The following schools are recognized for their efforts to prepare students for active and responsible citizenship using the six promising practices in civic education identified in the Carnegie Foundation’s Civic Mission of Schools report.
Schools of Distinction
Amador Valley High School (2007)
Amador Valley High School is a suburban high school at the edge of the San Francisco Bay Area and a pilot school with the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. Amador Valley convened teachers, students, parents, and administrators to examine their practice in the six promising areas, to develop a plan for strengthening their practice, and to implement their plan. Highlights of their school's activities in all six areas include the implementation of Project Citizen in all civic classes, strengthening the civic component of extra-curricular clubs by requiring them to have elected officials for participation in leadership representative council meetings and increasing student voice in school governance through a Principal's Council composed of diverse students who advise the principal on critical issues at the school.
Bell Gardens High School (2008)
Foothill High School (2008)
At Foothill High School all students participate in a dynamic civic education program in their senior year. The We the People curriculum involves student in simulated congressional hearings, and the Project Citizen curriculum involves students in service-learning. The school is aiming to deepen these experiences further, by developing a 12th grade We the People competition. Further, they are planning to provide more curriculum alignment by bringing Project Citizen into the 9th grade year. The school has also taken seriously the challenge of engaging all incoming 9th graders in clubs and activities, and has used the program Link Crew to achieve this goal. Civic related clubs include History Club, Key Club, Interact, and Forensics. Finally, the ASB has been using student surveys to involve all students in student governance issues.
Irvington High School (2007)
Irvington High School implements the six promising practices throughout the students' senior high experience. During freshman year, all students participate in civic-based service learning through their English and science classes by choosing an issue from their community, researching it, and providing a service that contributes to the resolution of that issue. In the sophomore year, all students participate in a mock UN simulation. In the senior year, all government teachers use the We the People curriculum, and all seniors complete a civic-style senior project. In addition, the ASB is an active policy and decision-making body, and students participate in a rich array of civic-based clubs.
John F. Kennedy High School (2007)
John F. Kennedy High School was also a pilot school with the California Campaign. Organizing its planning and implementation through the school site council, with the leadership of one of its Small Learning Communities, JFK has infused civic education into many dimensions of this diverse student body's experience. For example, teachers now use the History Alive curriculum in world and U.S. history, which integrates simulations and current-events discussions as regular classroom activities. Service learning has been made the focal point of senior projects. Student leadership at the school has been revamped to have two branches: Student Government now organizes school activities, such as rallies and dances, and School Senate meets to discuss and work on school issues with the administration.
Meadowbrook Middle School (2008)
Santiago Creek School (2008)
Santiago Creek School, an Alternative High School in Orange County, infuses engaging civic education both in and outside of the classroom. In their Civics class, students debate and discuss current events important to students’ lives, such as immigration, gang conflict, housing and the economy. Students then design and implement service projects that relate to these issues, such as crocheting afghans to give to the homeless, and a letter writing campaign to elected officials about the needs of the homeless. In their Human Relations Class, the students participate in simulations, learn about the history of civil rights, and again design and implement service projects to address these issues, such as a mural exchange with Capetown South Africa focused on apartheid and the Truth and Reconciliation Trails. An after-school club, Community as School, provides more opportunities for students to be involved in their community.
Afflerbaugh-Paige Camp School (2007)
Afflerbaugh-Paige Camp School in Los Angeles County serves adjudicated youth, and those under the protection of the Children's Court, by building their success in school. Under the principal's leadership, the school's leadership team of teachers, administrators, students, and community members has developed a plan for strengthening civic education school-wide. The plan includes strengthening instruction in government, history, and law by providing teacher professional development in the Center for Civic Education's We the People curriculum; strengthening student voice in probation and school policy through their Camp Advisory Committee; and collaborating with Pitzer College to run voting simulations and to register students to vote.
Endeavour Elementary School (2008))
Endeavour Elementary School has brought together teachers from grades Kindergarten –4th grade, the student body president, the president of the parent teacher association, and school and district administrators to develop a plan for strengthening civic education at their school. Together they have reviewed the six promising practices in civic education, assessed their schools’ current activities, generated ideas for ways to expand civic education opportunities, and engaged others in their school and community in the discussion. Their plan includes increasing the number of classes using Project Citizen, mapping civic education standards into every curricular area, and discussing current events in every classroom.
Richard Henry Dana Middle School is a California Distinguished School and a nationally recognized School to Watch, offering a challenging academic curriculum in greater Los Angeles County. A cross-disciplinary group of teachers and school and district administrators came together to examine the six promising practices in civic education. They created a plan and timeline that include enhancing current-events instruction with more structured debates, having students take action to respond to local current events in their community, and strengthening service learning by deepening a partnership with their local Partners for Partners program.
Emery Secondary School (2007)
Emery Secondary School has implemented an exemplary program called the Y-Plan Community Project that involves students in city planning and policy. In conjunction with the Center for Cities and Schools at UC Berkeley, 9th and 10th grade students participate in their world history classes by meeting with elected representatives, government officials, and other community leaders to examine local planning issues. With guidance from UC Berkeley college student mentors who are studying urban planning, Emery students participate in city planning projects. The process models promising practices including the discussion of current events, combining service and learning, and learning about the functions and principles of government.
De Anza High School (2008)
West Contra Costa Unified School District launched the first year of a civic based service-learning requirement for graduating seniors. De Anza High School stood out for successfully providing high quality service-learning for all students in their Government/Economics classes. Outstanding civic components of their projects included students discussing current events and researching issues of concern. Further, each class went through a democratic process of decision making which led to the design and implementation of a class project. Their service-learning included studying the economics of poverty, creating hygiene kits and delivering those kits to a homeless shelter; and researching global warming and educating other students about what action can be taken.
A project of Constitutional Rights Foundation in collaboration with the
Center for Civic Education and the Alliance for Representative Democracy.
This project is made possible by generous grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Skirball Foundation