Women’s History…New Class?

Getting a new class through the county system is tough, but it seems extremely tough for World History teacher Courtney Nice.
Nice has been working to introduce a social studies elective teaching students about Women’s History at Stafford High School. In order to run the gamut, she’s had to figure out the process of passing the class, whether students would want to take the class and what type of coursework the class would have.
Nice has been developing the class since 2019, and she has spent hours researching – advice from a teacher in Fauquier County was handy too – and filling out the required paperwork. The standardized county form consists of an in-depth look into the class being requested. According to Nice, “COVID really pushed the process back.”
Not only have the lengthy effects of COVID slowed her progress, but when a new class is introduced, it must be proposed to other schools and not just the Stafford County School Board. Each high school reviewed the course and all it would entail, and decided if they would want to teach the course in addition to Stafford High. “Unfortunately, there was not any ‘buy in’ to teach the course from the other schools,” Nice said regarding the class being passed around from school to school. Consequently, due to the lack of that ‘buy in’ from other high schools, the class may not be presented to the School Board, which decides whether the class will be implemented.
Mrs. Nice created the course from scratch with help from various history teachers. Stretching the curriculum from important women of their times and their historic significance, to the women’s rights movements and recent women’s historic moments. Beginning with early evolution and ancient civilization with a lens on women, and eventually through the centuries and finally arriving at important women figures in modern society.
The course will contain subjects split into four quarters – representing the four grading-periods. First quarter will have basic women vocabulary, early women, expectations for early women and the science of woman’s anatomy. Second quarter would consist of early European women, their social status through life and the effect of a female ruler with the struggles they had. The third and fourth quarters will consist of early American women and more specifically, famous women of early American life.
Mrs. Nice is still working on getting the class pushed through, and although there is not a teacher assigned to the elective at this point, Nice adds, “I would be honored to teach it. There is such a need to have more representation of women’s history.”