Civic Learning Award: Albany High School

Albany High School

Albany Unified School District
County of: Alameda
Civic Learning Award of: Distinction

School Website

Highlight: A required social studies class for all 9th graders engages students in preparing for and conducting debate on current and compelling issues.

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Civic Learning Description

Albany High School lays the foundation for student civic learning with its 9th grade required debate program, through which students learn key academic skills such as reading non-fiction, as well as taking and defending positions. The school then gives students responsibility for setting school policy through its shared governance model. Complementing these efforts, the school cultivates student civic engagement through a robust extra-curricular program that involves one third of the student body in clubs such as Model United Nations, Debate, Amnesty International, Build-On, and Youth & Government.

Research-Based Civic Education Practices

This school demonstrates the following research-based best practices in civic education. For more information on research-based best practices, visit the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools website.
  • Provide instruction in government, history, law and democracy, and avoid teaching only rote facts about dry procedures.
  • Discuss current local, national and international issues and events in the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives.
  • Offer extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities.
  • Encourage student participation in school governance.
  • Encourage students’ participation in simulations of democratic process and procedures such as voting, trials, legislative deliberation, and diplomacy.

Contact Information

Karen DeHart
603 Key Route Blvd.
Albany, California 94706