Virginia Council for the Social Studies

Mission: The Virginia Council for the Social Studies engages and supports Virginia educators in advocating and strengthening social studies.

The goals of the Virginia Council for the Social Studies are to foster professional growth, develop communication among stakeholders in the social studies community, and to promote the teaching of social studies in Virginia, the United States, and the international sphere. The Virginia Council of the Social Studies is an affiliate with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

Websitevcss.org
Email: Contact Form

VCSS 52nd Annual Conference

The 52nd Annual Conference of Virginia Social Studies Educators is happening on November 2-3, 2018 at Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia.
"Harmonize the Human Experience"

The Annual Conference offers sessions for every K-12 teacher – from those beginning their professional careers to seasoned veterans.  There will be content specialists offering in-depth sessions in geography, citizenship, history and economics.

Click here to register now!

Jenifer Hitchcock

AP Government & US History Teacher
Fairfax High School & Online Campus
James Madison Fellow, Commonwealth of Virginia 2016
Nationally Board Certified Teacher
iCivics Educators Network Member
Writer at lovgov.weebly.com

The VA Election Hub is an exciting opportunity to extend civics education beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom. Civics happens on the streets! This organization provides an opportunity to students to use their native digital skills to improve their community and engage in a meaningful way in civics. I am a part of the VA Election Hub to help find and engage students directly in the democratic process as high school interns.

 

Virginia Council for the Social StudiesVirginia Council for the Social Studies

Mission: The Virginia Council for the Social Studies engages and supports Virginia educators in advocating and strengthening social studies.

The goals of the Virginia Council for the Social Studies are to foster professional growth, develop communication among stakeholders in the social studies community, and to promote the teaching of social studies in Virginia, the United States, and the international sphere. The Virginia Council of the Social Studies is an affiliate with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

Websitevcss.org
Email: Contact Form

Summary

The goals of the Virginia Council for the Social Studies are to foster professional growth, develop communication among stakeholders in the social studies community, and to promote the teaching of social studies in Virginia, the United States, and the international sphere. The Virginia Council of the Social Studies is an affiliate with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

Websitevcss.org
Email: Contact Form

Leadership

President

Katie Blomquist
kjblomquist@fcps.edu

Vice President:
Bill O’Sick
wosick@mail.dps.k12.va.us

Treasurer & Membership Chair:
Matthew Atkinson
VCSSMEMB@gmail.com

Secretary
Amy Tomasulo
amy.tomasulo@vbschools.com

Legislative Liaison, Southside, and New River Valley:
Bill O’Sick
wosick@mail.dps.k12.va.us

Northern Virginia Representatives:
Tanya Siwik
Tanya.Siwik@fcps.edu

Kris Petersen
​kdpeterson@fcps.edu

Central Virginia Representatives:
Sarah McDermott (Independent Council)
sarahmcdermott@trinityes.org

Matt Atkinson
msatkinson@henrico.k12.va.us

Tidewater Representatives:
India Meissel
indiameissel@spsk12.net

Meridith Breen
​mbreen@ycsd.york.va.us
Western Virginia Representatives:
Allen Ruliffson

aruliffson@rockingham.k12.va.us

Past President:

Wesley Hedgepeth

Government and Public Relations:
Celina Pierrottet
crpierrottet@gmail.com

​Jennifer Hitchcock
​jahitchcock@fcps.edu

Michael Hasley
mjhasley@henrico.k12.va.us

Blog

From blog website

Status of Social Studies SOLS

5/30/2018

Currently, as this is being posted, the Virginia General Assembly hasn’t passed a budget which means a final decision on SOLs for secondary Social Studies courses hasn’t been made, yet.

Before the GA ended this year, the final bill (SB 969) impacting SOL tests and authentic assessments would allow for EOC tests to be based off an authentic assessment. Originally, SB 969 specifically prohibited performance assessments, but then at the last minute, it was amended to allow for them.

But then the session ended without a budget.  When the Senate came back in the last few weeks, the budget they were debating referred back to the original wording SB 969.

So in conjunction with the Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium, we submitted the following letters to Virginia Senators in support of the amended SB 969 which allows for performance assessments:

As members of the Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium (VSSLC) and the Virginia Council on the Social Studies (VCSS), we urge you to amend budget item 130#1s as reflected below.  The proposed language is essentially the current language adopted by the House Education Committee (SB 969) as proposed by the patron, Senator Newman.  It was supported by the Board of Education, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS), and a number of education stakeholders.   The current language of budget item 130#1s reflects the original language in SB969 prohibiting performance assessments rather than the language ultimately agreed to by the patron and all interested parties.

As a result of the Revised Standards of Accreditation, many school divisions across Virginia are under the impression that verified credit may be earned in the coming school year through locally developed, authentic performance assessments. Local budgets, time, and expertise are currently invested in the development of these assessments and the related professional learning for teachers. While the VSSLC accepts that a state-developed assessment may be a necessary compromise, it is worth noting that many public school teachers and leaders will be both surprised and disappointed by legislation that underestimates the benefits of local authentic performance assessments.

The proposed amendment below supports statewide accountability for social studies education at the high school level.  However, it does so by supporting a more balanced approach which includes performance assessments and doesn’t simply emphasize memorization at the expense of understanding and application.  The shift towards utilizing performance assessments compels school divisions  to more fully measure what students know, as well as what they can do with this information.  We are confident that this change in assessment will improve social studies instruction, deepen student understanding, and sharpen critical thinking skills.

Below is the rest of the letter, which won’t paste into this post nicely, so it’s an image.

Picture

We will post more information as soon as we know more.

52nd VCSSE State Conference

Our next state conference will be held at the Hotel Roanoke on November 2 and 3, 2018.
Planning has begun! If you’re interested in helping us plan, please email us.

The Annual Conference offers sessions for every K-12 teacher – from those beginning their
professional careers to seasoned veterans.

Our agenda is packed with new, exciting, and informative presentations. In order to
“Harmonize the Human Experience”

There will be content specialists offering in-depth sessions in geography, citizenship, history and economics.

This broad theme will explore the following questions:

  • How can we weave the humanities and arts into our social studies instruction?
  • How do we guide students to see history through multiple perspectives?
  • How do we support and enrich learners at all levels with unique strengths and needs?
  • How are we integrating social studies into other content areas?
  • How do we teach both skills and content in a harmonious way?

​Your registration includes access to all general workshop sessions, the exhibition hall and vendor fair, continental breakfast Friday and Saturday, and lunch on Friday. Conference registration also includes membership in the Virginia Council for the Social Studies.”

Pre-service teachers, student teachers, and teachers attending this conference for the first time may attend the conference for a reduced fee. See the fees page for information about our group discount!

Click here to register now!

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Roanoke Hotel Conference CenterVCSS 52nd Annual Conference

The 52nd Annual Conference of Virginia Social Studies Educators is happening on November 2-3, 2018 at Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia.
"Harmonize the Human Experience"

The Annual Conference offers sessions for every K-12 teacher – from those beginning their professional careers to seasoned veterans.  There will be content specialists offering in-depth sessions in geography, citizenship, history and economics.

Click here to register now!

Summary

The Annual Conference offers sessions for every K-12 teacher – from those beginning their professional careers to seasoned veterans.  There will be content specialists offering in-depth sessions in geography, citizenship, history and economics.

Click here to register now!

About

The broad theme, “Harmonize the Human Experience”, will explore the following questions:

  • How can we weave the humanities and arts into our social studies instruction?
  • How do we guide students to see history through multiple perspectives?
  • How do we support and enrich learners at all levels with unique strengths and needs?
  • How are we integrating social studies into other content areas?
  • How do we teach both skills and content in a harmonious way?

Registration Information

  1. Registration – $180.00
    Discounted Price if registered by Monday October 1, 2918 is $155.

  2. First Time Attendee – $140.00

  3. Pre-Service/Student Teacher   – $50.00

  4. Saturday only  – $80.00

Payment Message

10% Group Discount

If you are registering 5 or more attendees you are eligible for a 10% discount.  To receive this discount you must register all attendees and pay for their registrations at the same time.  The discount will be added at the end of the registration process. It does not apply to the Student Teacher, Saturday only, or First-Time Attendee rates but is available with the early registration discount.

Click on the following link for directions that will walk you through the group registration process.

Click here for directions on how to register multiple teachers.

Please Pay online with a credit card if possible.  All Payments must be made online via credit card or offline by check.
VCSSE Tax ID #383733402
Make checks payable to: VCSSE Conference Fund

NO Purchase Orders will be accepted for payment.

Payment Mailing Address:

Roxane Edgerton
944 Wynngate Drive
Chesapeake, VA  23320

Supporting the Conference

There are a number of different ways to support the conference and reach teachers:
Corporate Exhibitors: $600 per table
Non-Profit Exhibitors: $300 per table

Sponsorship Opportunities:
Keynote Speaker Sponsor (Friday or Saturday): $1000
Breakfast Sponsor (Friday or Saturday): $1000
Break Sponsorship (Friday or Saturday): $500
Luncheon Sponsor: $1000
Friday night reception $ 2000

Have something more creative in mind? Contact Ellen Stick at estick@rcps.info with your ideas!

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Jennifer HitchcockJenifer Hitchcock

AP Government & US History Teacher
Fairfax High School & Online Campus
James Madison Fellow, Commonwealth of Virginia 2016
Nationally Board Certified Teacher
iCivics Educators Network Member
Writer at lovgov.weebly.com

The VA Election Hub is an exciting opportunity to extend civics education beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom. Civics happens on the streets! This organization provides an opportunity to students to use their native digital skills to improve their community and engage in a meaningful way in civics. I am a part of the VA Election Hub to help find and engage students directly in the democratic process as high school interns.

 

Summary

The VA Election Hub is an exciting opportunity to extend civics education beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom. Civics happens on the streets! This organization provides an opportunity to students to use their native digital skills to improve their community and engage in a meaningful way in civics. I am a part of the VA Election Hub to help find and engage students directly in the democratic process as high school interns.

 

Education

Masters in Political Science, Virginia Tech Spring 2019 (Anticipated)

Masters in Ed George Mason University June 2007

Bachelors in Political Science, Wheeling Jesuit University May 2001

Teaching Experience

Fairfax High School

  • Instructed AP Government, Honors Government, and Honors and Standard US History
  • Completed Advanced Academics Endorsement, Spring of 2016
  • Team Leader, US Government 2017-18
  • 2016-19 Participant in Minority Advanced Placement Student Achievement Grant, Fairfax High School
  • Currently employing Standards Based Grading in the AP Government classroom
  • Member of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence – Fairfax High School Cohort 2017-19
  • 2017 Member of George Lucas Foundation’s Knowledge in Action PBL Project, Fairfax County Cohort 1
  • 2017-2019 Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honors Society Advisor

Westfield High School

  • Instructed World History I, US/VA Government, Honors US/VA Government Sociology, and Current Affairs
  • Co-Moderator: WHS State Qualifying Model Judiciary Team 2009-10
  • Co-author of Westfield High School Government Team Writers Guide

Civics Education Publications/Projects

  • 2018 iCivics Educator Network Member – Curriculum & content development
  • 2018 VCSS Area Representative
  • 2018 Administrator of the apgovteachers.com, a website built by AP Gov teachers for AP Gov teachers
  • Fairfax County Chief Election Officer 2015-2017, Fairfax City Assistant Voter Registrar
  • 2017 John Marshall Foundation Teacher of the Year for excellence in teaching the US Constitution in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • 2016 James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellow, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Member of George Lucas Foundation’s Knowledge in Action PBL Project, Fairfax County Cohort 1
  • Teacher Advisory Panel Member: Virginia Public Access Project
  • 2016 Three-time presenter at the NCSS Conference: C3 Civil Rights Unit, JMMFF Civil Rights, and AP Government Teachers on Facebook Poster Presentation
  • 2015 Presenter at the NCSS Conference on the C3 Framework Initiative with the ABA Learning Team
  • 2015 Participant in the NCSS Collaborative C3 Framework Initiative as a member of the ABA Learning Team focusing on Civic Education
  • Guest host on Twitter Chat #hsgovchat 2015
  • Administrator/Share Drive Curator for AP Government Facebook Group
  • Two-time presenter at Fairfax County Social Studies Summer In-Service, 2014 on Boomerang unit and 2015 on C3 Framework initiative
  • 2014 Presenter at the VCSS Conference on using Michael Lewis’s Boomerang in the Honors Government class
  • Owner/Writer for LovGov: a Government EduBlog for collaborating and sharing lessons and resources
  • Former attendee of professional development opportunities from Liberty Fund/Ashbrook University, George Washington Teachers Institute, and James Madison’s Montpelier Center on the Constitution

Virginia Election Hub

High School Teachers

I am here to help you facilitate student participation in the VA Election Hub program. We are looking for teachers across Virginia to share internship opportunities with their students. This project is a great, real world application of AP and US/VA Government content through experiential learning. Activities associated with student internships in the Fall are more limited, but beginning in January of 2019 there will be a high demand for high school student participation in state and local elections. Students will be working in their own communities talking to their neighbors and the candidates who want to serve their communities.

High School Students

I can help you introduce this opportunity to your school or assist you in the process of becoming a curator. Internships require limited but consistent weekly work updating candidate profiles, curating biographical and candidate information found online. You will be able to work from home approximately 1-2 hours a week doing the following:

  • Building and editing content for the Hub
  • Using research, writing, and social media skills
  • Interfacing with a variety of people, organizations, and events who are the focus of a post,
  • Moderating forums, and
  • Organizing and directing online/in person debates and town halls

LovGov Blog

For all posts, go to LovGov website.

The QA FRQ

7/29/18

Political Science is *shockingly* all about applying the scientific method to politics and governance. Concepts that we teach in AP Gov are someone’s hypothesis, tested out with data… analyzed and triangulated to either support or refute that idea. It is tested over and over again, it is peer reviewed. That is how political scientist do their thing. That is why ideas like the Median Voter Theory or the Mandate Theory of Politics (NOT PROVEN) exist.

College Board is having us teach kids how to do the final steps of quantitative analysis… meaning data analysis, interpretation, conclusions, and application to content… in the Quantitative Analysis FRQ. I am stoked. It is a really, really great thing for political science.

In order to help you tackle teaching the QA FRQ, I have created this 20 minute video that explains what Quantitative Analysis is, how kids use it in their own lives, and how College Board will assess that skill. There is an example included and tips on how to do the FRQ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka1J2we1yYs

Do you just want access to my PREZI? Check it out here. 

Stay tuned for the remaining FRQs… the Content Application question (which is qualitative analysis), the Argumentation Essay, and the SCOTUS question.

Any feedback or questions? Leave them down below!

 

 

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