Teachers from Lake County Schools recently attended “Teacher Law School,” a two-day program in Orlando hosted by the Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Sections, to learn how to tailor curriculum to accommodate new state-mandated civic requirements.
Phased in over the course of several school years, the civics requirements kicked in this year as students entering sixth grade were required to take a one-semester civics course that includes the roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local governments and the structures and functions of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.
A standardized end-of-course exam (EOC) will be field tested this school year, and beginning in 2013-14, the Civics EOC will count for 30 percent of the student's grade. Performing well on the exam becomes even more crucial in 2014-15, when students must earn a passing grade on the exam to pass the course and be promoted to high school.
Ten teachers from Lake County Schools attended the event along with a staff member from the Department of Academic Services. The program tailored to Florida's new civics requirements and was opened to both middle (civics) and high school (government) teachers. Sessions included:
· The Branches of Government and Levels of Courts in both Florida State and Federal
· Role of the Lawyer in our System of Government
· History of the Jury System
· 4th and 5th Amendment
· Different Areas of Law
· Anatomy of a Criminal Case; Supreme Court Cases
· Anatomy of a Civil Case
· The Bill of Rights
· Impartial Judiciary and Elimination of Political Influence
· Mock Trial
The conference had about 80 participants from neighboring districts to include Orange and Seminole. This group was considered to be the inaugural class. The Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar presented each participant with a Juris Doctor Simulatus Degree for their completion of the program.