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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
March 6, 2018

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals:

2018 California Council for the Social Studies Conference

I would like to encourage you to consider supporting the attendance of administrators and teachers from your district and schools at the upcoming annual conference of the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) in San Diego, California, from March 23–25, 2018. Many elements of the conference, from the framing theme to specific programming and activities, will greatly enhance district and school faculty and staff in their efforts to implement priority initiatives of the California Department of Education (CDE) to advance civic education and the new History-Social Science (HSS) Framework.

In July 2016, the State Board of Education approved the new framework. Since then, there has been unprecedented collaboration between the CDE, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, and the California History-Social Science Project to provide professional learning conferences to introduce the changes of the new HSS Framework. These successful rollout events have been held up and down the state, and for the second year in a row, a rollout event has been added as a pre-conference session to the CCSS annual conference.

CCSS has made a point to support the new framework by highlighting inquiry and civic instruction in its programs and publications, and it continues to emphasize the implementation of the framework at its 2018 Conference, “Tearing Down the Walls: Building Connections, Collaboration, and Civil Discourse.”

Citizenship instruction is one of the shifts in the 2016 HSS Framework, and civic education is also one of my priority initiatives, which has resulted in the publication Revitalizing K–12 Civic Learning in California: A Blueprint for Action and the implementation of the Civic Learning Awards. The conference this year has many elements that support the work of the task force and report, including Diana Hess and Sam Wineburg as keynote speakers, sessions aligned with civic education, a gubernatorial candidates’ debate that is open to the public, and a “marketplace of things and ideas” at which the leading providers of instructional materials (including new textbooks) will be sharing their resources.

It is imperative to present a full and complete curriculum to all students to prepare them to engage in civic life. The conference’s focus on civics and civil discourse is complemented with conference sessions on literacy and inquiry development, support for district instructional materials adoption, and an “administrators’ colloquium” that is targeted to support implementation of the new framework and approaches to integrating civic education goals into districts’ Local Control and Accountability Plans. Additionally, as the conference theme, “Tearing Down the Walls,” embodies, equity and access for all students is a key focus of the conference.

For more information about attending the conference, please visit or e-mail the CCSS Executive Director, Avi Black, at

I hope you will be able to support your staff and faculty’s attendance at the conference so that they will come away with more ideas to make California’s students college, career, and civic life ready!


Tom Torlakson


Last Reviewed: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

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