Social Studies: Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals

  • Mission:

    We believe that multiple literacies are the bedrock of our scholars’ ability to work toward and actualize their liberation and acknowledge/understand that their liberation ties to the liberation of all of humanity. 

    We will recognize and cultivate the genius within every SDUC scholar utilizing best educational practices, challenging our perspectives and growth as educators, and working daily to value and uphold the humanity of all students, families, and community stakeholders.

    We seek to guide students as they develop as active, engaged citizens with global and cultural awareness. Our learners will prepare, both now and in the future, to use their knowledge of social, political, and economic forces to make decisions, plan for the future, and use their voice/power to affect change in the communities to which they belong. 

    We seek to create educational experiences that allow students to engage with historical stories, current events, governmental structures, psychological theories, and economic philosophies with a critical lens that allows them to comprehend the complexities, casualties, and perspectives of world problems, issues, and victories and to act as change agents in their community. 


    The SDUC Social Studies department is committed to facilitating the growth of brilliant, compassionate, independent thinkers and learners who care for humanity by being resilient in the face of challenges and obstacles, active in their civic participation, confident in their future goals and determined guardians of humanity.  We will do this by providing an environment in which students are encouraged to raise and pursue their own questions, to engage in civil discourse, to critically evaluate information they consume and to build agency, advocacy and activism around inequity and racism.

    We will provide an environment where students are engaged in:

    • Inquiry learning that emphasizes students constructing their own knowledge and putting it to use, especially by using technology.

    • Raising and pursuing their own questions about history, government, and culture.

    • Common assessments of on-going development of historical literacy skills.

    • Safe spaces where students engage in civil discourse.

    • Exploring their identity and developing pride and confidence without devaluing the identity of others.

    • Students are confident in their civic participation and future goals-build agency and advocacy around inequity and racism-resilience despite challenges and human progress, empowerment using history.  (create resilience through: resistance (rebellion), agency, advocacy)

    • Students question the status quo-question everything-critically evaluate information they consume. 

    • Building empathy and developing a we are all interconnected, human-lens.  Students are comfortable to share their perspectives despite differences of opinion and culture.  

    • Understand how history explains present circumstances and its relevance to their lives.

    • Use historical information to make connections to present conflicts and societal constructs-connections across time. 

    We will develop rigorous, comprehensive and vertically aligned curricula that:

    • Aligns well with ELA curriculum to develop literacy skills, build background knowledge and vocabulary

    • Facilitates the acquisition of strong literacy, communication and research skills

    • Exposes learners to rich, complex, diverse, powerful texts that provide historical context for better understanding in other content areas

    • Acts as windows, mirrors and doors that represent the diverse experiences and perspectives of Black, Indigenous and People of Color.


    The Social Studies department engages students in learning experiences rooted in anti bias/antiracist pedagogy and makes the following collective commitments that reflect our values:

    • Fostering literacy, criticality and intellectualism in our students

    • Posing essential questions that promote discourse and debate, and the ability to wade into the complexity and reality of history

    • Engaging in and encouraging both/and thinking

    • Engaging students in research and fact checking

    • Celebrating life, people, diversity of stories, history and cultures through our studies

    • Inclusivity

    • Student voice

    • Equity

    • Self-awareness

    • Rigor, promoting criticality

    • Systems thinking

    • Vertical, cross-curricular alignment

    • Deeper learning

    • Rigor

    • Understanding of place and time, geographical skills, environmental and social change

    • Our District’s Portrait of a Graduate, which is a framework for College, Career and Civic Readiness

    • Measurement of student growth to assess progress toward college, career and civic readiness


    Students will be able to independently use their learning to:

    • Seek to understand and appreciate the views, values, customs and culture of others and their influence of communities over time

    • Analyze current and past events and use knowledge of recurring patterns in history to understand the present while preparing for the future.

    • Apply knowledge and concepts of social, political, cultural and economic systems to actively participate as an informed citizen in a global society.

    • Evaluate claims and cite credible evidence when analyzing issues from multiple perspectives.

    • Actively participate in civic action to work towards solving a problem that is meaningful to them and their community.

    We will measure our progress in student achievement by gauging our student's abilities to utilize the tools to participate, engage, and in civic action(s) to solve problems or celebrate victories that face their local, national, and global communities. As educators, we must collect data to show our learners are mastering our content area, which includes a broad spectrum of historical, sociological, and governmental spheres. As educators, we will evaluate our student's capability to analyze historical arguments and cite evidence to prove their claims.