DEXTER, Maine — SAD 46 high school students receive much information from early historical eras but little about current historical events. That will change next year.
Dexter Regional High School is adding a government requirement for seniors, extending the district’s graduation requirement in history from 3 to 3½ credits, according to SAD 46 Superintendent Kevin Jordan.
SAD 46 directors held the first reading of the new curriculum offering earlier this month, and there has been no opposition to it, Jordan noted.
“Government had been taught as part of the regular curriculum, but it’s only touched on in our U.S. history classes,” he said Friday.
Steve Bell, Dexter Regional High School principal, said it’s difficult to keep students up on current affairs in the routine U.S. history classes.
“Every year that goes by, we’re adding a year of history that’s happened and it’s just more and more difficult,” he said Friday. “Kids were lucky if they were getting through World War II and never approaching topics such as Vietnam or the Korean War.”
School officials want students to learn more about the events of the 1970s and later so they can have conversations with their parents and grandparents who lived during those periods.
“It’s really just an exposure thing and bringing them up into more contemporary things that are happening now,” Bell said.
While an elective government class has been offered over the years, no history classes have been required for seniors, so this move will bring the school in line with other Maine schools, according to Bell. “This way all seniors will be exposed to government and what it means to be a citizen in a democratic society,” he said.