PDE Social Studies

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July 2023 | Volume III, Number 7



Hello Everyone!

Act 35 Update

The 2022-23 Act 35 reporting is now open in the Future Ready Comprehensive Planning Portal (FRCPP); the  deadline for reporting is October 2, 2023.  Act 35 requirements began in the 2020-21 school year and requires each district, charter school, and comprehensive CTC to administer a locally developed assessment of United States history, government and civics. The assessment must be administered at least once to students in grades 7-12 and must include the nature, purpose, principles, and structure of United States constitutional democracy, the principles, operations, and documents of United States government, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

The data to be collected in the FRCPP system includes:

    • Type of the assessment administered
    • Total number of students who took the assessment
    • Total number of students who attained a passing grade on the assessment
    • Grade level or levels in which the assessment was administered
    • Course or course in which the assessment was administered
    • Number of students scoring 100% on the assessment

As you gather this information in preparation for the upcoming collection, you can find more information on Act 35, including guidelines for accessing and submitting your data at here.  \You may also find the “Frequently Asked Questions” document useful as well.

Note that if your charter school does not encompass grades 7-12, you are exempt from this submission.  However, if your school includes at least one grade level 7-12, this legislation applies to your LEA.  Submission is also required for IUs that provide civics instruction on behalf of their LEAs, as well as comprehensive CTC schools.

If you are experiencing issues where you are unable to submit after entering your data, please check that you have the proper “submit” role in the ADMIN area of FRCPP.  If the Act 35 Civic Knowledge survey isn’t appearing when you log in, you are not a registered user and you must be added by your localadmin user.  The FRCPP information page may assist as you encounter submission issues.


The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) was established by the legislature and Governor in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States; Pennsylvania’s integral role in that event; and the impact of its people on the nation’s past, present, and future. Click here to learn more about how you and your students can get involved.

2024 National History Day (NHD) in PA

2024 Contest Theme: Turning Points in History

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, NHD’s theme will be Turning Points in History; it invites you to consider questions of time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance.

A turning point in history is more than just an important event that happened a long time ago. It is more than a new idea or a particular action taken by an individual. A turning point is an idea, event, or action that directly, or sometimes indirectly, causes change.  Learn more about National History Day here.

Teach to Remember 9/11 “Lessons to be Learned.”

Bring Flight 93 National Memorial to Your Classroom!

The National Park Service in partnership with Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial to offer a 2023 National Day of Learning for grades 6-12 on Monday, September 11, 2023.

The event will be broadcast LIVE from Flight 93 National Memorial with the 22nd Commemoration Service Moment of Remembrance at 9:50 AM ET.


  • Virtual Event for Grades 6-12
  • Take a Guided Tour of the Memorial
  • Investigate the Flight 93 Story
  • Join Us Live for a Memorial Service, Moment of Remembrance at 9:50 AM ET
  • Sessions available Eastern and Pacific Time

*Registration will open soon for you to sign up your classroom.

To learn more, visit:



69th Annual PCSS Conference

October 20-21, 2023—Save the Date/Register Early.  The 69th Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies  will be held at various sites in Pittsburgh this October 20-21, 2023.  The conference theme is “Forging the Future of Social Studies.”  You can register here.

SAS Institute 2023 Request for Proposals

The Pennsylvania Department of Education's 2023 SAS Institute, Successful Leadership: Shaping Your School’s Storyis scheduled for December 11-13, 2023, at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

PDE encourages educators to submit proposals highlighting programs and initiatives addressing topics impacting our schools and students positively.  To submit a proposal, go to https://forms.gle/WQ93Rif7vCCdLgkc8 for a list of suggested topics and other relevant details.

Proposal submission deadline: August 14, 2023.

This Day in History

Start your social studies classes off right by subscribing to This Day in History, where you’ll get daily notifications of important historical events each day.  Click here to learn more and subscribe.

Pennsylvania Legislature Notifications Subscription

With a PaLegis Notifications account, you will receive the latest updates regarding legislation and committee activity.  Receive alerts on recent committee votes, meeting announcements, co-sponsorship memos and bill referrals.  See all legislative activity in the House and/or Senate for the day.  Track individual pieces of legislation, and receive alerts only on that legislation.  Sign up here.

Sign up for the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Weekly

Click here to subscribe to The National Constitution Center’s weekly wrap up of important news regarding Constitutional news and debate.

PCSS Professional Development Opportunity

PCSS is working with the New Jersey Center for Civic Education and the Pennsylvania Bar Association and still needs elementary civics teachers to come forward for a summer training with free materials and a stipend. We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.

A five-day summer institute and fall follow-up program of Professional Development for upper elementary teachers  is scheduled for July 16, 2023 through Friday, July 21, 2023- at The National Conference Center East Windsor, NJ.  Learn more here.

Smithsonian National Education Summit

This three-day summit (July 18-20) will focus on sustainability, STEAM, the Smithsonian’s “Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past” initiative, arts education, and more. In-person and virtual attendees welcome. Learn more and register here for free!

Teaching with Primary Sources

The Basil and Becky Educational Foundation (BBEEF) will be offering two Teaching With Primary Sources (TPS) workshops during the summer of 2023, using the critically acclaimed documentary Invisible Warriors: African American Women in World War II.

As part of the TPS Workshop, documentary Director, Gregory S. Cooke, will engage with teachers to share his use of primary sources in the creation of Invisible Warriors, as well as providing educational resources for teaching about African American women in World War II.

The 4-hour virtual TPS Workshops will be held on July 11 and July 19, 2023.  Register here.

Teaching African American History with Arlington National Cemetery

On Friday, Jul. 21st from 10am-3pm, participate in the first ever free teacher development workshop at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). The ANC Education Program is pilot testing the first ANC Teacher Development Workshop with local teachers, which may eventually grow into a national program. Arlington National Cemetery is a rich cultural resource. Whether you  take students to the cemetery or not, the ANC Education Program provides elementary, middle, and high school lesson plans and walking tours to connect students to America’s diverse history. To register, click here.

GW College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Virtual Teacher Workshop

The George Washington University’s East Asia National Resource Center (NRC) is organizing a professional development workshop for educators with the founder and co-director of C3 Teachers. C3 (College, Career, and Civic Life) education centers questions, tasks, and sources to define a curricular inquiry. Through a 2-part online workshop, educators have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to design their own inquiries on topics relating to East Asia. To learn more and register, click here.

Thank you for subscribing to the SAS Social Studies PLC and for all you do every day for the students in Pennsylvania!

Don McCrone
[email protected]

NOTE:  Sites identified here have been reviewed by the content advisor; however, educators are advised to preview for appropriateness for their respective classrooms.

Visit the PDE Social Studies Archive