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October 21, 2019 // Sudbury Eighth Graders to Visit Washington, D.C. Beginning in 2021

I'm pleased to announce that, beginning in the spring of 2021, Sudbury students' time in middle school will culminate in a study of civics in Washington, D.C.

The inaugural trip is set to take place in June 2021, with administrators planning to make it an annual affair for Curtis eighth graders. School staff have been working on developing the project since the beginning of last year, and will now escalate their work with education tour company Education First to make it a reality.

In June 2018 the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released a revised curriculum framework for History and Social Sciences, which puts a greater emphasis on civics across all grade levels. The eighth grade curriculum is directly focused on civics and government, with topics including the philosophical foundation of the U.S. political system, the development and institutions of the federal government, rights and responsibilities of citizens, the Constitution and more.

As part of the renewed curriculum, administrators began developing the Washington trip in order to provide hands-on reinforcement of the lessons students learn in the classroom.

"We are thrilled to offer the Washington, D.C. trip to our students and we are appreciative of the school committee for their strong support," Curtis Principal Jeff Mela said. "We believe the experience will be powerful and rewarding and will be a wonderful culminating event as the students finish their years at Curtis."

During the four-day trip to the nation's capital, students will visit a variety of key buildings and landmarks, including the Supreme Court, U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, National Archives and Arlington National Cemetery. Students will also have a chance to see firsthand the memorials marking the service and sacrifice in war, plus the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, among others.

Planners have also made it a priority for students to come away from the trip with a stronger sense of perspective on key historical moments, and have planned visits to various museums, including the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This trip will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our eighth graders to bring their classroom experiences to life and visit some of our country's most important landmarks. I'm thrilled with the work put in by so many people -- especially Humanities Curriculum Coordinator Lauren Egizio -- to make this program possible.

Parents will be invited to an information night this spring, where they can learn more about all of the details of the trip, including the itinerary and cost. The inaugural trip is expected to take place between June 8-11, 2021, and more details will be provided as they become available, including a website and social media accounts that will allow parents to stay informed prior to and during the trip.