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Literacy & Humanities


Seal of Civic Readiness

The Seal of Civic Readiness, modeled on the existing Seal of Biliteracy, is a formal recognition that a student has attained a high level of proficiency in terms of civic knowledge, civic skills, civic mindset, and civic experiences.
To obtain the Seal of Civic Readiness, a student must complete all requirements for a New York State local or Regents diploma and earn a specified number of points, to be outlined in guidance issued by the Department, in two areas: Civic Knowledge and Civic Participation.

  • Civic Knowledge: Students may demonstrate proficiency in civic knowledge by earning credit in Social Studies courses, receiving a passing or mastery score on a Social Studies Regents Exam, or completing a civic readiness research project.

  • Civic Participation: Students may demonstrate proficiency in civic participation by completing a culminating high school civics project, completing a service learning project, achieving proficiency in a civic engagement elective course, or participating in an extra-curricular program or work-based learning experience that promotes civic engagement or civic action for a minimum of 40 hours. Students may also earn points by completing a middle school Capstone project or a high school Capstone project.

Civic Readiness Pathway to a High School Diploma

The Department proposed a rule to allow students who earn the Seal of Civic Readiness to apply that accomplishment toward a +1 Civic Readiness pathway to a diploma. The proposed pathway would allow students to graduate with a regular diploma when they have demonstrated the State's standards for academic achievement in math, English, science, social studies and the State's requirements for civic readiness knowledge and skills necessary for college, career and citizenship after high school.

The Civics Readiness pathway would be added to the existing +1 pathways to a diploma that currently include STEM-Math, STEM, Science, Humanities, Arts, CTE, CDOS and World languages.


Next Steps

Schools participating in the pilot for the Seal of Civic Readiness completed a self-assessment application and submitted it to the Office of Curriculum and Instruction for approval. Schools meeting the Department’s criteria will begin the pilot in September 2021. Participating schools will be expected to provide examples of lessons and activities that will be included in the final Seal manual as exemplars for the Seal of Civic Readiness.

The Department will collect information and resources from outside organizations that provide guidance on civics education during the pilot. Using the information attained from the pilot, the Department will then finalize and publish the Seal manual that will include the approved criteria for offering and attaining the Seal, along with analytical data from the pilot. Pending the success of the pilot, the Department projects that in the 2022-23 school year, the Seal of Civic Readiness will be an option for all NYS school districts that wish to apply.

If adopted at the September 2021 meeting, the proposed rule will become effective on September 29, 2021
(from 'News Release: Board of Regents Acts on Measures to Promote Civic Education and Bring Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to New York Schools', dated 5/10/21)



New York State Social Studies K-12 Resource Toolkit
Curriculum Resources
Social Studies Organizations
Primary Sources
PO Box 4754
Syracuse, NY 13221

Matthew L. Cook, Ed.D.
District Superintendent
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