• Gather advice regarding PreK-12 social studies instruction that is focused on developing Historians and Global Thinkers as stated in the Bellingham Promise.
  • Meet two to three times a year to address issues related to social studies standards, instruction and assessment, and professional development needs.
  • Communicate findings to affected stakeholders.

Basis for Establishment:

  • To increase opportunities for teachers, principals and Department of Teaching and Learning to collectively collaborate around the development of historians and global thinkers as stated in the Bellingham Promise.
  • To create an ongoing process for addressing standards, instruction and assessment decisions, alignment and communication regarding social studies instruction.
  • To advise regarding needs and priorities in social studies.

Decision-Making Process:

  • This group will make any necessary decisions based on a consensus of those present and primarily serve in an advisory capacity to Department of Teaching and Learning and the Superintendent.

Plan of Work:

  • Convene committee to understand the scope of the work of the year (and ongoing).
  • Understand how the Developing Historians and Global Thinkers advisory group relates to other Teaching and Learning Advisory groups and the Bellingham Promise.
  • Review recent research on best practices in social studies.
  • Analyze current assessment data.
  • Examine current state, local and other related standards, assessments and instructional implications.
  • Collect feedback from staff, students and parents, as needed.


  • Rotating/staggered memberships: Three-year, two-year and one-year memberships will be established at each level, so that we can have an ongoing advisory group over time without losing momentum
  • Elementary teachers: Jamine Moss-Owen, Happy Valley and Gaye Fullner, Sunnyland.
  • Middle school teachers: Alisa Sachs, Fairhaven; Alex Giebelhaus, Kulshan and Stephanie Strow, Shuksan.
  • High school teachers: Shannon Eubank,Sehome; Karen Anastasio, Squalicum; Bruce Mansfield, Bellingham.
  • Katie Ruthford, Dean of Students, Squalicum High School
  • Charisse Berner, Director of Teaching and Learning – Co-chair
  • Keith Schacht, Director of Teaching and Learning– Co-chair


  • Communicate and make public all meeting agendas and minutes
  • Director of Teaching and Learning shares outcomes with DTL team to surface potential impact on priorities across the system.


Budget Implications: 

  • $5,000 – Curriculum rate paid to members (for attendance at Advisory Group meetings) and if needed, paid time for substantial tasks between meetings.
  • The advisory group may recommend that a review committee be formed to address significant curricular needs.