Social Studies Signal

Social Studies Signal

March 2022- Social Studies Signal Newsletter


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

Department Seeks Educators to Participate on Assessment Committees

Ohio’s educators, content specialists and other stakeholders play a vital role in creating valid and reliable assessments in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Education is accepting applications for participants to serve on content advisory and rubric validation committees for Ohio’s State Tests.

Content advisory and rubric validation committees meet on an ongoing basis to review new test questions and materials as they are developed. The number and frequency of meetings depends on the volume of new test item development, but typically these committees meet once or twice annually.
Full details, including committee descriptions and application requirements, are on the Department website. Applications are due Sunday, March 20, by 11 p.m.

Public Comment on Student Interactions with Peace Officers Model Curriculum

Ohio law requires the Ohio Department of Education, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Public Safety, to develop a draft model curriculum for instruction in grades 9-12 on proper interactions with peace officers. The term peace officers is broadly defined to include many types of law enforcement officers. The draft of this model curriculum was developed in collaboration with advisory and working groups consisting of teachers, school administrators, law enforcement, driver education staff, legal rights groups and community members.   
The Ohio Department of Education is seeking public comment on the current draft of the Student Interactions with Peace Officers Model Curriculum until 4 p.m. on March 28. The education community and public are invited to provide suggestions for improving the model curriculum through a public comment survey. All feedback will be reviewed and considered as the next draft of the model curriculum is prepared. The public can access additional information regarding this model curriculum and public comment period on the Department’s website. 

Save the date: 2022 Building Bridges Professional Learning Series begins Aug. 2

Connect virtually with the Department for the “Building Bridges for Educators: The Heart of the Matter” professional learning series Aug. 2-4. This online event will feature sessions across all academic content areas, with a focus on connecting people, ideas and possibilities to deepen student learning, engagement and motivation. The Department encourages educators, as well as parents and guardians, to attend.

The Department will share session details later this spring through EdConnection and the Social Studies Signal. Direct questions to

Summary of graduation updates available now

summary of graduation updates is available now on the Department’s website. The summary gives an overview of the changes to the long-term graduation requirements that went into effect Sept. 30, 2021. The summary addresses demonstrations of competency, demonstrations of readiness, students with individualized education plans and out-of-state or home-school transfer students. 

The Department is updating long-term graduation requirement documents to reflect these changes and will share them when they are published.

Contact with questions.

Nominate Outstanding Teachers for Ohio Teacher of the Year by April 8

Nominations for the 2023 Ohio Teacher of the Year are open through April 8. Each year, the Ohio Teacher of the Year program celebrates exceptional teachers for their effective and inspiring work both inside and outside of the classroom. The program also gives honorees opportunities for professional growth, elevates their position as leaders and advocates for public education.

The program offers two levels of statewide recognition. The regional State Board District Teacher of the Year honor goes to one teacher in each of the 11 State Board districts. From those 11 honorees, one is named as Ohio’s Teacher of the Year.

Nominees must hold a professional Ohio educator license, work full time with a minimum of five years of teaching experience under a professional license in a state-approved public school, community school or career center. They also must work directly with students at least 50% of the time, have received no previous Ohio Teacher of the Year recognition and plan to continue in active teaching status. Resident Educator License holders do not qualify.

Anyone may submit a nomination for one or multiple teachers. Self-nominations are not accepted. Qualified nominees will receive a certificate of recognition and an invitation to apply to Ohio’s most prestigious and long-standing teacher recognition program.

Nomination information is available on the Ohio Teacher of the Year webpage. Contact Angela Dicke with questions.

News from Other Organizations

March is Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum publish a website that commemorates and encourages the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. Additionally, the National Museum of American History presents a variety of programs in March to commemorate Women’s History Month.

Students Show Off Civic Savvy at Virtual Competition
In January, nearly 160 students from ten schools participated in the 2022 Virtual We the PeopleThe Citizen and the Constitution State Competition. Participating schools included Archbold High School (Fulton County), Ayersville High School (Defiance County), Belmont High School (Montgomery County), Findlay High School (Hancock County), Garaway High School (Tuscarawas County), Ravenna High School (Portage County), Van Wert High School (Van Wert County) and West Carrollton High School (Montgomery County). 
Students showcased their understanding of constitutional principles by presenting and evaluating positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. After providing prepared answers to competition questions, judges, including college professors, judges, attorneys and other community leaders, questioned students in simulated legislative hearings. 

We the People is administered in Ohio by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) and is a national program of the Center for Civic Education. For more information, please visit

Professional Learning Opportunities

Eighth Annual Inquiry Design Model Summer Institute Will Be Online July 11-12

Sponsored by C3 Teachers and the National Council for the Social Studies, the Inquiry Design Method Summer Institute returns for the eighth year. Participating teachers will learn about inquiry-based teaching and learning in general and the Inquiry Design Model (IDM) and designing inquiries in particular. The institute will be online this year. Educators can access more information on the National Council for the Social Studies website

2022 Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators

Designed to support accurate, meaningful teaching about the Holocaust, the Belfer National Conference for Educators is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's flagship event for secondary school educators across the country. 

The conference invites participants to engage with current historical research and instructional best practices. Educators discover and learn how to use various classroom resources, find inspiration in new ideas and connect with peers engaged in similar work across the United States and worldwide. Educators can access information about registration on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website

2022 Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute: Understanding Islam and Muslims

Dar al Islam will host the 33rd Dar al Islam Teachers' Institutes at its famous facilities in Abiquiu, New Mexico, from June 19 to July 2, 2022.

The institute's goal is to enable educators to teach about Islam with greater confidence. Participants gain a deeper understanding of the basic tenets of Islam and see firsthand how Islam works in the daily lives of the program's Muslim faculty and staff.

During the two-week residential institute, facilitators cover Islam from a normative perspective. Using primary texts and classical interpretations, university professors and Islamic scholars cover in depth and breadth: 
  • Islamic faith & practice;
  • History;
  • Culture and civilization;
  • Contemporary issues and worldview of Islam;
  • Existing resources and curriculum for social studies, religion or world history classes.

2022 National Rural Education Association Convention and Research Symposium Call for Presenters

The 2022 National Rural Education Association's (NREA) call for presenters for the 2022 Convention & Research Symposium is now open from Feb. 14 through March 25, 2022. Educators can learn more at the NREA website

Other Resources, News and Information

Federal Reserve Education Resources

The Federal Reserve maintains a digital library of thousands of classroom-ready resources for educators instructing students in kindergarten through university. Search by grade level, content topic, standard and type of resource to find lesson plans, activities, videos, games, infographics, apps and e-books. All resources are free for educators to utilize in the classrooms. Educators can access these resources at the Federal Reserve Education website

Constitutional Rights Foundation Bill of Rights in Action

The Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) produces a quarterly curricular newsletter called Bill of Rights in Action. The newsletter shares articles, lessons and instructional resources on U.S. history, world history and government and has been published since 1967. Educators can sign up for a free subscription on the CRF website

Facing History and Ourselves: The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy

Facing History has produced a series of videos and accompanying lessons that will introduce a rigorous study of the Reconstruction era into American history classrooms. The video series includes interviews with scholars of the Reconstruction era who provide insight into this complex history and address questions of freedom, justice, equality and citizenship that are at the heart of the Reconstruction. Educators can access these resources on the Facing History website

News Literacy Project: Eight Tips to Google Like a Pro

The first source is not always necessarily the best source when researching online. The News Literacy Project shares a helpful infographic that communicates Eight Tips to Google Like a Pro. Educators can access the infographic at this link

The resources in this newsletter are free and have been reviewed using the Department’s Social Studies resource filter against established criteria. Copies of the completed filter forms are available upon request. Inclusion in this newsletter does not represent a recommendation to use a resource. Many quality resources are available beyond those included here. Educators should use their professional expertise to determine the suitability of any particular resources for use in their districts, schools or classrooms.

Send comments/questions to:

Justin Leach, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies

Linda McKean, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies