GFPS working on update to social studies curriculum

The Great Falls Public Schools district is looking at revamping the social studies curriculum.

During the July 18 board meeting, Rachel Cutler and Beckie Frisbee, the district’s curriculum coordinators, told the board that they started the process during the summer of 2021.

They said that 45 teachers, administrators and community members gathered to look at the new state standards for social studies, which were developed nationally after the College, Career and Civic Readiness framework and adopted at the state level under the curriculum review cycle established by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

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Cutler and Frisbee said that there are two major changes in that there’s an expectation that social studies be more active, engaging and inquiry based.

They said the social studies should ask more compelling questions, such as “what makes money money” and “why do we need rules.”

The new standards also outline specific areas to include history, economics, geography and government.

The new standards are broken out by grade level.

Cutler and Frisbee asked the board to look at the draft of the new standards and provide feedback.

The draft of the new social studies standards are posted on the GFPS website and the public can fill out a short form for feedback by Aug. 19 for the board and curriculum coordinators to consider.

For more information about the proposed standards, contact Rachel Cutler at 268-6037 or Beckie Frisbee at 268-6761 by Aug. 19.

If the board adopts the new standards, the curriculum coordinators would then begin the process of finding new textbooks and course materials.

Cutler and Frisbee said that once they finish the update to the social studies curriculum, next will be career and technical education, library science and math.