History/Social Studies » History/Social Studies Homepage

History/Social Studies Homepage


Department Co-Chairs: Dr. Fey and Ms. Mac

Click here for the California History / Social Studies Standards, which are broken down by grade level. Click here for the Common Core Literacy Standards for History- Social Science.



The LACES history/social studies department’s mission is to help students develop the skills, knowledge, and motivation necessary to become informed, responsible citizens capable of effective civic engagement.  We endeavor to create classrooms in which students learn to solve problems critically and creatively, act respectfully and responsibly, communicate effectively, embrace diversity, and support the community on local, national, and global platforms.
Starting in middle school, LACES students focus on the historical reading, writing, and thinking skills necessary to be successful in history/social studies courses throughout their time at LACES and beyond.  Drawing inspiration from the Stanford History Education Group and the College Board, LACES teachers embed the instruction of key historical thinking skills into our middle school curriculum that vertically align to our high school history/social studies curriculum.  These skills include, but are not limited to:  contextualization, close reading and analysis of primary and secondary sources, comparing and contrasting historical issues, identifying continuity and change and cause and effect, and writing evidence-based arguments.
In high school, students continue to refine these skills in both regular and Advanced Placement courses.  The department offers a wide range of AP core and elective courses and encourages all students to take AP courses during their time at LACES.  Core AP offerings include AP World History, AP US History, AP Government, AP Human Geography, and AP Psychology.  LACES pioneered the AP Capstone program in LAUSD, which is an innovative two-year course sequence in which students learn the essential skills of both primary and secondary research.  Currently, LACES is one of only about a dozen schools in LAUSD that offers the Capstone program.
LACES history/social science teachers are committed to creating culturally relevant curriculum that reflects and honors the experiences of our diverse student body.  All ninth graders take a one-semester Ethnic Studies course that explores how race and ethnicity have been constructed in the United States, and how they continue to shape the United States and contemporary issues.   African American and Latino American Studies courses delve more deeply into issues raised in Ethnic Studies, and focus on the ways in which students can empower themselves to achieve their life goals despite the numerous historical and contemporary obstacles students of color face in American society.
In  addition to the most up-to-date approved textbooks available to the District, the department’s teachers incorporate curriculum from a wide range of sources.  These sources include the Stanford History Education Group, Teaching for Justice, the Brown Choices Program, the News Literacy Project, Facing History and Ourselves, Next Gen Personal Finance, the Zinn Education Project, the DBQ Project, and PBS Learn.