FISD Adds Second Ethnic Studies Course

Oct 13, 2021

African American Studies Class

Frisco ISD will introduce a high school course in Mexican American Studies starting in the 2022-23 school year. The one-credit social studies elective course will cover the history and cultural contributions of Mexican Americans.

It will be the second ethnic studies course offered in Frisco ISD. The District launched African American Studies in the 2021-22 school year with more than 270 students enrolled across all 11 FISD high schools. In addition, the District offers a multicultural section of Advanced Placement Seminar, which allows students to select topics of interest related to cultures from around the world.

Mexican American Studies and African American Studies are the only two ethnic studies courses approved by the State Board of Education and have defined learning standards outlined in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Mexican American Studies was approved by the State Board in 2018, while African American Studies was approved in 2020, respectively. 

The ethnic studies courses further a number of goals of the District, including promoting respect and understanding of diverse cultures and expanding opportunities for students to “see” themselves in history.

“Students who take ethnic studies courses are able to gain a deeper understanding of topics that there simply isn’t enough time to cover in other social studies classes,” said Meridith Manis, managing director of secondary teaching and learning. “In addition, the courses utilize an inquiry-based approach to enhance student engagement. Students have the opportunity to research overarching questions based on themes to drive learning in the classroom.”

Both ethnic studies courses are open to FISD high school students in grades 10 through 12, and there are no prerequisites. 

Over the next year, central staff will work with high school campuses to identify and select teachers for Mexican American Studies, develop curriculum resources based on the state TEKS and partner with regional service centers and surrounding districts who have also introduced ethnic studies courses to ensure a successful launch of the course.  

Mexican American Studies will be one of several new courses introduced in Frisco ISD next school year. Look for a full list and course descriptions coming prior to student course selection, which begins this winter. All class offerings will be posted online in the 2022-23 Academic Guide and Course Catalog when it becomes available. 

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