VERONA — Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School was recently accepted into the pilot program to offer students the New York State Seal of Civic Readiness. The Seal of Civic Readiness can be a 4+1 pathway to graduation, or a stand-alone diploma seal a student can earn.
In order to qualify, the social studies department had to compile all of the civic activities currently offered in their middle and high school programs. Acceptance into the program indicates that VVS’ civic opportunities are robust enough to offer students the activities necessary to prepare them to be active and civic-minded members of their community.
To earn the seal, students must accumulate a certain number of points, which can be gained through multiple methods. Instead of gaining credit only for classes taken and mastery of state exams, students will now be able to forge a new pathway to graduation by participating in other school and community opportunities such community service projects, getting involved in local or county government, or completing capstone projects on an issue they are passionate about, which will then be presented to the VVS Seal of Civic Readiness committee.
Social Studies Teacher Leader Brad Myatt led the application process, and credits their acceptance into the program on VVS’ long-standing tradition of providing students with numerous ways to demonstrate knowledge.
“Our department had already been offering multiple ways for students to show they are civically prepared and civically-minded, and now students are able to receive credit toward graduation or an additional acknowledgment that they have gone above and beyond in their studies,” Myatt said. “The Seal of Civic Readiness is a great opportunity for our learners who excel at hands-on learning and projects. We are proud to be a pilot school in such a forward-thinking program.”
The VVS Social Studies Department will be working with a NYSED field supervisor throughout the 2021-2022 school year to formalize their civics curriculum.
In their acceptance letter, Christine Radez, Social Studies Associate of the NYS Department of Education, stated, “On behalf of our Civic Readiness Task Force members, I extend gratitude for your efforts to support this important initiative. Our vision is that the Seal of Civic Readiness be available for all students across New York State in the future. The steps you have taken towards development of a civic readiness program and student credential are advancing that goal.”