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Q: What does my child learn in elementary social studies?

MPS Students in grades K-3 are introduced to the foundations of social studies, which includes civics, economics, geography, and history. In grades 4-5, the curriculum is based heavily upon learning about the Geography and History of North America to 1800. 

Q: What does my child learn in middle school school social studies?

Students in 6th grade take Minnesota Studies, in 7th grade they take US Studies, and in 8th grade they take World Studies. Each course includes the disciplines of civics, economics, history and geography.

Q: What does my child learn in high school social studies? 

In order to graduate from high school, students must take and pass 1 semester each of Geography, Economics, and US Government, plus 1 year each of World History and U.S. History. They may take advanced courses (AP, IB, CIS, or PSEO) to fulfill these requirements. For more information regarding MPS high school graduation requirements, please see the MPS Graduation Requirement page. 

Q: Who decides the social studies curriculum?

The curriculum is based on standards and benchmarks from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Teachers have some autonomy, but are required to use these standards and benchmarks as the foundation for their course. Courses not based on these standards and benchmarks are considered electives.

Q: If I have questions or concerns in regards to the current social studies curriculum who should I contact?

Questions and concerns regarding the current Social Studies curriculum that is implemented in Minneapolis Public Schools can be directed to your child's social studies teacher, your principal, or Lisa Purcell, the Social Studies content lead K-12. Please email her at Lisa.Purcell@mpls.k12.mn.us or call at 612.668.0252.