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Social Studies

Marlene Colonna, Director of Social Studies and Business
(914) 630-3147


The Harrison Central School District's Social Studies Department engages students in exploration of the human world through five primary fields of study: economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology. We prepare students to participate actively in local and global communities through inquiry-based learning, the use of multiple sources of evidence to take and defend viewpoints, and an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all people in a culture and society. We believe that a deep knowledge of the past develops strong skills and dispositions to help our learners shape the future. Our program is based on the New York State Social Studies Frameworks. We offer coursework in the History of the United States and New York State; World History; Geography; Economics; Civics, Citizenship, and Government. The Frameworks outline the knowledge and skills that all Harrison students will develop to show readiness for college, career, and civic life.



Harrison's K-5 Social Studies Program is built upon the "expanding horizons" model, in which students learn about themselves and the wider world in progressive stages. The K-2 curriculum focuses on self and others, families, and communities. The Grade 3 curriculum focuses on communities around the world. In Grade 4, students study State and Local History and Government. In Grade 5, students explore the wider world in-depth by studying the Western Hemisphere (including the United States, Canada, and Latin America). Social Studies is often integrated with English Language Arts to build fundamental literacy skills. The curriculum topics by grade level are listed below:

Kindergarten: Self and Others

  • Grade 1: My Family and Other Families, Now and Long Ago
  • Grade 2: My Community and Other United States Communities
  • Grade 3: Communities Around the World
  • Grade 4: Local History and Local Government
  • Grade 5: The Western Hemisphere

Harrison's middle-level learners continue their world exploration in Grade 6 with a comprehensive study of the Eastern Hemisphere. Grades 7 and 8 focus on a chronological survey of United States History, from initial European exploration of North America to the present day: Grade 7 examines exploration to the American Civil War; Grade 8 examines the Reconstruction period to the present day. In both Grades 7-8, students learn about the impact that individuals and groups had on shaping the growth of the United States. The curriculum topics by grade level are listed below:

  • Grade 6: The Eastern Hemisphere
  • Grade 7: United States and New York State History - I
  • Grade 8: United States and New York State History - II



Harrison's high school program prepares students for the rights and responsibilities of active citizenship - from Westchester to the wider world. Students begins their experience with a two-year comprehensive survey of Global History and Geography. This sequence prepares students for multiple pathways leading to a Regents and International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. All students take Global History and Geography 9 and have the option of taking either Global History and Geography 10 or Advanced Placement (AP) World History. Either course prepares students for the rigors of advanced study in Grade 11and 12: United States History and Government, Law and Government, and Economics. As an IB World School, Harrison High School offers courses taught by expert teachers trained in internationally-recognized social studies instruction. Our rigorous course offerings prepare students to begin IB-level Social Studies in Grade 11. Our four IB courses (History of the Americas, 20th Century World History, Economics, and Psychology) prepare students for college and career readiness with significant research and writing opportunities. Course offerings are listed below:

  • Grade  9: Global History and Geography 9
  • Grade 10: Global History and Geography 10 or AP World History
  • Grade 11: United States History and Government 11 or  IB History of the Americas
  • Grade 12: Law and Government and Economics  or IB 20th Century World History 
  • Grade 11 and/or 12:  IB Economics, IB Psychology