Starting in the next academic year, Frisco ISD high schools are set to begin offering an African American Studies course for students in grades 10-12.
The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees on Monday unanimously approved offering the course starting in the 2021-2022 school year as a Social Studies elective.
Meridith Manis, secondary social studies coordinator for Frisco ISD, said curriculum coordinators have been looking at adding social studies elective courses for students.
“Through this journey, we’ve considered Mexican American Studies, African American Studies and the idea of creating our own American Cultures course,” Manis said. “After careful consideration and meetings with our diversity task force, with staff and students, we have decided we would like to offer African American Studies to our students beginning in the fall of 2021.”
The goal is to offer the course at each FISD high school to students in grades 10 through 12, and the course will count as one social studies elective credit, Manis said. She said the team hoped to begin working with campuses during the upcoming spring semester to select teachers and resources, as well as to provide professional learning for staff.
“In April of this year, the state board of education approved African American Studies as a (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)-based course focused on helping students understand the significant roles played by African Americans and their impact on American history,” said Jeremiah Rush, secondary social studies coordinator with the district.
Rush said the course is based on an elective developed by Dallas ISD.
“We are excited to offer this course as our first ethnic studies course with the anticipation of offering Mexican American studies in the future,” Rush said.
According to district paperwork, the course would not have any prerequisites.
“This course develops an understanding of the historical roots of African American culture, especially as it pertains to social, economic and political interactions within the broader context of United States history,” district paperwork states.
The class would require an analysis of important ideas, social and cultural values, beliefs and traditions, according to the paperwork.
“Knowledge of past achievements provides citizens of the 21st century with a broader context within which to address the many issues facing the United States,” district paperwork states.