History and Social Sciences
In Hopewell, the core social studies curriculum in grades K-12 includes content strands as identified in the Virginia Standards of Learning. These strands include history, geography, civics, and economics. Per the Virginia Department of Education, the History and Social Science Standards of Learning are designed to:
- Develop the knowledge and skills of history, geography, civics, and economics that enable students to place the people, ideas, and events that have shaped our state and our nation in perspective;
- Instill in students a thoughtful pride in the history of America through an understanding that what “We the People of the United States” launched more than two centuries ago was not a perfect union, but a continual effort to build a “more perfect” union, one which has become the world’s most successful example of constitutional self-government;
- Enable students to understand the basic values, principles, and operation of American constitutional democracy;
- Prepare students for informed, responsible, and participatory citizenship;
- Develop students’ skills in debate, discussion, and writing; and
- Provide students with a framework for continuing education in history and the social sciences.
Hopewell follows an adopted K–12 instructional sequence that best serves our students and meets the requirement that all Virginia school divisions prepare students to demonstrate achievement of the standards for elementary and middle school history and high school social sciences by the grade levels tested.
In Hopewell, our K-3 students demonstrate mastery of content through performance on teacher and division created alternate assessments. Fourth graders complete the state SOL assessment for Virginia Studies which includes study of Virginia’s rich history, from the cultures of its native peoples and the founding of Jamestown to the present. Ideas that form the foundation for political institutions in Virginia and the United States are also included in the curriculum. In grades 5-8, Hopewell students continue their study of American history and US government. Alternate assessments are given in grades 5-7 and the required SOL assessment is given in their 8th Grade Civics & Economics class. The high school instructional sequence of SOL tested courses includes World History I (ninth grade), World History II (optional for tenth grade), Virginia/United States History (eleventh grade), and Government (twelfth grade).
The geographic location of Hopewell provides rich opportunities for visits to local plantations, battlefields, museums, and the General Assembly. Visitors from Jamestown and Richmond bring living history lessons allowing students to experience hands-on learning in the classrooms. Elementary schools benefit from onsite economics lessons provided by Fort Lee Credit Union. Annually, Hopewell High School partners with the City of Hopewell for a Youth and Government Day. High school seniors work alongside city and government workers for a day enabling them to have a “real life” experience in the operation of government departments.