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School Districts & Schools Selected to Innovate in Civics Education: Round 2

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) selected grantees for the second and final round of funding through House Bill 273 Civics Education Amendments (Rep. Dan Johnson). Passed in the 2022 General Session of the Utah Legislature, HB 273 dedicated $1.5 million over 3 years to pilot evidence-informed local innovations in civics teaching and learning. School districts or schools could apply under three categories:

  1. Constitutional literacy;

  2. Media literacy and/or digital citizenship; and

  3. Academic service learning initiatives that are grounded in an understanding of constitutional concepts and how the policymaking process works.

The following school districts received funding in Round 2:

  • Alpine School District: A Collaborative Cross-Curricular Approach to Increasing Civic Engagement through Media Literacy. Using curated content and process/research expertise, this project will develop a K-12 Media Literacy Skills Framework to prepare students for civic engagement. The Media Literacy Skills Framework will connect to core academic standards as well as USBE's Portrait of a Graduate. Along with the framework, the project will develop courses and modules that support students' civic engagement through their ability to find and evaluate information on a broad range of topics.

  • Granite School District: Civics Endorsement for Teachers creates an *endorsement program that allows educators to earn credit in their choice of three competencies: Constitutional Literacy, Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship, and/or Academic Service Learning. Participants will receive an endorsement upon completion. This endorsement program will be a collaborative effort between Granite School District and the University of Utah, with the goal of becoming an approved endorsement program through USBE.

The following schools received funding in Round 2:

  • Cedar High School (Iron County): We the People and Current Events Class. In this course students will analyze current events through the lens of the United States Constitution. Students will learn how the constitution applies to events in our world today. Students will show what they have learned in this class by participating in the state 'We the People' competition.

  • Cottonwood High School (Granite): A Civic Engagement Club will teach students their rights and duties as citizens emphasizing…

    • voting and communication with policy makers and

    • academic service learning community projects.

Lessons and activities will include how to register to vote, reach out to and research candidates of interest, fill out a ballot, communicate with lawmakers, navigate online resources like, the Utah Legislature’s award-winning website; and identify and address community needs.

  • Whitehorse High School (San Juan): Whitehorse Community Civic Capacity Project will build leadership capacity across the community via 3 approaches:

    • A Civics Capacity Coach will lead community leadership building for 6th - 12th scholars, paraprofessionals, substitutes, & other community members. This includes the development and implementation of culturally relevant digital literacy, academic service learning, and restorative practices curricula.

    • Academic service learning coaches will mentor 5 scholar leaders.

    • Leadership travel opportunities: Field trips to State Capitol events. Working with museums and other supporting partners, civics focused and content area immersive experiences will be tied to these trips.

These and the Round 1 grantees will “break ground” for innovations at the local level, discovering what works and what doesn’t and learning how to measure results and scale their impact.

*An endorsement is a specialty field or area earned through coursework equivalent to at least an academic minor or through demonstrated competency.

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