Civic Learning Award: Amador Valley High School

Amador Valley High School

Pleasanton Unified School District
County of: Amador
Civic Learning Award of: Merit
Recognized for: mandatory civics course and leadership program, as well as its robust extra-curricular program.


Civic Learning Description

Amador Valley High School’s senior level, mandatory civics course encourages participation in democratic processes and procedures. Students recreate hearings originally held in the US Congress after researching issues of national importance to prepare for an oral testimony at a hearing. The assignment builds on Amador Valley’s nationally recognized “We the People” competitive civics team, which has become a benchmark for civic education in its community for the past 25 years. Amador also offers a leadership program that encourages students to participate in school governance and encourage the school’s student body to get involved in community service.

Research-Based Civic Education Practices

This school demonstrates the following research-based best practices in civic education:
• 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.
For more information on research-based best practices, visit the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools website.

Contact Information

Brian Ladd
1155 Santa Rita Road
Pleasanton, CA 94566
(925) 461-6133