February 12, 2021
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Teaching & Learning
Impeachment offers lessons for range of students
House impeachment manager Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial. (Handout/Getty Images)
The ongoing impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump brings with it lessons about government, free speech and other topics, say Minnesota high-school social studies teachers Kathryn Gardner and Niki Debuhr, who say Trump's historic second impeachment offers important civics lessons to students who are now or will become voters in the future. Some university professors in Texas are using the trial as part of classes on the presidency and international politics, while a law class is studying the impeachment with an eye on the US Constitution.
Full Story: KAAL-TV (Austin, Minn.) (2/9),  KTRK-TV (Houston) (2/9) 
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Policy Watch
Color-coded plan to reopen schools expected from CDC
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the CDC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The CDC is expected to release updated guidance today to help schools reopen safely for in-person learning. A draft summary calls for a phased reopening -- based on rates of community transmission of coronavirus -- with a color-coded classification system and precautions, such as face masks, social distancing, contact tracing and quarantining as needed.
Full Story: CBS News (2/12),  Politico (2/11) 
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New York City high-school senior Meril Mousoom and seven peers say their voices should be heard in education policy discussions. During a webinar by Student Voice, the students highlight their perspectives on and experiences with inequity, mental health and other issues, and call for ongoing listening sessions with youths and a student advisory committee that avoids tokenism.
Full Story: The 74 (2/9) 
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Technology in the Classroom
"The House of #EdTech" and the "10 Minute Teacher" are among eight education podcasts highlighted in this article. Among the others is "Teachers Talking Tech," which is described as offering short episodes with discussions about technology in elementary-school classrooms.
Full Story: eSchool News (2/11) 
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How can schools support students' media literacy?
A spike in online misinformation and studies showing that more K-12 students are unable to discern reliable information have some schools pushing to include media literacy lessons in their curricula. Peter Adams, senior vice president of education at the News Literacy Project, says such lessons should be integrated throughout the year.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (2/11) 
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Social Studies & Civic Life
Meet the original Queen's Gambit, a Pittsburgh nonprofit
Ashley Lynn Priore created The Queens Gambit Chess Institute in Pittsburgh in 2014 to teach chess to girls and young women while also addressing inequities in the game. A miniseries, "The Queen's Gambit," brought attention to the game and to the organization, which Priore says she hopes will always be led by a young person.
Full Story: Elite Daily (2/8) 
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A YouTube video series that debuted in January is intended to shine light on Black role models of today, according to the creator, former Chicago-area teacher Jhames Holley Jr. The three- to four-minute videos highlight a variety of individuals, such as CapWay mobile bank founder Sheena Allen and comics illustrator Sanford Greene, who Holley says can serve as living inspirations and possibly real-life mentors to students.
Full Story: Daily Southtown (Tinley Park, Ill.) (tiered subscription model) (2/10) 
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NCSS Updates
NCSS offers resources for educators
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated as COVID-19) as a pandemic. National Council for the Social Studies is providing this landing page as a resource for social studies educators, administrators, and professionals to stay informed on the latest updates from the U.S. Department of Education, the current containment status of the pandemic, prevention tips, school closures, and teaching resources for classroom or virtual usage. Please bookmark and check this resource page daily for updates and share it with your network. Read on.
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Volunteer opportunities
NCSS has opportunities for member volunteers to get more involved with their professional organization. Read on for more information and to apply.
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Editor's Note
NCSS SmartBrief will not publish Feb. 15
In observance of Presidents Day in the US, NCSS SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Feb. 15. Publication will resume Wednesday, Feb. 17.
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When you clench your fist, no one can put anything in your hand, nor can your hand pick up anything.
Alex Haley,
February is Black History Month
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