Social Studies

The Westerly High School Social Studies Department offers a wide variety of courses representing most of the social sciences. Students are required to successfully complete three courses in Social Studies in order to graduate. These courses cover World History, US History and Civics. Through these required courses, students are expected to read, write, think and speak like a historian. Before they graduate, the WHS student will be able to construct a history by interpreting artifacts from the past, as well as identify and explain differences in historical interpretation. They will also know their rights and responsibilities of a citizen living in a democracy. Though not required, most students take at least one Social Studies elective. Some of these courses prepare students to take the Advanced Placement test. The department also maintains articulation agreements with local colleges and universities that award our students college credit upon completion of their courses at WHS.

Anthony Lementowicz, Department Chairperson

Department Announcements


History Award

An annual award up to $500.00 will be given to a person or persons, grade 5 through adulthood, who furthers the mission of researching, studying, and/or preserving local history in our community. Secondary consideration will be given to someone who exhibits a passion for history unrelated to the local community.

The Award Application Form must be submitted by April 1 each year, by mail to Westerly Historical Society, PO Box 91, Westerly, RI 02891 or by email to whspresident@gmail.com. Click here to access the application form.

From the Bill of Rights Institute...

We the Students Essay Contest

Essay Prompt: What is the relationship between Equality and Justice?

Answering this question requires considering each of these principles and analyzing the relationship between them. To truly explore this question in an essay that is between 500 -800 words, you’ll need to go beyond "dictionary definitions," and express your understanding and reasoning about the connection between these two principles. This reasoning involves a combination of observation, experience, and some pretty "big ideas." What does it take to understand them? To build toward and maintain them? To see them with regard to each other? Why is this relationship important? We encourage you to bring emotion, creativity, specific examples, and well-researched facts into what you write. A good essay will demonstrate how equality and justice are not just abstract ideas but are part of the actions and choices of people every day. We genuinely want to know how you would answer the question – what is the relationship between Equality and Justice?

Deadline for entry is April 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Click here to apply and submit your entry.

From the RI Department of Education...

The United States Senate Youth Program

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service.

The USSYP Washington Week will be held ONLINE Sunday, March 14 to Thursday, March 18, 2021. Two students from each state will be selected to attend the online program and each student will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2020-2021 academic year. If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year.

All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgement of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. For more information, please visit the USSYP website or download the 2020-21 Program Brochure.

The South County League of Women Voters Wants YOU!

The League of Women Voters of South County would like you to consider joining their organization. Their mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government. The very first high school member of the league is from Westerly High School, and the group would love to have more students get involved. Here is a link to their website to learn more: http://www.lwvri.org/LWV_South_County.html

If you are interested or have any questions, please feel free to contact Nina Rossomando at lwvscri@gmail.com.