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M-CHS offers more social studies options

World history will not be offered during the transition

World history will not be offered at Montezuma-Cortez High School next year as the school “transitions” into a more flexible schedule for students.

In an email to The Journal, Principal Jason Wayman explained that Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 and the high school require three credits of social studies. Previously, freshmen were automatically enrolled in world history. Now, freshmen will be enrolled in U.S. history, and have additional options for their social studies credits later on.

He wrote that students do not have to take U.S. history as freshmen.

“It is just the first course they take when they embark in receiving their 3 credits,” Wayman wrote. “Students could take it as a freshman or sophomore.”

In an interview with KSJD Morning Edition Host and News Director Austin Cope, Wayman said that the world history class will be available again once 2018-2019 freshmen and sophomores take U.S. history and are eligible to chose their next social studies course.

Wayman told The Journal that for the past six years, M-CHS has offered world history, U.S. history and government classes to students as social studies credits.

“During the current school year, we have been revising our diploma pathways to align with District policies and the guidance from the State of Colorado for graduation pathways,” Wayman wrote.

“The State of Colorado requires that all students take a class that includes civics, and the District requires students to take U.S. history,” he explained.

The change will allow students to choose their third social studies credit in their sophomore or junior year.

“While (world history) is a valuable class, we would like to expand opportunities for our students to have a choice in the 3rd Social Studies course,” Wayman wrote. “In order to better serve our students and their choices, we have moved U.S. History to the freshman level and American Government will be offered to Juniors and Seniors.”

After taking U.S. history in the 2018-2019 school year, students may choose from economics, psychology, geopolitical affairs or world history.

“All of these classes will include elements and standards from World History, so that our students have a local, national and global perspective,” Wayman wrote.

On May 17, Cortez radio station KSJD reported that the high school would no longer require students to take world history classes.

“World history was never in the graduation requirements,” Wayman told The Journal in a phone call on Wednesday.

Wayman apologized for the confusion but said he was excited that the changes will allow students more choice and independence.

“I always appreciate the value and passion that our community has for education,” Wayman wrote. “I hope that the passion and support continues to grow.”

Wayman asked that anyone with questions or concerns should contact him via email at jwayman@cortez.k12.co.us.