Frisco ISD is looking ahead to offering a Mexican American Studies course next school year.
The course, developed by Houston ISD and approved by the state board of education in 2018, will serve as a one-year social studies elective credit.
The class is slated to be offered at all Frisco ISD high school campuses with hopes that enough students sign up for the courses to “make,” said Korinna Kirchhoff, communications facilitator with Frisco ISD.
“In Mexican American Studies, students learn about the history and cultural contributions of Mexican Americans,” a course description from the Texas Education Agency states. “Students will explore history and culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. They will have opportunities to interact with relevant film, literature, art, and other media. The course emphasizes developments in the 20th and 21st centuries, but students will also engage with developments prior to the twentieth century.”
On Tuesday, Meridith Manis, managing director of Secondary Teaching and Learning, told district board members that Frisco ISD had been looking at ethnic studies courses since 2018. The course is based on Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), or state standards for what students should know and be able to do.
“We know that these courses offer relevant curriculum to our students who choose to take them,” Manis said. “It also helps us in building community across our community, across our district with our students. They get a deeper understanding of history that they don’t always get a chance to dig deep into in our other TEKS-based courses.”
The course’s inception comes after the district began offering an African American Studies course for the first time this year.
The African American Studies course was offered at 10 high schools this year and currently has 273 students enrolled. The course is based on state standards and follows an inquiry-based model. Manis said all 12 high school campuses will offer the course next year.