FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

General Social Studies FAQ

How can I get regular updates from K-12 Social Studies?

I still have a question about the N.C. Social Studies SCOS, instruction, or resources. Who can I contact?

Where might I find information specific to teacher awards and grants for social studies?

Where might I find information highlighting student citizenship building opportunities?

Where can I get information about Character Education?

Standards, Curriculum, & Instruction

Who Develops the Curriculum for Social Studies?

The NCDPI is responsible for developing the Standard Course of Study (SCOS) for all content areas. Each Local Education Agency (LEA) is responsible for using the SCOS as the basis for developing its local curriculum. Additionally, NCDPI will provide options for sequencing, unit develop resources, etc.; however, it is up to each LEA to determine specific content for which students will learn at each grade level and for each course. For those districts that need more specific assistance, professional development will be provided. You should contact your NCDPI Professional Development Regional Leader. You may find their contact information here.

Where can I get information about the Founding Principles Legislation and state developed support resources?

In 2011, House Bill 588: The Founding Principles Act was signed into law. This law requires students to take a semester/year-long coursed called American History: Founding Principles, Civic and Economics, and receive a passing grade as a requirement for graduation. Senate Bill 524 added additional principles to be included in the course. Resources that support North Carolina's Founding Principles Act may be found in two prominent places 1) NCDPI K-12 Standards, Curriculum & Instruction website, and 2) the K-12 Social Studies Standards, Curriculum, & Instruction LiveBinder under the teal colored tab.

Where can I get information about high school course sequencing?

A table and information outlining possible options schools and districts might consider for sequencing high school social studies courses in this High School Course Sequencing in Social Studies document. A variety of options are open for how schools may order the sequencing of high school social studies courses. However, there is no sequence mandated or recommended by NCDPI, for social studies.

Where can I find out about Honors Social Studies Course requirements?

The North Carolina State Board of Education Policy for Honors courses, the Honors Course Implementation Guide, and materials to support the development of honors courses in social studies is available in the Standard, Curriculum, and Instruction LiveBinder, under the red tab entitled Building Rigor in K-12 Social Studies.

What are some critical clarifications about High School Course Substitutions?

Clarification on the NO SUBSTITUTION Policy for American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics (Formerly Civics & Economics)

State Board of Education (SBE) Policy GCS-M-001, Session Law 2009-504 HB 1474 as well as Session Law 2015-291 Senate Bill 524 precludes American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics from being a substitution course. Because we have aligned the Founding Principles course (C&E) with the Founding Principles Act, we have communicated to the General Assembly that there will be no course substitutions for this course per the requirements of the legislation. Additionally, it is important to be cognizant that AP U.S. Government and Politics does not include all the content to meet the two legislative requirements as well as the current SBE policy referenced above.

Clarification on Substitution and the Fourth Social Studies Course Requirement (an elective)

On April 7, 2011, the NC State Board of Education (SBE) revised the State graduation requirements, Policy GCS-N-004, to increase the graduation requirement for social studies from three courses to four. This new requirement beginning with the freshmen who enter high school for the first time during 2012-13. These courses include World History, American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics, American History I, and American History II. Students may substitute AP US History for American History I and American History II, but they are required to take a fourth social studies course (elective).

Clarification on Substitutions Using AP and IB Social Studies Courses

State Board of Education (SBE) Policy GCS-L-008, identifies the following Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses in satisfying NCSBE graduation requirements when used as substitute courses for World History or American History I and II: o AP World History satisfies the World History credit requirement o For 9th graders entering through 2011-12: AP United States History satisfies the US History credit requirement o For 9th graders entering 2012-13 or later: AP United States History and an additional social studies elective satisfy the American History I and American History II credit requirement o For 9th graders entering through 2011-12: IB History of the Americas satisfies the US History credit requirements o For 9th graders entering 2012-13 or later: 1 credit of IB History of the Americas and an additional social studies elective satisfy the American History I and American History II credit requirements.

What are some critical clarifications about Course Prerequisites?

North Carolina's state Standards and Curriculum Division of Social Studies DOES NOT have state prerequisites for any social studies course. Local districts may set any prerequisite(s) they desire and are free to structure the sequence of graduation required and elective courses in any manner their local board of education determines appropriate. While these courses do not have to be taken in sequential order, it is highly recommended that students successfully complete the American History I course prior to enrolling in the American History II course.

A commonly asked question about when to offer American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics

I really want to offer the Civics and Economics course at the 9th and 10th grade levels in my LEA, NOT grade 12. Is that possible under these new requirements?

There are no state requirements for sequencing of high school courses. Local school districts and individual schools may sequence courses in any manner they desire to meet the needs of the students being served. The American History: Founding Principles, Civics and Economics course may be taken at any grade level in high school. Possible sequencing options may be reviewed in this document: High School Course Sequencing in Social Studies.

My district has begun the process of considering offering high school courses for credit in the middle school. One of the courses I was asked to research is World History. What are your thoughts and/or recommendations regarding this issue?

This is a great question and it is a local decision based on the needs of the students in your LEA. The State Board Policy does give LEAs the opportunity to offer this course at the Middle School Level. I have attached a sequencing document that we recommend as possible options for sequencing World History, The Founding Principles, Civics, and Economics, American History I, and American History II at the High School level. As you are pondering whether to consider this option you may want to consider the following questions:

  1. Are the students in your district developmentally ready for World History? How do you know?
  2. What middle school curriculum (Grade 6, 7, or 8) would need to be cut or adapted to teach World History at the Middle School level?
  3. What are the needs of your local students and faculty in terms having the capacity to offer World History in Middle School?

Is there anywhere, perhaps in one of the unpacking documents, where you've defined "historical narrative?"

Below is a document that has descriptions and links to exactly what you are looking for. This document can be found on the DPI social studies site for the Essential Standards resources.
(pdf, 109kb)

Elementary Social Studies Resources

What resources are available for elementary grades social studies?

Where can I find a guide of educational resources for NC field trips connected to lesson plans?

Middle Grades Social Studies Resources

What resources are available for middle grades social studies?

Virtual Field Trips for the middle level classroom?

High School Social Studies Resources

What resources are available for high school social studies?

Where can I find helpful Latin American History resources?

Where can I find helpful resources for teaching about the African Diaspora?

Where can I find helpful resources for teaching American Indian Studies?

Testing & Assessment

Is there be an End-of-Course (EOC) test for United States History courses?

Pursuant to Session Law 2011-8 House Bill 48: No Standardized Testing unless Req'd by the Feds., there will be no End-of-Course testing for American History or Civics and Economics effective during the 2011-12 school year.

Why were items removed from the 6th Grade and World History released NCFE items?

The referenced items from the 6th Grade and World History were removed from the released forms due to copyright permissions. The copyrights obtained by NCDPI are time-limited (usually for no more than two to three years). We hope to be able to extend permissions for longer periods of time, but often this is not possible due to budget constraints. (Note: This response was provided curtesy of the Testing and Accountability Division.)

For questions about NCFEs or other Testing concerns please contact the Accountability Services Division.

Textbooks

Where can I find information, or a list of recommended state approved textbooks submitted to the SBE for Social Studies?

The State Board did approve a recommended list of textbooks titles. Use this link to navigate to the entire report submitted to the SBE for both Health and Social Studies which lists both Recommended and Not Recommended Titles.

Click to navigate to a document crafted by the K-12 Social Studies team listing the ONLY the Social Studies Recommended Titles. This document has color coded the list to hopefully make it easier to distinguish between publishers.

Archived Past FAQs

  1. Version 9-27-11
  2. Version 11-14-11
  3. Additional FAQs about the Founding Principles Act