Social Studies

The field of social science in the 21st Century has evolved beyond acquisition of factual knowledge.  Students are expected to utilize historical thinking skills to analyze events of the past, as well as, current issues.  In order to support students in their acquisition of historical thinking skills, the social studies 6 to 12 department has been reflecting on our current approaches to teaching and learning and considering the classroom environment that best supports this significant shift.  We are creating classroom environments in which students are doing the work of historians.

The New York State Social Studies Framework and the College Board History courses have been revised in

recent years to include a strong focus on the skills of history. The standards target and the assessments measure students ability to apply conceptual understanding of history through the use of historical thinking skills.

History can be used to understand and grapple with current complex issues.  In order to do so successfully, we need to create an environment in which our students can ask questions, share their thoughts and seek answers while strengthening their historical thinking skills. To that end, the social studies department emphasizes productive classroom discussions to lead to more civically engaged and responsible students. 

Historial Thinking Skills



The Social Studies Department, grades 6 to 12, developed this common language of historical thinking skills. Click here or on the image above to learn more!




New York State Seal of Civic Readiness
Beginning with the class of 2024, Byram Hills students will be eligible to apply for this distinction. The Seal of Civic Readiness is a formal recognition that a student has attained a high level of proficiency in terms of civic knowledge, civic skills, civic mindset, and civic experiences.

To learn about the Seal and its requirements, begin by watching the Seal of Civic Readiness video.

To access all the criteria and directions, review the Byram Hills High School Seal of Civic Readiness Options and Requirements.

Important Required Steps for the Class of 2024:
1. Complete the Seal of Civic Readiness Interest Declaration Form by September 15 to indicate if and when you plan to apply for the Seal.

2. Apply for the Seal via the Seal of Civic Readiness Application Form. There are three deadlines to apply: September 29, December 1, or April 26.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Dr. Jen Laden at or at (914) 273-7233.

Seal of Civic Readiness