Social Studies Signal

Social Studies Signal

September 2022- Social Studies Signal Newsletter


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

United States Senate Youth Program Application Deadline October 17

The United States Senate Youth Program is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school seniors interested in pursuing careers in public service. Two student leaders from each state will have the opportunity to spend a week in Washington, D.C., experiencing their national government in action during the annual program in March. Student delegates hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies and participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Students selected to represent Ohio in the national program also receive a $10,000 scholarship. The application deadline is October 17.
To learn more about eligibility and access the application, visit the Department’s United States Senate Youth Program.

Ohio Building Bridges Professional Learning Series Videos

Thank you to all the educators and organizations that participated in the 2022 Ohio Building Bridges Professional Learning Series in August. All recorded sessions are now posted and available on the Ohio Department of Education’s YouTube page.

Release of Spring 2022 Ohio State Social Studies Test Items

Released items from the Spring 2022 administration of Ohio’s State Tests are now available in Ohio’s State Tests portal. The items give educators insight into the kinds of questions students experience and are a helpful tool to inform classroom instruction and assessment. Both teachers and parents can use the items to help students know what to expect.    
This release contains the associated learning standards and scoring guides. The scoring guides include answer keys, scoring rubrics, sample student responses, and notes on scoring and rationales that describe why response options are correct or incorrect. 

Remember Requirement to Observe Constitution Day on Sept. 17

Each year on or around Sept. 17, schools nationwide observe the day in 1787 the U.S. Constitution was signed. Educational institutions receiving federal funding must plan an education program commemorating Constitution Day. Below are organizations with links to resources for Constitution Day:

2022 Ohio Academic Excellence for All Conference

Registration is now open for the Academic Excellence for All Conference. The conference is at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio, on October 14, 2022.
The conference aims to provide Ohio educators with the opportunity to learn how to address gaps in academic achievement, specifically those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The mission of the conference is to provide an opportunity for all educators (P- 16) to become familiar with research and strategies that support the six components of the Academic Excellence for All framework:
  • Equitable Student Access;
  • Culturally Responsive Practices;
  • Student-Centered Learning;
  • Diverse Staff of Excellent Educators;
  • Family and Community Engagement; and
  • School Climate.
The conference will feature a keynote speaker, a panel discussion with Ohio superintendents and 30 breakout sessions presented by teachers, administrators, members of higher education and experts throughout Ohio.
Register here to attend this free event. Please share this information with individuals you feel would be interested in attending this conference. Contact with any questions.

News from Education Organizations

Ohio History Connection Launches Free, New Project-Based Learning Supplemental Curriculum

Ohio History Connection and Ohio History Day are delighted to share the release of Investigating History through Project-Based Learning for grades 6 through 12. This free, interdisciplinary supplemental curriculum supports educators as they incorporate project-based learning into their in-person, virtual or hybrid classrooms. 
The curriculum offers:
  • Diverse learning, hands-on activities and student readings aligned to Ohio's New Learning Standards & Common Core State Standards
  • Reinforcement of 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, information and media literacy, as well as collaboration, communication and leadership skills
  • Short content-based videos from experts and fellow students
  • Individual student login accounts
  • Teacher guides & customizable (printable) content
Learn more and create your free account today by visiting the Ohio History Connection websiteOhio History Connection and Ohio History Day created this project with financial support from the Ohio Department of Education, RemoteEDx Subgrants for Non-Profit and Community-Based Learning Partners, and the William K. Laidlaw Jr. Memorial Endowment Fund. 

Supreme Court of Ohio Field Trip Transportation Grants

The Supreme Court of Ohio is providing school transportation grants to help defray the cost of a visit to the Supreme Court and its Visitor Education Center during the 2022-2023 school year. 
The online application window will be open from September 12 – 25, 2022. All Ohio schools receiving state funds are welcome to apply for a grant ranging from $220 to $440, based on the distance from the school to the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center. Schools are eligible to receive one grant for students in 4th grade and above.
Grants are awarded based on the percentage of students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program, as reported by the Ohio Department of Education. The Supreme Court of Ohio will reimburse schools after the field trip.
Click here on the Court's website to complete an online application between September 12 – 25, 2022, or email with questions or to be added to the transportation grant notification list.

Learning Opportunities at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum

The Education Team at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) is excited to offer various learning opportunities for Ohio students in grades K-12 for the 2022/2023 school year, including in-person and virtual field trips.
  • Self-Guided visits include an overview by a Museum Volunteer and a scavenger hunt customized by grade level.
  • Guided, interpretive experiences led by a Museum Educator include a deep dive into the museum’s core exhibits and an educational program that provides a hands-on learning activity for your students.  
  • Virtual field trips led by a Museum Educator highlight the core exhibits and include built-in breaks for student questions.
Throughout the school year, the museum’s Education Team will add new content to their Educator Resources page. Check the website for lesson plans aligned to ODE learning standards, hands-on learning activities, Veteran stories about historic events, and other digital resources that support classroom learning in Social Studies and English Language Arts.  
Educators can stay current with what’s happening at the NVMM or schedule a visit by going to their website or emailing

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Announces 2022 Ohio History Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Ohio Social Studies teacher Lucas George on being named the 2022 Ohio State History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary through high school. The award honors one K–12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories. In fall 2022, the Institute will announce ten finalists for the National History Teacher of the Year. 

OCLRE Mock Trial Conference 2022

The Ohio Council for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) is kicking off the Mock Trial program season on Tuesday, September 27, with the annual Mock Trial Conference. Participants can choose to attend in-person at the Supreme Court of Ohio or virtually, in an asynchronous format. The conference is available to middle school and high school mock trial advisors. There will be an introductory track for new advisors and a “deep dive” track for returning advisors looking to hone their mock trial skills. For more information, please visit the “Professional Development” tab of the middle school or high school mock trial page.

In honor of OCLRE’s 40th anniversary, OCLRE will be giving a code for $40 off mock trial team registration to the first 40 conference registrants.

Professional Learning Opportunities

Registration Open for the Ohio Council for the Social Studies 66th Annual Conference

Registration is open for the Ohio Council for the Social Studies (OCSS) 66th Annual Conference scheduled for October 14-15 at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. The OCSS Conference is the largest gathering of Ohio social studies and history teachers. The theme for this year's conference is "Celebrating Social Studies Educators!" Interested educators can learn more about registration at the OCSS website

Barker Center for Economic Education Offers Financial Literacy Webinar for Educators

The Barker Center for Economic Education at the University of Akron is hosting an interactive webinar featuring experienced Ohio teachers sharing tips and tricks for teaching grade 7-12 financial literacy content (including budgeting, credit and debt, investment and risk management/insurance). There will be opportunities to connect and collaborate with other Ohio educators and learn about instructional strategies and resources to bring financial literacy to your classroom. The webinar will be on Sept. 22 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. (EDT) via Zoom. Interested educators can register for free
Optional certifications of attendance for contact hours are available at a discounted rate of $12. However, the Barker Center does not require participants to purchase a certificate to attend the event. Once registered, the Barker Center will forward Zoom connection information and optional certificate information.  

Virtual Money Museum Field Trips with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Educators and students can visit the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Money Museum without leaving the classroom. Their virtual field trips can complement the classroom course curriculum and provide students with a fun experience while they learn about important topics. Field trip activities include learning opportunities about currency recognition, earning, budgeting, financial decision making, investing, inflation, credit score, history of central banking in the United States and more. Interested educators can schedule a field trip through the museum.

Other Resources, News and Information

Free Economics and Financial Literacy Curriculum from the Alpaugh Family Economics Center

$martPath is a free, online economic and financial literacy teaching resource for grades 1-8 from the University of Cincinnati's Alpaugh Family Economics Center. $martPath has won several national curriculum awards, including the NAEE (National Association of Economic Educators) Platinum Award, EIFLE (Excellence in Financial Literacy Education) Awards from the Institute for Financial Literacy, the Lighting the Way Award from SunTrust Foundation and three regional Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Interested educators can learn more about the free platform on the $martPath website

Resources for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year as a time to celebrate the diverse cultures, histories and contributions of the American Latino community. The Library of Congress has compiled resources from multiple national organizations to support Hispanic Heritage Month this year. The National Museum of the American Latino also has shared teacher resources for National Hispanic Heritage Month.
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