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Expanding High School Course Catalog Offerings

Summary: Seattle Public Schools has a new way for our students to access courses in Ethnic Studies, Black Studies, and American Indian Studies in the 2022-23.

SPS to Offer Districtwide Access to Ethnic Studies, Black Studies, and American Indian Studies Courses 

Seattle Public Schools has a new way for our students to access courses in Ethnic Studies, Black Studies, and American Indian Studies in the 2022-23 school year. There is also the possibility of virtual courses in LGBTQIA+ studies and world languages. SPS will offer virtual classes in the morning that allow students to take courses in these areas no matter where they are in the district. 

Expanded access to these courses is critical to our racial equity work and the commitment we have made to our community – particularly our students of color furthest from educational justice and their families – to offer Ethnic Studies, Black Studies, and American Indian Studies.  

SPS has made great progress in expanding course offerings in these areas, but many SPS students are unable to access the classes. By having common morning periods across SPS high schools, students will be able to access virtual Ethnic Studies, Black Studies, and American Indian Studies courses offered districtwide.  

SPS wants schools to continue to offer in-person courses. The long-term plan is for all schools to offer these courses in the buildings during the school day. The 2022-23 virtual courses in Ethnic Studies, Black Studies, and American Indian Studies are, in part, a bridge to a time when we can offer these courses to all students and at all schools.    

Course offerings

9th Grade – LGBTQIA Introduction to Literature & Composition (Yearlong)

This course focuses on the voices of LGBTQIA people. It concentrates on critical reading of texts from different genres, reflecting themes of identity and self-discovery and focuses on clear and purposeful writing. 

9-12th Grade – Arabic 1 (Yearlong)

This course introduces students to Arabic language and culture. The course prepares students to carry on basic conversation in Arabic, read and write simple sentences about familiar topics, and explores how and where Arabic-speaking people live. 

10th grade – Black Studies World History 3 (1 Semester)

The experiences of Africa and her diaspora are important to understanding the human dynamics that led to the enslavement and subsequent freedom of Black people around the world.  

11th grade – Black Studies US History 11 (Yearlong)

This course teaches students about the Black and African American experience from a national and global perspective.  

11th grade – Ethnic Studies US History 11 (Yearlong)

This course is designed to investigate self and society through the lens of Ethnic Studies. We will engage in problem-posing learning and critical inquiry to take ownership of our own narratives and to understand and respond to injustice in a variety of ways.  

11th grade – Filipinx American US History 11 (Yearlong)

This course helps students develop geographic literacy, economic understanding, and civic wisdom and commitment, and historical knowledge and perspective from 1877- 1950’s from a Filipino American lens. 

11th Grade – US History focusing on Since Time Immemorial 11 (Yearlong)

This course examines the development of America through the eyes of the hundreds of tribes who are the first people of this land. Students explore crucial tribal past and present issues, sovereignty, contributions, resistance, and resiliency while developing critical reading and writing skills. 

11th Grade- Asian American Literature – ELA 11 (Yearlong)

This course focuses on critically reading Asian American interpretations of the American experience and the American dream, with an emphasis on increasing the sophistication of students’ reading, writing and speaking skills. 

11th Grade – Native American Literature – ELA 11 (Yearlong)

In this course, students will read novels, short stories, poetry and personal narratives to expose them to a literary anthology of the Native American. 

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