CHS Social Studies Department Amends Curriculum


The social studies curriculum is getting a rework this year with the removal of Senior Seminar and Civics B.

Every six years, the Math, English, Science, and Social Studies curriculums of CHS get reviewed and are usually reformed or amended. Academic curriculums are evaluated based on the relevance of the content, the effectiveness of the course structure, and how well the subject is being taught. Evaluators measure the practicality of the subject and look for areas in the curriculum that might be underrepresented and need more academic support by staff.  

The CHS Social Studies curriculum was the target of this year’s reviews.

“We realized that we needed to change the order of things,” social studies teacher Laura Lutz said. “Our previous system was that freshman year, students took Civics A, which was U.S Government as well as Civics B which was an intro to economics. Then, senior year, students would take Senior Seminar, which consisted of a good portion of government knowledge that wasn’t covered throughout freshman year.” 

Changes to the Social Studies curriculum this year ensure that students are learning the proper information at the right times so they can use the knowledge when it’s most applicable to them. Since many seniors will soon be voting and actively participating in the government, focusing on fundamental government knowledge in the Social Studies curriculum is imperative for ensuring that students are educated and informed adult citizens. 

“What we realized is that economics is not a good fit for ninth graders,” Lutz said. “We talk about things like credit cards and interest rates in civics B and ninth-graders don’t have money to be budgeting at this time.” 

This has led to the rework of the social studies curriculum. The Senior Seminar course will no longer exist and the content of the class will be divided among the new US. Government class and the new civics class being taught this year. 

“We’ve tried to combine civics A and civics B,” Social studies teacher Marlene Segal said. “We’re incorporating a couple of units from the economics portion of civics B into the new class to help give freshman students a baseline understanding of both government and economics.” 

Freshman students are experiencing the brand new civics class this year with only smiles and positive feedback. 

“I do think combining the class was a beneficial change,” Jasmine Gabriel-Nenegay (‘23) said. “If we’re learning about things like credit and budgeting money we’re gonna forget all that information we’ve learned freshman year and toss it out the window. However, if we learn all of that information in our senior year, we’ll retain the information better and it’ll be more applicable for us students.”

As the year progresses Social Studies teachers are excited to see how students will progress and learn with the new curriculum. 

“It’s simultaneously exciting and fun,” Lutz enthusiastically answered.