Local schools work to change history curriculum

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Albemarle County Public Schools partnered with James Madison’s Montpelier and the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation to broaden the lens on the untold history of slavery in the classroom.

The goal is to develop a more comprehensive and historically accurate social studies curriculum as “Reframing the Narrative.”

The plan was funded by a $299,500 grant awarded to the Montpelier Foundation.

According to Albemarle County Public Schools, the grant will support the school division’s teachers in collaborating with Montpelier to create a social studies curriculum that will improve the teaching and learning of slavery.

ACPS says this will provide teachers with experience, language and frameworks for discussions around a broader, more complete teaching and learning of history that will address the legacies of racism, slavery and inequity.

"It can help educators better connect the past and present to think about their students and where they are coming from and where they are meeting them and think about themselves as educators in this world,” said Montpelier Foundation Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chew.

In September, educators from Albemarle County and Charlottesville visited sites and participated in work sessions that would help them gain the tools needed to teach and learn about the hard history.

It is one of the first steps to prepare teachers for the work to change the social studies curriculum.

"In practice, what that looks like is ensuring that multiple perspectives and critical thinking are embedded in all history lessons," said Albemarle County Public Schools Instructional Coach Adrienne Oliver. "It will look like ensuring that our relationships with students are built with anti-racist mindsets and cultural responsible lens,”

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