Frequently Asked Questions

What is the relationship between Facing History and CPS on this project?

Chicago Public Schools invited Facing History and Ourselves, an educational nonprofit, to develop three 5-week units for implementation in CPS classrooms (8th grade, World and US History teachers), based on Facing History’s history and civics resources. Facing History will provide professional development (PD), educational resources, and support for teachers.

What CPS office supports this work?

The Office of Teaching and Learning/Department of Social Science and Civic Engagement. 

What do you mean by a unit?

The 5-week units—for Choices in Little Rock, Holocaust and Human Behavior, and The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy—offer daily lesson suggestions, print-ready student guides (available in English and Spanish), and formative and summative assessment ideas. These materials have been created expressly for use by CPS.

What is provided to participating educators?

  • Two days of professional development
  • 5-week unit, related resource book or study guide, and access to multimedia resources to support implementation
  • print-ready student guides (available in English and Spanish)
  • access to “just in time” resources, including those related to the content and current events
  • additional professional development invitations; and support for questions and sharing ideas.

What is the cost to participate?

Participation is free. Facing History staff will facilitate the professional development; develop (and distribute) the flexible, teacher-friendly unit plans (and accompanying resource book or study guides); provide a print-ready student guide for each unit; and offer implementation support. Thanks to the support of generous donors, we are also able to cover the fees for substitute teachers and lunch while staff are attending PD.

Where is the funding for this Initiative coming from?

There are no direct costs to the district thanks to the support of generous individual donors and private foundations, who have been inspired to support Facing History and this initiative in particular.

What if I have already attended qualifying Facing History professional development?

We will provide access to the new CPS-specific unit outlines to previously trained teachers on October 11th. Please RSVP here.

What support will be offered after the professional development?

  • Flexible and differentiated job-embedded support
  • Web page with resources
  • Program Associates who are available to answer questions and support implementation via phone, email, Google hangout, and webinar
  • Additional professional development including after-school workshops, 1-day workshops, summer seminars, planning days, webinars, and online workshops

Will participants receive clock hours?

Yes, educators who attend the entire PD session and provide their IEIN will receive clock hours.

How does this project support my school’s:

  • NWEA or SAT preparation?
    • The new SAT prioritizes textual evidence and students’ critical reading of challenging texts. Our high school units include rigorous historical documents that prompt students to read, connect, and gather evidence.
  • Social–emotional learning goals?
    • Facing History is one of only nine programs proven effective in developing students’ social–emotional competencies according to CASEL for both middle and high school.
  • Civic engagement?
    • Each unit is aligned to Illinois Social Studies and Civics Standards (inquiry skills, civic standards, history standards); and supports teachers in Proven Practices for Civic Learning.
    • The Facing History approach supports the development of student Agency, Authority, and Identity and connects historical study to informed action..

Ready to Participate? Have Additional Questions?

To register yourself or teachers at your school for upcoming professional development, or to learn more, contact:

[email protected]

We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for making possible the creation of this curriculum and professional development for Chicago Public Schools:

Christopher Family Foundation
Crown Family Philanthropies
Karen Harrison and Walter Freedman
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Linda and Judd Miner
Oppenheimer Family Foundation
Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation
The Segal Family Foundation
Zell Family Foundation

*Recognizing commitments made as of September 2018.

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