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“What IS Civic Learning, Anyway?”

Dear FV Families,

You may know that Flora Vista has won Civic Learning Awards. Last year, in fact, we were the only elementary school in California to receive the highest award – but what exactly IS Civic Learning??? Great question, so here’s a quick primer about our site focus of Leadership in Civics! Sustaining the in-depth and many-layered work of Civic Learning involves overlapping key tenets:


Critical Thinking & Information Literacy:

To cut right to the chase, we are no longer a society in which a paper literacy is sufficient, and it is not a stretch to say that simply understanding the written word on the page will leave a child woefully unprepared for his or her future. Worse, it leaves a young person subject to the manipulation of others. From the earliest grades, students think about more than just the Language Arts standard of “Who is telling the story?” A mindset of critical thinking & information literacy adds the key follow-up questions of:

· Whose story is NOT being told?

· “How do I evaluate this information?” (credibility, accuracy, relevance)

While the levels of complexity across grades will differ, of course, these questions are about EQUITY, and they are naturally important at every age. (As we all know, fairness is one of the most important principles to a child!)


Empathy & Civil Discourse:

Seeking and considering the perspectives of others is critical, and at the intersection of all of this work, you will find empathy and civil discourse. Through literature, historical events, and experiences, students expand on their innate sense of empathy and their lens outside of self, engaging in a respectful dialogue with others. Our TRAC program and Social-Emotional Learning are also critical supports in this effort.


Civic Learning & Civic Engagement:

Students want to feel that what matters to them matters, and that that they can make tangible differences in this world. When the other tenets are supported, their agency is a natural outcome. Across all grades at Flora Vista, you will find students seeking to improve our community and our world!

Our FV/EUSD staff love this Civic Learning work, and present at conferences locally and nationally to support this learning statewide and nationally. To learn more, please come to a Principal’s Chat, or ask your child’s teacher what this looks like in his/her classroom!


In Gratitude,

Chris Juarez

Principal

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