The idea has been germinating for a couple of years, but now the Hall County school district intends to push the notion of being constitutionally literate.
The district has created an online course on the Constitution, will present seniors at its high schools with a copy of the document and is seeking donations to print enough booklets to give to anyone who wants one.
“The big thing is the challenge that we’re putting out to the community,” Will Schofield, Hall County superintendent, said Monday. That challenge is to become “the most constitutionally literate community in the nation.”
The district will start that process on Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11, by having veterans present copies of the Constitution to the more than 1,700 seniors in the county’s high schools.
Schofield explained the district created a social studies committee about two years ago, and the discussion included putting more attention to the “principles that we were founded on” and that “are unique to who we are.”
The push now, he said, came because “I was tired of waiting for somebody to do the right thing.”
The online course will be available for teachers — and for the community. The site address is hallco.org/constitution. The course is geared to middle and high school students.
The course includes an introduction and four modules: The U.S. Constitution and Foundation of Our Nation, Declaration of independence — American Beginnings, Between the Declaration and Independence — The Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution and Constitutional Amendments.
Schofield said anyone who completes the course may get a certificate, print it out and go to any high school and get a copy of the Constitution.
“It’s a tangible way to care for the country,” Schofield said, referring to the district’s motto of “the most caring place on earth.”
The online course focuses on the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Schofield said it provides the answer to “who we are and how we were formed.”
He said the district has had 3,500 copies of the booklet on the Constitution printed, and “we’ll order as many as it takes,” he said. The website also includes a link for community members to donate to the project.
The online course was developed in about six weeks, Eddie Millwood, digital convergence specialist for the district, said. It included curriculum development from Matt Phillips at West Hall High School and Joel Cantrell at Davis Middle School, plus technical work from the district’s technology department.