that none of the waived credits are identified as mandatory core credits by the State Board of Education. (These credits are currently referred to as “foundational” in State Board of Education materials).

This information was provided in Bulletin No. 025-19 Assessment and Student Information.

Additional information about HB 1599 implementation can be found here.

Nominate a Student for the 2018-19 Daniel J. Evans Civic Education Award

DJ Evans

Established by the Washington State Legislature in 2003, this award is named after former Washington State Governor Daniel J. Evans. It recognizes four students, two from Western Washington and two from Eastern Washington, for their civic leadership and academic achievement in social studies.

Who is eligible for the Evans Award?
Any student in grades 3–12 who has successfully completed an OSPI-Developed Civics Assessment and who is a civic leader in his/her classroom, school, and/or community.

How are students nominated for the Evans Award?
Teachers, principals, counselors, or other school personnel may nominate students online. The deadline to nominate is June 30 each year.

How are the winners selected?
Winners are selected by a statewide committee of social studies teacher leaders. Two students from each side of the state receive recognition.  Click here to nominate a deserving student.

How are the winners recognized?
Awards are presented to the students in their home districts, often at a school assembly or school board meeting.

Applications are open until June 30, 2019.

KSPS Team Receives Award

Kip Tokuda

KSPS Public Television Team Receives 2018 Northwest Regional Emmy® Award for Stories of Japanese American Discrimination

SPOKANE, Wash. – June 10, 2019 -  The KSPS production team of Jim Zimmer, Mary DeCesare and Michael Dixon have received Northwest regional Emmy Awards for outstanding work in the production of a five-part video series designed for classroom use, “Injustice at Home: The Japanese-American Experience of the World War II Era.”  The award was announced last Saturday at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Northwest Chapter awards gala at Fremont Studios in Seattle, Washington. They won in the Informational/ Instructional - Program/Feature/Segment category.  NATAS Northwest recognizes production excellence in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington State.

"Injustice at Home" is a study of the exclusion and incarceration of Japanese-Americans during
World War II, the failure of political leadership to protect constitutional rights, the military
experience of Japanese-Americans during the war, and examples of discrimination and racial
prejudice the Japanese American community faced before, during, and after WWII. The project was funded by a Kip Tokuda Memorial Civil Liberties Public Education Program grant through Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

The videos feature first-hand stories told by Japanese American elders. Many were recorded by KSPS as part of an oral history project in partnership with Spokane’s Hifumi En Society.

In an emotional acceptance speech, KSPS Executive Producer Jim Zimmer said, “I’d like to thank the Japanese American community in Spokane, Yakima and Bainbridge Island that opened up their hearts for the success of this program.”

Videos are part of an inquiry-based unit of study available free to all K-12 teachers at PBS
Learning Media. Comprehensive support materials, aligned with Washington State standards and developed by Spokane-area teachers Leslie Heffernan, Starla Fey and Morgen Larsen, are also included.

Mary DeCesare was Producer/Writer/Editor of the project. Michael Dixon of Rastrographics served as Art Director, and Zimmer was Director/Videographer. The three also produced an hour-long documentary on the same subject for KSPS Public Television, first aired in February
2019 and available for viewing on


For more on this story please go to:

NCSS Awards & Grants Programs 2019


2019 Awards & Grant Programs

Do you know of an excellent social studies educator or program that deserves recognition? NCSS has extended the deadline for nominations and applications for these award and grant programs!

Award for Global Understanding

Given in Honor of James M. Becker

The Award for Global Understanding Given in Honor of James M. Becker recognizes a social studies educator (or a team of educators) who has made notable contributions in helping social studies students increase their understanding of the world. Award includes:

  • $2,000 Cash prize
  • Up to $700 in 2019 NCSS Annual Conference travel expenses reimbursement
  • 2019 NCSS Annual Conference presentation session

Complimentary NCSS Conference Registration

Deadline: June 16, 2019 

FASSE Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award

The Christa McAuliffe Reach for the Stars Award was established to help classroom teachers "reach for the stars" and achieve a dream that under ordinary circumstances would not be fulfilled. This grant is meant help a social studies educator make his or her dream of innovative social studies a reality. Grants will be given to assist classroom teachers in developing and implementing imaginative, innovative, and illustrative social studies teaching strategies; and supporting student implementation of innovative social studies, citizenship projects, field experiences, and community connections. Award includes:

  • $2,500 Grant
  • Commomorative gift
  • 2019 NCSS Annual Conference presentation session

Complimentary NCSS Conference Registration

Deadline: June 16, 2019 

NCSS Research Awards

NCSS and the Research Committee sponsor three annual research awards designed to recognize substantive scholarly inquiry in social studies education:

  • Jean Dresden Grambs Distinguished Career Research Award
  • Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award
  • NCSS Exemplary Research Award

Deadline: June 16, 2019

Social Studies Open Educational Resources


Visit the Washington Social Studies Group on the OER Commons Washington Hub!

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available teaching and learning materials that can be downloaded, edited and shared to better serve all students.

This group, curated by OSPI, contains resources created by and for Washington educators - including instructional materials, review rubrics, and other useful links. Below is a small sampling of the resources:

Civics Model Courses

Washington Developed Social Studies Inquiries

Washington Quality Review Rubric for Social Studies Lessons and Units

For more information, contact: Barbara Soots, OER and Instructional Materials Program Manager at

Useful Civics Resources

Amicus With Dahlia Lithwick | Law, Justice, and the Courts

For a show about the law, and the nine Supreme Court justices who interpret it for the rest of America, go to: Slate podcast on the federal courts

WA Seal

Washington State Judicial Branch - Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst  

The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services produced a video with Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst for student visitors to the Washington State Supreme Court. The Chief Justice educates students on the structure and processes of the Judicial Branch. She also introduces them to, a website where the students can play intriguing games that teach them about the different branches of government.  To view the YouTube video, go to:

Legislative Scholar

Summer Civic Education Programs for K-12 Teachers: Legislative Scholars

Legislative Scholars is a weeklong professional development course for all K-12 teachers to learn about state government and the legislative process. The program is one week (July 15-19 this year) and is free of charge. Teachers receive clock hours for their participation along with breakfast and lunch each day of the week.

Register now!  More information can be found on the Legislative Scholars page:


Free Posters from the DAHP

The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation makes posters for Historic Preservation Month and wants to let teachers know they can contact DAHP to request a copy of the poster to display in their classrooms.

The posters are sent free of charge.

This year’s poster design can be found here:

Teachers who want one should contact Whitney Emge at with their mailing address.


Sikh Coalition Resources for Educators

Interested in teaching about Sikhs in your classroom? The Sikh Coalition has a dedicated web page of free resources for educators, including lesson plans tailored for the classroom. You can even request that a classroom poster or other resources be mailed to your school free of charge. The Sikh Coalition's Educator's Guide is a comprehensive resource for teachers of all levels. Middle and High School teachers, check out the lesson plan on using primary sources to teach about media coverage and Sikh American history or the lesson plan that uses video content to spark conversation on Sikh religion and culture.

Help Improve AASLH Visitation

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is conducting a national survey of institutions seeking information about visitation trends between the years of 2013-2018.  Results will be shared with participants in August of 2019.  So far, only 8 Washington State history organizations have participated (way to go, Bellingham Railway Museum, Orcas Island Historical Museum, Cheney Historical Museum, Skagit County Historical Museum, Lacey Museum , Renton History Museum, and Kittitas County Historical Museum!). To improve the information we’ll be able to get to better serve Washington history organizations, please copy and paste the following links:

  • Facebook: How’s visitation at your site? Up? Down? Steady?  The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is conducting a national visitation survey and wants to know what visitation trends you’ve seen at your site in the last few years. Take 5 minutes to complete the survey and share with any other institutions who are interested in participating. 
  • Twitter: How’s visitation at your site? The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is conducting a national visitation survey and wants to know what visitation trends you’ve seen at your site in the last few years. Survey takes 5 min and the results will be shared with the participants this summer! 
  • Newsletter Messages  Responses Needed: What visitation trends have you seen at your site over the last few years? The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is conducting a national visitation survey  and wants your feedback! Please take five minutes to complete the survey and share it with other interested institutions.

NAMLE Conference Registration Open


Media literacy education in Washington State will be the focus of a presentation at the upcoming National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) conference in June. Michael Danielson, President of Action for Media Education (AME) and AME’s Executive Director, Marilyn Cohen, will discuss recent actions taken by Washington’s legislators that have implications for schools all across our state. Legislation first passed in Washington has been providing a model for legislative action throughout the country focused on the increasing need for media literacy education.

Registration for the NAMLE conference, “A Path Forward: Elevating Conversation, Unifying Voices” is now open; go to to register. The conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from June 26-28, 2019. More info at

For more info about AME, visit the website at or

Ethnic Studies Summer Institute 2019

ES Institute

To enroll for this course, please go to: Ethnic Studies Summer Institute 2019

Announcing Judicial Intstitutes in Eastern/Western Washington

District Court Eastern

2019 Judicial Institute for Middle School and High School Teachers

Eastern WA – in Spokane -

The Court will hold its 11th annual Judicial Institute for Teachers October 17-18, 2019. This institute is for middle school and high school teachers in the Eastern District of Washington who have not previously attended. The general theme of the course is the Constitution - how it works, how it has been interpreted, and how the Judiciary evolved to where it is today.

District Court Western

2019 Judicial Institute for Secondary School Teachers           

Western WA – in Tacoma -

The court will hold its 8th annual Judicial Institute for Teachers July 9-11, 2019. This 3 day program is offered to middle and high school teachers who teach in western Washington, within the court’s geographic boundaries. There is no cost for the program, and clock hours are offered. Overnight accommodations are also included.

Apply Now: Powell Holocaust Summer Institute


Fourth Annual Powell Holocaust Summer Institute: August 5-9, 2019 at the Henry and Sandra Friedman Holocaust Center for Humanity. Participants will explore topics related to Holocaust history including antisemitism, rescue and resistance, genocide, non-Jewish Holocaust victims, Japanese internment, current events, and local connections. Each day will include themed discussions of today’s world and practical applications for the classroom. Teachers will work together in small groups to develop and prepare lessons for their classrooms. Open to classroom teachers of grades 6-12. Learn more and apply now! This institute is generously sponsored by the Powell Family Foundation and the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany

Reading Apprenticeship Looking for Educators

Reading Apprenticeship is a professional development model and instructional approach for middle and high school educators. Designed to support both academic and social-emotional learning, Reading Apprenticeship gives teachers new ways to engage students with text and apprentice them into discipline specific ways of reading, writing, talking, and reasoning. Students are explicitly supported to build identities as people who can solve problems and persevere with challenging texts. 

For 2018-22, a seed grant is available for those schools interested in participating in an evaluation of the program.

  • Increase the number of highly effective middle and high school teachers serving high needs students by engaging 1,500 teachers in Reading Apprenticeship professional learning and science/engineering Inquiry Design Groups
  • Improve middle and high school students’ reading comprehension and science achievement by increasing opportunities to collaborate and engage with more varied and challenging science and engineering tasks and texts
  • Build local capacity for sustained implementation and dissemination through teacher leader development, regional support and new tools.

For More Information:

Questions? Contact: Cynthia Greenleaf at

Rick Steves Classroom Europe

Rick Steves

A Message From Rick Steves:

We are excited to share our new resource, Rick Steves Classroom Europe, our streaming archive of free video clips for teachers. 

We have now uploaded more than 300 clips into the database for you to use with students. Please  head on over to, give it a spin, and let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear from you to help us make this a useful and powerful teaching tool.  I just love Rick Steves Classroom Europe and I am thrilled that we can provide this free resource to teachers – we are very proud of it and hope it helps empower your work as teachers.

Washington State Historical Society Glimpses

WSHS logo

Landscape paintings from the Historical Society's collections

On view through January 2020

"The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. 

We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

HORIZON  is an exhibition comprised of some 30 landscapes created between 1870 to 1966. The paintings are hung in a way that aligns their dominant horizon lines, and the resulting effect is a continual landscape around the perimeter of the gallery. 

Visitors will see works by artists regarded as the first woman and first African American painters of the American West and many other artists whose stories are also compelling. While the exhibition features paintings of differing sizes, media, and techniques, the works portray the suggested influence of the physical grandeur and desire to capture the landscape of our region, alongside the larger idea of horizon and the opportunity that looking westward afforded many of the artists whose work is represented here. Step into HORIZON and take in the view!