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9. Products, Services and Programs

9.1 Governance and Services

9.1.1 Membership Services Eligibility

National Council for the Social studies will promote the full and active participation in the social studies profession of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas (urban, rural, and suburban). Any person having a direct professional relationship with NCSS may join as a comprehensive or regular member of the National Council and is eligible to vote for officers of the council, hold office, or be appointed to committees. Any college student having a professional relationship with NCSS may join as a comprehensive, regular, or student member of National Council and is eligible to vote for officers of the council, hold office, or be appointed to a committee. Dues

Annual dues shall be determined by the board of directors and reviewed at lease once every three years at the winter meeting of the board. Payment of these dues entitles a member to a year's subscription to the official periodical and to such other publications as the board of directors shall determine. It also entitles him/her to attend all public meetings, to vote for elective officers of the council, and to hold the office(s) to which he/she may be appointed or elected. Members and subscribers who terminate their membership will receive pro-rated refunds based on renewal date. Benefits

All members receive the newsletter, The Social Studies Professional and a choice of all issues of Social Education or the September and May/June issues of Social Education and four issues of Social Studies and the Young Learner. Comprehensive members receive all bulletins plus any additional special publications. Members receive reduced registration fees for the annual conference. All members are eligible to receive various NCSS awards (see Section 6.32), and members may call on NCSS staff for information. Travel and insurance options, etc. are made available at the board's discretion. Criteria for Endorsement of NCSS Membership Benefits. Procedures

  1. Either a benefit is brought to staff's attention and they seek bids, or a vendor comes to staff with a program.
  2. Vendors give staff materials and often make a presentation.
  3. Staff evaluates the materials. Staff also calls at least three current clients of the service for evaluations.
  4. Staff makes a go/no go decision on the merits of the program (see criteria below) and on the comments from current clients.
  5. If the decision is go, a proposal is presented to the executive committee and then to the board of directors for approval. Criteria

  1. Value to NCSS members; program is recognized as a member service from NCSS.
  2. Is it an appropriate service for NCSS to offer?
  3. Is the service reputable? Is the vendor reputable?
  4. What type of a service record does the vendor have? How do they administer the program? (e.g., process complaints, claims, answer mail, etc.)
  5. Are costs reasonable and fair?
  6. Will NCSS, as an organization, benefit from offering the service? (e.g., reputation, financial) Review Procedures

  1. Monitor members' responses: number of users and user satisfaction.
  2. Staff conducts periodic review on a regular basis Membership Promotion by Affiliated Councils Initial memberships Initial memberships may be gathered by affiliated councils which may act as agents for NCSS and send the total amounts to the NCSS office. Currently, fifty percent of dues of a new member recruited by an affiliated council is kept by the affiliated council and fifty percent is sent to NCSS. Renewals NCSS is directly responsible for processing all types of NCSS members; i.e., regular, comprehensive, student, and retired, as well as subscriptions. NCSS also processes memberships for associated groups. NCSS membership renewals are handled exclusively by NCSS, not by affiliates. Advertising for Affiliated Councils NCSS will prepare a series of advertisements that can be sent to all affiliated councils for inclusion in their publications. These ads should promote the professional aspect of council membership at all levels in addition to the usual NCSS sales promotion. Each ad must also contain a blank space in which the affiliate will print its name prior to publication. Any new memberships received by NCSS as a result of these ads shall be credited to the appropriate affiliate and the brokerage fee paid. Credit to NCSS NCSS affiliation procedures require all affiliates to promote NCSS in all of their publications. This requirement may be fulfilled by inclusion of the statement, 'Affiliated with National Council for the Social Studies,' on all stationery and published materials.

9.1.2 Mailing List Rental Purposes Financial fairness for both NCSS and the user. Adherence to the principles of non-partisanship and free inquiry within the profession. Provision of service and opportunities to members. Encouragement of research in the social studies. User-purpose Categories Commercial Use (publisher, travel agency, insurance company and other for-profit use) All or part of the NCSS mailing list shall be available in label form for one-time use only. The user must agree not to copy the list. The cost will be determined by the director of membership in consultation with the executive director. Not-for-profit Use All or part of the NCSS mailing list shall be available in label form for one-time use only and may not be copied. The request for the list must be accompanied by two copies of the mailing piece or a facsimile and the not-for-profit number of the organization. In a situation where the executive director believes that the mailing may not conform to NCSS goals and policies, he or she will consult with the president. The president may wish to further consult with the executive committee. No request for the list may be denied by the executive director without prior consultation with the president. The cost for the list will be at a twenty-five percent discount from the commercial rate, but must cover all NCSS costs for providing the list. Research All or part of the NCSS mailing list shall be available for research purposes in label form for one-time use only and may not be copied. The request for the list must be accompanied by two copies of the research instrument. Upon receiving the request, the executive director will forward the request and the research instrument to the chair of the research committee. The chair must approve the release of the mailing list and affirm that the proposed research meets professional standards and will make a contribution to NCSS and the profession. The research committee chair may wish to consult with the president prior to deciding to release the list. In no case may the request be denied without such consultation. The cost for the list shall be the same as determined for not-for-profit use. Possible Other Use On occasion, a circumstance may arise for which a mailing list request may not precisely fit one of the above categories or the use of the list may provide special benefits to NCSS or its membership. In such cases, the executive director and executive committee may make exceptions to this policy. Name Removal

An NCSS member may, at any time, remove his or her name from the mailing list. The membership application/renewal form will include a space to request removal of the member's name.

9.2 Research

9.2.1 Archives

The location of the NCSS archives is at the Center for American History at the University of Texas. The documents include materials accumulated since 1921 and provide important sources for scholarly research by faculty members and/or graduate students. The documents are relevant to the study of American history, comparative studies of education internationally, the impact and relationship of education to national development, the history of American education, the history of curriculum, the history of professionalism, biography, the relationship of government to the educational system, studies of reform movements, the politics of education, the economics of education, and other similar studies.

9.2.2 Recognition

Some of the NCSS awards and FASSE program recognition will foster creativity in the social studies and will recognize outstanding research.

9.3 Meetings

9.3.1 Types

NCSS holds an annual conference and several regional meetings each year. The board of directors makes all final decisions relative to plans for both categories of meetings and is assisted by the Conference Committee, the program committees, and the NCSS staff.

9.3.2 Regional Meetings Recommendations Regional meetings are encouraged to become regular and self-sustaining. Regions should be designated that reflect the memberships' own groupings; e.g., Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, Southeast, Rocky Mountain. Regional meetings should be run by regional members and should showcase local talent and address concerns of the region. The director of meetings will be available to assist the regional committees with such things as hotel negotiations, program and printing, publicity, etc., and to inform the various regional committees about the activities of each. Where committees of NCSS have members who could meet as subcommittees at regional meetings, etc., so as to accomplish better some of the committee's work on an ongoing basis or to serve as hearing board or as a conduit of information from or to regional or local areas, committee personnel should be so selected to accomplish that goal. The board and officers of NCSS should be involved actively in regional and state level conferences. Requirements NCSS will not endorse more than one regional conference on any given date. Planners must contact NCSS director of meetings for available dates before negotiating for hotel and conference facilities. Regional conference planners should contact the NCSS director of meetings for guidance in negotiations for hotel/conference facilities. Requests for site approval are to be submitted in writing one month prior to the annual conference date and two years prior to the year of the planned regional conference. Requests should be accompanied by support letters or support signatures from presidents of as many state councils and other supporting organizations in the region as possible. Requests should include the name and address of the regional conference coordinator or acting coordinator, the approximate dates planned for the conference, the hotel and meeting arrangement plans to date, and any plan agreed upon in advance for financial responsibility and income sharing. Regional and state meetings should be scheduled so as not to conflict with the national annual conference. NCSS will not approve more than one regional conference located in the same geographic region during the same academic year. Following recommendations by the Conference Committee and approval from the board of directors, the identified regional conference coordinator and the NCSS executive director shall sign a letter of agreement provided by the executive director after which the executive director shall forward an interest-free loan up to $2000 from the Council Assistance Fund, if start-up funding is needed and requested by the regional conference coordinator. Regional conference planners are not to use the NCSS name or logo on promotional materials until the letter of agreement is signed, after which the NCSS staff shall assist in promoting the conference through The Social Studies Professional, mailing labels of NCSS members in the region, and some help in hotel negotiations, exhibit arrangements, and solicitation of major speakers and sectional meeting proposals. The loan shall be repaid within six weeks of the last day of the conference by check from the regional conference coordinator to the NCSS executive director. (See Section 8.125, Council Assistance Fund) Regional conference planners shall maintain an NCSS promotional booth throughout the regional conference with membership brochures and sample NCSS publications provided by NCSS without cost. Also, representatives of NCSS leadership shall be represented in program arrangements when feasible and appropriate.

9.3.3 Annual Conference Procedures for Site Selection (See also section 7.1421, Conference Committee Tasks.) Sites will be selected on a rotation basis within three regions: East, Central, and West. The rotation is weighted towards the Central Region and follows a Central, East, Central, West pattern. Every fifth year, the annual conference will be held in Washington, D.C. The director of meetings will provide an inventory of possible cities within each region which meet the basic criteria: revenue, local support, and facilities. The inventory of potential cities, detailing strengths and weaknesses of each, will be submitted to the Conference Committee, accompanied by complete information solicited through the convention bureaus of those cities. Information packets from the director of meetings will be submitted to the Conference Committee at their November meeting. The Conference Committee will narrow the potential sites in each region. The local and state councils in those states in which the potential sites exist will be invited to bid on hosting the annual meeting, providing evidence of support to the Conference Committee. Final site negotiations with hotels will be made only when a bid is made by a state council. Every two years the cities will be reviewed based on the established criteria; other cities that meet the criteria may be added at that time. The Conference Committee will hold hearings at the annual conference and make a recommendation to the board of directors for their approval at their winter meeting. Annual meeting sites are scheduled at least five to seven years in advance. (Feb 1999) Criteria for Site Selection

Site selection is a procedural decision that should be based on principles designed to achieve financial success, attractiveness for members, and geographic balance. Further, site selection should take into account the NCSS goal to promote the full and active participation in the social studies profession of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic and minority groups, and all geographic settings, urban, rural, and suburban. Once a site has been designated, the Board of Directors reserves the right to remove a conference from that site in consultation with the state council involved. However, in cases when sites are selected where controversial issues emerge, the council, in the best traditions of social studies education, may maintain that site or sites. In such cases, conference planners, working with state and local affiliated councils and social studies leaders, will, in the best traditions of social studies education, make every effort to create opportunities to engage the full membership, as well as community leaders and decision-makers when possible, in open and free discussion of the issues. The Program Committee for the conference in question may also seek to offer general sessions, special sessions, and/or other highlighted events, as appropriate, which will examine the implications of the issue(s) for education, democracy, and human rights (approved May 1998) Revenue. There are two main sources of revenue: registration and exhibits. The number of members located within a geographic region and the drawing potential of cities under consideration is of utmost importance when considering a site. Related to this is accessibility. The size and location of a city are important in terms of access to population centers. A pivotal concern is the availability of low air fares and non-stop service from other parts of the country. Also, the location must be within convenient driving distance for large numbers of local attendees. Exhibits The city must be able to provide an exhibit facility with open-ended space to accommodate future growth of exhibits. Further, union labor costs must be within a reasonable range, as cities with very strict union rules and high labor costs could result in a cut-back in the amount of space some companies would reserve. Local Support Demographic evidence must be provided to show that there are adequate numbers of social studies professionals in the host city and environs to provide support for the various responsibilities of the local arrangements subcommittees. In addition, there must be evidence of support from the state council and cooperation on the part of convention bureaus, hotels, local school systems, colleges and universities, and others in the communities. It is always desirable to receive sanctioned release time for professionals to attend. Attractions It is important to consider the attractiveness of potential sites for both tourist and social studies potential. Cultural and historical locations are deemed most desirable for meeting sites. Accessibility Meeting sites that are centrally located, within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, theaters, and other activities, are most attractive. Facilities The physical factors to be considered in identifying viable meeting sites should include:

  • 1 The city must have at least 2500 sleeping rooms allocated in a core area. If shuttle busing is required, it should be the exception, not the normal situation.
  • 2 Meeting rooms for approximately concurrent sessions should be available in one location.
  • 3 Exhibit space rental should be negotiable and be open-ended in its growth potential, in order to reach projected revenue goals.
  • 4 It is desirable that meetings and exhibits be housed under one roof. 'One roof' may also refer to convention centers and hotels which are connected by covered walkways.
  • 5 There must be a ballroom/auditorium to seat to 2000 persons, theater style, for general sessions.
  • 6 There must be a ballroom/auditorium to accommodate the House of Delegates.
  • 7 All public space, including meeting rooms and the registration area, must be available on a cost free basis. Theme

The annual conference theme should focus on national concerns and ideas. Important issues that affect the state of the social studies profession should be presented, discussed, and debated. Invitations to attend the annual conference should be extended to national leaders from a variety of groups (directors of funded programs in private foundations or the federal government, Congresspersons involved in educational decision making, and other policy makers). Substantive Priorities The strategic plan priorities for the year which are determined by the board of directors shall be addressed through annual conference program. Operations, advisory, and ad hoc committees of NCSS will be requested to include an appropriate discussion of those identified issues of major professional concern and to consider how the committee operation can promote and encourage action to assist NCSS and the board of directors in policy formation and action relative to those issues. Associated groups (CS4, CUFA, IA, NSSSA) will be informed of the major issues identification by the board and encouraged to include an appropriate discussion of those issues and consider how they could promote and encourage action to assist the NCSS board in policy formation and action relative to those issues. Committees, associated groups, and the House of Delegates will be asked to suggest priorities. Program Schedule

Section meeting slots will be made available at the annual meeting for official NCSS supported activities at the annual conference; e.g., committee hearings, presentations of NCSS projects, etc. The annual conference is scheduled in a five-day time schedule beginning on Wednesday and ending on Sunday, with the first day devoted to committee meetings, the second day to associated group meetings, and the third through fifth days to general program and exhibits. The House of Delegates will be scheduled late afternoon on Friday and early Saturday morning. Jan Tucker Memorial Lecture A slot in the NCSS Annual Conference will be provided for a session on international issues that will be designated as the Jan Tucker Memorial Lecture. The International Assembly will develop topics and find speakers for the lecture. In addition, the Assembly will be responsible for securing sponsorship of the lecture should funding for a speaker's honorarium, etc. be necessary. No funding for the lecture is provided by NCSS. Spirit of America Featured Speaker Session A session at the NCSS Annual Conference will be designated the "Spirit of America Featured Speaker Session. The session would be given by an individual in or out of the social studies profession who has made a significant or special contribution which exemplifies the "American Democratic Spirit." For example, a person who acted or spoke out in support equity, freedom despite possible negative personal consequences. Before the spring meeting prior to the annual conference, the executive committee will make the final selection from the pool of confirmed speakers in consultation with the NCSS conference program and local arrangement co-chairs.The decision will be based on meeting the criteria of the topic of the special session, availability to speak at the annual conference, and any requested honorarium (up to $1000.) Once a speaker schedule is confirmed, NCSS will notify the individual selected that he or she will be recognized for "exemplary contributions to the American Democratic Spirit." Recognition will consist of a commemorative plaque or similar gift.

Social Studies School Service is sponsor of the featured speaker and provides travel and one-night's lodging (up to $1000) or a $1000 honorarium. Presenting and Registering Participants will be limited to a maximum of two presentations. Those who invite presenters to the annual conference are responsible for paying a one-day registration fee. This would apply to such groups as SIGs and other associated groups and individuals who sponsor sessions. Courtesy registration passes will be given to general session speakers. Authority is given to the executive director and/or president to provide additional passes to special guests at the meeting whom they deem deserving. K-12 students who are part of presentation and their adult chaperone shall receive a complementary registration for the day of the presentation. Audiovisual Equipment Costs. Annual conference presenters must pay for audiovisual costs for equipment used at the meeting including costs of labor. NCSS will order equipment requested by presenters and invoice the primary presenter. The only exception are sessions officially organized and sponsored by NCSS (e.g., general sessions, House of Delegates, etc.). Exhibitor Sales

Sales by exhibitors will be allowed at the annual conference in the exhibit area. Pre-conference Activities

Any pre-conference workshop sponsored by the NCSS shall be open to the entire membership of NCSS. Evaluation

All sessions at the annual conference will be evaluated. It is the responsibility of the Program Planning Committee to develop a uniform, simplified form of evaluation for the facilitator/evaluator with a simplified procedure also to guide the activities in gathering and reporting data. A manual for the Program Planning Committee shall explain specific procedures. (See Section 6.33 Conference, Section 4.67 Program and Section 4.68 Local Arrangements Committees.) Host Council Rebate

NCSS will rebate $5.00 to host councils (and councils from states within 25 miles of the conference city) for each member, non-member, non-member with membership and local school group registrant from that state.

9.3.4 International Conferences Guiding Principles

International Conferences should:

  • be held at three-year intervals (with long-range planning addressing themes, strands, locations, potential audience and turnout, and purposes, on a three and six year schedule forward
  • when possible, be located at a site and occur at a time coinciding with significant commemorative events or contemporary issues of global importance.
  • foster the internationalization of the social studies profession.
  • facilitate the exchange of practical and theoretical ideas concerning: curricula, content and teaching of social studies, the meaning of social studies on a comparative and global basis; social, economic, and political issues from a variety of points of view.
  • provide international research opportunities and development of professional linkages across national boundaries.
  • be co-sponsored by NCSS, in collaboration with appropriate groups from other nations, regions and international agencies.
  • not preclude NCSS initiation or sponsorship of international meetings created for more specialized topics and audiences.
  • when possible, include multiple international organizations in the planning and delivery of the conference.
  • ensure NCSS to recoup money invested in the meeting and possibly make a profit.
  • allow NCSS to be responsible for pre-specified aspects of the conference, e.g. major contractual arrangements including housing, travel, tour contracts, and other service vendors. Site Selection At least two years prior to a proposed meeting, NCSS Director of Meetings, after consultation with the Conference Committee and International Activities Committee, shall present one or more proposals from potential sites for International Conferences. Proposals shall include:

  • background of the local people/groups who will be involved in planning.
  • proposed budget of expenses and income, and full description of proposed financial arrangements.
  • available sites an d associated costs, including housing availability and accessibility for the disable.
  • proposed procedures for advertising conference locallyanticipated attendance. The NCSS Board of Directors has the final decision on sites for International Conferences and the conference budget. Whenever possible, site selection shall be announced at the most current international conference so that attendees may plan appropriately. The proposed conference should be held at a site that provides ready access to transportation and reasonable cost for social studies practitioners internationally. Steering Committee An international conference steering committee including members from the United States and other participating nations, shall be appointed by the NCSS president in conjunction with those who have the major responsibility for planning and delivering the conference. The steering committee shall have no more than 15 members. The president of NCSS as of July 1 every third year starting with 2000 shall serve as co-chair along with the local arrangements chair. The incoming NCSS president-elect and vice-president at that time shall serve as voting members on the committee. The committee will include a member of the International Activities Committee. The NCSS executive director and director of meetings will be ex officio members. Purpose and Function To provide oversight to the development of the conference program. To seek external financial support for the conference. To plan the development and publication of materials, reports and proceedings to be associated with the conference. To provide continuity between national/ international organizations and the Local Planning Committee. Local Planning Committee The Local Planning committee shall plan the conference program and local arrangements in cooperation with the International Steering Committee and the NCSS staff. The local planning committee shall be appointed by the co-chairs of the steering committee with the advice and support of the social studies organizations in the nation serving as conference host. Financial Arrangements NCSS will serve as one of the non-liable, fiscal agent for co-sponsored international conferences. Decisions made in planning and executing the conference will safeguard the financial interests and protect the legal liability of NCSS. A budget of expenditure and income will be presented to the NCSS Board of Directors (see 9.3421) A contractual agreement will be signed by the NCSS Executive Director which will include, but not be limited to: A 'start-up' fund, not to exceed $2000, will be available from NCSS specifically designated for the planning and development of each international conference. The $2000 'start up' funds shall be returned to NCSS from conference revenues. NCSS shall receive a percentage of the conference revenues to be determined in the agreement memorandum. NCSS shall not be fiscally liable in any way for any financial losses other than the initial $2000. Understanding that the cost of volunteer or staff work time expended in planning and executing the conference will not be included as an expense item. Understanding that decisions made which result in significant expenditures of money (more that $500) must be approved by the NCSS Director of Meetings in consultation with the NCSS Executive Committee and executive director. Conference insurance for extraordinary events (i.e., weather, strike) or other legal liability will be obtained.

9.3.5 Co-sponsorship of national and regional conferences with other organizations Co-sponsorships requirements conference will promote the interests of social studies education and be consistent with the principles and purposes of NCSS. decisions made in planning and executing the conference will safeguard the financial interests and protect the legal liability of NCSS. the conference planning committee and its subcommittees will have substantially equal representation by NCSS members or staff in decisions that are made by the committees. NCSS reserves the right to withdraw without any liability if any of items 9.3511, 9.3512, or 9.3513 are substantially violated. Financial Arrangements A budget of expenditures and income will be developed jointly with the co-sponsor and presented to the NCSS Board of Directors. (see 9.353) A contractual agreement will be signed by the NCSS executive director which will include, but not be limited to, the following items:

  • agreement on how expenses incurred in planning and executing the co-sponsored conference will be paid, who will pay them, and when they will be paid.
  • agreement on which organization will collect the income from the conference (registration, exhibitor fees, etc.)
  • agreement on the percentage distribution of any funds (profits) remaining after all expenses have been paid.
  • agreement on the date when the actual physical distribution of profits between the cooperating will occur.
  • agreement that the cost of volunteer or staff work time expended in planning and executing the conference will not be included as an expense item.
  • agreement that decisions which result in significant expenditures of money (over $500) must be made jointly, and in writing.
  • agreement that conference insurance for extraordinary events (i.e., weather, strike, etc.) or other legal liability will be obtained. the NCSS Board of Directors will consider proposals for joint conferences when the following data are provided at a regular board meeting:

  • rationale for the conference.
  • cost/benefit analysis of expenses and income.
  • a proposed budget of expenses and income.
  • estimate of staff work time required.
  • benefits accruing to NCSS from co-sponsorship.
  • anticipated attendance.
  • sites considered for co-sponsored conference
  • background on co-sponsoring organization and their rationale for involvement

9.4 Publications

9.4.1 Board Authority

The Constitution states that the payment of dues entitles the member to the official periodical and to such other publications as the board of directors shall determine. The board is responsible for an extensive program of publications, including: the journal, Social Education; bulletins; the newsletter, The Social Studies Professional; position statements; and other assorted publications such as promotional materials.

9.4.2 Purposes Impact on the Membership The publications program shall be designed to have an impact upon the membership in the following ways:

  • Updating members on various phases of professional topics
  • Serving as an information source
  • Serving a practical need for the classroom
  • Enticing the membership to read and reflect
  • Stimulating increased involvement in the organization and the profession of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas, urban, rural, and suburban Impact on the Organization

The publications program shall be designed to have an impact upon the organization in these ways:

  • Publishing NCSS official statements
  • Promoting the organization
  • Providing revenue
  • Serving as a benefit to the members Impact on the Profession

The publications program shall be designed to have an impact upon the profession in the following ways:

  • Providing state-of-the-art information
  • Serving as a forum for varied viewpoints
  • Defining or clarifying the social studies
  • Providing leadership
  • Stimulating scholarship and inquiry Impact on Public Policy

The publications program shall be designed to have an impact upon public policy in these ways:

  • Successfully carrying out the above objectives
  • Reporting about the field to selected audiences beyond the field of social studies
  • Effective with the 1986-87 fiscal year, publications added to inventory for sale are carried as capital assets.

9.4.3 Criteria for Outside Funding of NCSS Publications NCSS will maintain full editorial control over content and format. The topic of the funded publication must have importance for social studies curricula or represent an important matter of national interest. The publication will have widespread utility for social studies educators. Financial costs will be assigned in the same way for all products of the same type, with differential rates established on all products for profit and non-profit organizations. The publication must be consistent with the goals of NCSS and its publications program.

9.4.5 Publications Not Responsible to the Publications Committee Official Statements on Issues

In the case of short statements relating to policy matters, position statements, and other similar documents prepared at the specific request of the board of directors, the Publications Committee will exercise no responsibility or authority. The Social Studies Professional

The newsletter, The Social Studies Professional, is the responsibility of the director of publications, assisted publications department staff, who reports to the executive director . Promotional material to encourage membership, programs for the annual conference, brochures that announce events or council programs, lists of titles for advertising purposes, and similar brochures and leaflet-type materials are not directly the concern of the publications committee. The publications committee may advise the staff on these documents and ask that certain brochures and leaflets be produced in order to promote various publications. However, materials of this type can be prepared by the staff without their consulting the publications committee.

9.5 Integrated Efforts

9.5.1 Special Projects (revised 2018)

Frequently, NCSS is invited to participate with others in the development of projects, programs, position statements, policies, products, and services. Some examples of each type of involvement follow: Advising

Requires review by the Special Projects Committee and approval by the Board of Directors. NCSS shall be recognized as participating in the process with no other rights or endorsements granted without additional review. Purpose To assist government agencies, college and university organizations, and not-for-profit and for-profit corporations in developing policy, position statements, projects and programs. NCSS is interested in securing an official role with an NCSS representative on an advisory board or similar group, or appointing an individual advisor using NCSS affiliation Personnel Executive director or appointee, or NCSS Executive Board or Board of Directors identified representative(s). Costs/Fees
Where appropriate, all costs incurred by NCSS representation shall be reimbursed by the requesting agency, plus the current NCSS indirect cost rate. Stipends paid to NCSS staff shall be deposited in a NCSS account. Stipends paid to NCSS representatives shall be retained by the representative, less the current NCSS indirect cost rate. Limitations
Policy, project or program development at the national level. NCSS shall be recognized as participating in the process with no other rights or endorsements granted without additional review by NCSS. In cases where requests have been made for NCSS' participation in local, state or regional policy or program development, NCSS shall act, when appropriate, as a referring entity entrusting NCSS affiliate councils with the responsibility to review and to act upon if deemed appropriate. Project Research, Planning, Development and Implementation

Requires review by the Special Projects Committee and approval of the Board of Directors. Purpose To assist and/or collaborate with not-for profit and profit organizations in understanding and incorporating NCSS perspectives in the conceptualization and/or planning of a product, project, service or grant proposal that leads to future and ongoing involvement by NCSS. The planning process shall lead to a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that identifies NCSS's and the collaborating organization's responsibilities; including demands on human resources, indirect cost sharing, s budget allocation to NCSS covering all costs, fee for services, consultation, products or deliverables. Personnel
Executive Director or appointee, or NCSS Executive Board or Board of Directors identified representative(s). Costs/Fees All costs and fee for services shall be initially identified in a MOU and formalized in a contract. Limitations NCSS shall be recognized as participating in the process with no other rights or endorsements granted without additional review by NCSS. Co-Sponsorship

Requires approval of the board of directors. Purpose To identify for NCSS members programs, projects or conferences that have had active staff involvement and/or financial commitments from NCSS. Co-Sponsored events shall include the words Co-Sponsored by the National Council for the Social Studies. Personnel NCSS staff as identified by Executive Director. Costs/Fees All costs, fees and potential rate of returns must be identified prior to board approval Limitations Collaboration at the national level, or state and regional levels (with NCSS Affiliated Councils only), as time and resources allow.

9.5.2 Guidelines for Approval of Special Projects

The following general guidelines will be used to evaluate all special project requests with NCSS. Although each request for NCSS involvement should be reviewed on its own merits, consideration should also be given to goals and priorities established in the current Strategic Plan as well as the current resources, both personnel and financial, to honor ongoing and proposed new programs and commitments.

1. Are the goals, objectives or purposes consistent with the NCSS vision, mission, and Strategic Plan?

2. Is there evidence of accurate and high-quality scholarship or evidence-based research to support the project?

3. Will there be inclusive access to all participants? If not, will this special project specifically benefit under-represented or disenfranchised groups?

4. Will there be meaningful involvement of NCSS representatives, where feasible?

5. Will there be a desirable benefit to NCSS members, social studies educators, and the general social studies profession?

6. Can NCSS participate as requested with available resources or will adequate resources be provided for NCSS involvement?

7. Will there be revenue to NCSS exceeding the actual costs incurred by NCSS?

9.5.3 Review Procedures

  • Step 1: Staff Screening. Staff should screen proposed projects using the special projects cover sheet and the guidelines identified above. Except in unusual circumstances, the guidelines should serve as general prerequisites to any level of involvement.
  • Step 2: Special Projects Committee Review. Projects that conform to NCSS policies should be referred to the Special Projects Committee with the NCSS staff's analysis outlined on the Special Projects Proposal Checklist.
  • Step 3: Executive Committee and Board of Directors Review. Projects identified in Step 2 require approval by either the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors except as noted below. The Special Projects Committee may request that other committees review the proposal when it comes within the scope of their concerns, and where time permits. The Committee may also recommend Board review for proposals where the Committee deems a broad discussion necessary; for example, if projects are of high cost, very controversial or demanding of staff time. For other projects, especially where timeliness is an important consideration, the Executive Committee is empowered to make decisions.
  • Step 3 Alternative: presidential authorization. In the event that Board or Executive Committee review is not possible due to extraordinary circumstances, the President may make a decision on participation in a project. The President, however, is urged to consult with other members of the Board of Directors and must immediately inform all Board members in writing of the situation and decision. The President is not authorized to promulgate a policy or position statement without Board of Directors' approval.

9.5.4 Monitoring Procedures and Review

Once approval has been granted to a project, program, statement, material or activity, then staff should add the item to the listing of all current and continuing services or other programs identified as 'special projects,' and monitor it as follows.

Current or 'in-process' special projects should be monitored by staff and the Special Projects Committee until completion or final disposition. Where time limits or other conditions were specified in the approval, the special project should be reviewed and recommendations regarding further NCSS association with the cooperating or sponsoring group made to the Board of Directors. A tracking sheet should be maintained by staff on each special project that is underway specifying date received, dates submitted to the Special Projects Committee, Executive Committee, any other committees, and the Board of Directors. Action taken at each step should be recorded.

Staff should provide a status report on the project at each regular meeting of the Board of Directors and interim reports to the Executive Committee as needed.

A file listing all past approved special projects should be maintained at NCSS headquarters with the names, addresses of contact organizations and other pertinent information. The file should be organized to distinguish among categories of projects such as: position statements, foreign study/travel programs, instructional programs, member benefits, etc. This listing should be reviewed every three years, or earlier if concerns warrant, by the staff and the Special Projects Committee to determine if the project is still viable, needs to be reviewed or other action required. Where the review indicates that continued project approval is questionable, the committee should send the matter with its recommendation to the Executive Committee. (Examples: reprints or new editions of materials previously co-sponsored by NCSS may be considered no longer appropriate for continued publication; a study abroad or travel program may not have been satisfactory and thus NCSS may withdraw from association with its sponsor; a contest for students may have changed in character and is no longer consistent with NCSS policies or positions.)

9.5.5 Distinction between Personal and NCSS Organizational Representation or Endorsement.

NCSS staff, officers, members of the Board of Directors or committee members may be asked to serve in an advisory capacity or to review materials for other groups by virtue of their position in NCSS as well as their own professional status. If an individual is to serve as an official NCSS representative, then appointment should be made by the NCSS President.

The President reviews the criteria set by the requesting organization, then conferes and seeks advice from appropriate persons, e.g. staff, the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Committees, Communities or former NCSS Presidents and Officers in order to identify a pool of eligible individuals.

The President reviews qualifications of candidates to determind an appropriate match with the criteria set by the requesting organization, interviews candidates, clarifies requirements for them, and confers with the Executive Director and Executive Committee prior to making the appointment.

If appointed, a candidate agrees to:

  • adhere to relevant pollicies and position statements, and represent the best interests of the organization.
  • serve for the term required by the requesting organization and stated in the BOD approved request for an advisor (see 9.5.1).
  • meet the obligations established by the requesting organization and stated in the BOD approved request for an advisor (see 9.5.1).
  • submit a written report of activities to the President and Board of Directors upon fulfilling responsibilities to the requesting organization.
  • if the appointee is a Board member, accept no honoria beyond what would be considered normal expenses. Any amount awarded by the requesting organization sall be paid directly to FASSE.
  • If an NCSS representative is asked to approve a statement, program, product, service or other activity he or she may do so, but this personal approval does not carry with it NCSS endorsement. Despite this distinction, the listing of staff member, officer or other NCSS representative in an advisory capacity in a final report or publication may give the appearance of NCSS endorsement, when official approval by NCSS has not been given. Accordingly, judgment of the implications of having one's name listed as affiliated with NCSS should be carefully considered. The NCSS representative should keep the NCSS staff and/or the Executive Committee apprised of developments and seek advice as to whether listing of affiliation with NCSS is appropriate.

9.5.6 Procedures for Approving NCSS Proposals for Funding

Any proposal developed and submitted by NCSS for funding must carry the signature of the President. While the Executive Director may be authorized by telephone to sign proposals in the name of the President, such authorization must be provided in writing for council records.

An abstract of any proposal not approved directly by the Board of Directors must be sent to each Board member within 30 days of proposal submission.

9.5.7 Voting for Approval of Special Projects

Approval of NCSS participation in formal advising, planning, project development or implementation, and research that require the approval of the Special Projects Committee, the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors shall be granted once all of the members of the authorized body have been notified of the request for NCSS participation and once a majority of the total number of members of each body have voted in the affirmative.

9.6 NCSS Stands

9.6.1 Official Terminology

Official terminology for naming position statements, policy statements, standards, and guidelines was adopted in June 1986 by the NCSS board of directors. Official terms and their usage are as follows. Policy Statement

A report or summary of a definite course or method of action, selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions. Used only for NCSS internal operating policies. Position Statement

A report or summary of a point of view adopted and held to which is prescribed or recognized as authority. Official views adopted by NCSS. Guidelines

An indication or outline of policy or conduct; a framework. Guidelines are usually used in conjunction with a position statement. Standards

Something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of value and quality. Standards are more stringent in measure than guidelines and are usually used in conjunction with a position statement.

9.6.2 Current Position Statements

Each position statement accepted by the board of directors shall be assigned to the appropriate committee for review on a regular basis (see section 4.5432.) Current NCSS position statements are available at

9.6.3 Resolutions House of Delegates Resolutions

NCSS will post resolutions approved by the board of directors and which are still in effect on the NCSS website. NCSS will also post transcripts of House of Delegates Meetings.

9.6.4 Stands on Social and Political Issues Affirmative Action Statement

National Council for the Social Studies includes as a permanent priority the full and active participation in the social studies profession of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas (urban, rural, and suburban). This goal will permeate NCSS decisions and activities at every level. NCSS strives to increase the number of members from currently under-served groups (elementary teachers, students, ethnic minorities), to identify opportunities for their participation in the council, and actively promote their leadership and involvement in NCSS affairs and activities. The council will assist local and state councils in recruiting members from these groups and encouraging their involvement in council activities on a regular basis. NCSS requests that local and state councils identify members from those groups who can be available for appointments and leadership roles within the council. Limitations on Political Activities

As an educational corporation within Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, the corporation shall not directly or indirectly devote any substantial part of its activities to the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation; or participate or intervene, by publication or distribution of statements or otherwise, in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Board of Directors Policies and Resolutions

Board of directors policies and resolutions shall relate directly to the organization or to its purposes as stated in the Constitution.

9.6.5 Professional Stance Arrangements

There are areas to which NCSS has made an ongoing commitment. These commitments are reinforced with activities such as position statements, workshops, publications, and intervention. Teacher Standards

NCSS has a continuing commitment to quality teacher education and has joined NCATE (National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education). Standards for advanced certification of social studies teachers are used as the basis for NCSS ongoing program of advanced certification. Joint and Network Efforts

NCSS has liaisons with other scholarly societies to communicate for our common interests. NCSS has joined consortia to underwrite information gathering and dissemination of mutual interest. (See Other Representations: Liaisons and Consortia, Section 8.4)

9.6.6 Defense Fund The Defense Fund is used for legal fees to defend teachers and file amicus curi briefs in censorship cases. The Defense Fund Committee decides on expenditures from this fund. The Defense Fund Committee is composed of the NCSS president, president-elect, executive director, Academic Freedom, Ethics and Equity Committee chair, and one other member appointed by the president. The Defense Fund is built up through check-offs on the NCSS membership form, at least one activity at the annual conference, and individual contributions, and is maintained in a separate, interest-bearing account. Whenever the Defense Fund falls below $5000, an annual allocation is budgeted in the NCSS budget to restore that minimum. Grants are available for sums up to $2500 for legal expenses that meet the fund's award criteria. Grants are awarded by the Legal Defense Fund Committee based on a written application, documentation of legal expenditures, and eligibility of the applicant. Applications for grants may be made at any time as the need arises. Criteria

The NCSS Legal Defense Fund is available to any individual NCSS member of good standing. Applicants must complete a grant application form. Awards may be made for legal expenses in cases involving infringement or loss of an educator's right to:

  • participate in the development of curriculum and the selection of teaching materials;
  • select for classroom study controversial issues related to the curriculum and appropriate to the maturity, and intellectual and emotional capacities of the students;
  • have access to adequate instructional resources so that all sides of an issue can be presented adequately;
  • call upon teaching colleagues, administrators, and professional organizations for assistance and advice;
  • teach in their area of academic competence without regard to their personal beliefs, race, sex, sexual orientation, or ethnic origin;
  • expresses their own points of view in the classroom as long as they clearly indicate it is their opinion and are willing to explain their position;
  • work in a climate conducive to rational and free inquiry;
  • have their professional competence when dealing with controversial issues judged withing the context in which the activity in question occurred;
  • exercise their rights as citizens including the rights to support any side of an issue or any candidate for public office, and to seek and to hold partisan and non-partisan public and professional positions;
  • be protected by fair procedures and due process should complaints arise about materials or methods of instruction. Policy and Administration

  • The NCSS Board of Directors establishes policy for the fund and may modify these guidelines as circumstances demand.
  • The Legal Defense Fund Committee may not commit to expenditures in excess of $2500 per applicant. The NCSS Board of Directors must approve any larger requests.
  • A teacher requesting assistance may appeal a decision of the Legal Defense Fund Committee to the NCSS Board of Directors.
  • All applications and appeals shall be acted upon in a timely manner.
  • All information submitted to NCSS and the Legal Defense Fund Committee shall be considered confidential.
  • Grants for financial assistance are contingent on the availability of money in the fund. Basis of Awards

Awards of assistance are based upon the protection of educators' rights and not upon the particular position, opinion, or point of view of an applicant; an award of assistance does not constitute an expression of support for, or advocacy of, the particular position, opinion, or point of view of the applicant but rather constitutes the support of fundamental rights of educators as described in the Award Criteria.

9.6.7 Commissioned Papers and Speeches

When commissioning papers or speeches, NCSS should attempt to negotiate possession of copyright or rights of use.

9.7 NCSS Privacy Policy

National Council for the Social Studies respects your privacy. We will make every reasonable effort to ensure that any personal information you provide to us is used only for the purposes stated below. While the policy presented here concentrates on information collected by the NCSS website, it also applies to personal information submitted by other means (mail, fax, phone, sign-up sheets, and so on).

Several areas of the NCSS website require that you send us personal information:

  • Membership application
  • Convention registration
  • Convention session applications
  • NCSS Email Bulletins
  • NCSS Email List Subscriptions
  • NCSS Communities websites

This information is received offline as well (mail, fax, phone). NCSS uses the demographic and professional information collected on membership, convention, and other forms for aggregate analysis, to personalize our member records for better service, and to create targeted mailing lists. Aggregate demographic is may be shared with third-parties.

In addition to the primary purpose stated or implied at the time the information is collected, we may use your postal mailing address to send you information about NCSS programs or products, surveys, etc. We provide our convention attendee data to convention exhibitors and make it available to others. We also make our member data available to companies offering NCSS member benefits and to other responsible third parties.

If you supply an e-mail address, we use it to confirm your membership application or registration, follow up on a request, send membership renewal reminders, etc., as the context determines. We may also use it to keep you informed about NCSS programs, services and initatives. On occasion we may use your e-mail address for a purpose indirectly related to the original context (e.g., e-mailing a customer satisfaction survey to members or those who have attended the NCSS Annual Conference.) NCSS does not make its e-mail lists available to any third party, with the following exceptions: NCSS shares member contact information, including email addresses with state and local social studies councils; NCSS may allow third parties to email information to you regarding their products, services or conference events. You may opt out of these emails at any time. If you do not wish to receive emails from NCSS, please email

NCSS Members Because of the special relationship we seek to maintain with our members, NCSS sends them periodic updates and announcements by e-mail. We may also make an occasional phone call (e.g., to clear up a problem or inquire about a lapsed membership). NCSS members have their own online profile page where they can specify their preferred phone number and mailing address.

NCSS provides as a service to its members the ability to search for other members through the member services website. Your contact information will be available to other members through this directory.

NCSS also makes available to members and other parties contact information for members who serve on committees, task forces, are affiliate council leaders or associated group leaders, or are SIG chairs or contact persons.

"Anonymous" information collected online Generally speaking, you can visit the NCSS website without revealing any personal information about yourself. We do keep a record of all server activity, which means that every page, image, or other type of file requested by your browser is written into a log file. Each entry in the log contains, among other things, information about the computer you're using to connect to the Internet (its "IP address") and about your browser (e.g., which version of Firefox you're using). It does not, however, tell us anything about you personally. We use aggregate data from the web logs to determine how the site's resources are being used and to refine its navigational structure. If the need arises, we may use the logs to trace the source of abusive or illicit activity. We do not share our web server logs with any outside party.

Cookies A "cookie" is a text file, stored on your computer, that includes information that identifies that computer and can be retrieved by our server to create a seamless browsing session. Most cookies used on the NCSS site are deleted when your browser is shut down or in a fixed amount of time, whichever occurs sooner. Members-only pages and other restricted areas use this type of cookie.

Several areas of the NCSS website use so-called "persistent" cookies. These files are retained on the user's hard drive after the browser is shut down. Most browsers accept cookies by default. If you set your browser to reject all cookies, these areas and others may not function properly. Most browsers have a setting whereby the browser alerts you when a server attempts to place a cookie on your hard drive; you are given the option of accepting or rejecting it.

Material submitted online Some areas of the NCSS Communities section of the website allow you to submit items for discussion or share information with other members. All submissions become the property of NCSS. Keep in mind that any information you post on any of the NCSS Communities sites are immediately available to anyone with a web browser. Don't give out more information than what you would like everyone in the world to know. You can, of course, edit or delete the messages you post there.

Links to other websites The NCSS website contains links to other websites. NCSS is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of those sites. Check the privacy policy of a website before revealing any personal information.

Exceptions In certain circumstances, and as an exception to this privacy policy, we may, without notice to you, release information to comply with any valid legal process such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute or court order, or in other special cases, such as, for example, suspected fraudulent or criminal activity, or an attempt to breach the security of NCSS or its website.

Privacy policy updates We have tried to create a privacy policy that is comprehensive, readable, and durable. Despite our best efforts, we may find it necessary to revise it. Any changes will be made without prior notice. The current NCSS privacy policy will continue to be posted at this address ( If you have questions or comments about our privacy policy, please email"