GNSMS  Social Studies Department


349 Lakeville Road, Great Neck, NY 11020

Tel. (516) 441-4660


Mr. Frank Bua, Department Chair





Eighth Grade Self-Select Program


The Social Studies Self-Select program has been re-imagined to provide creative, accelerated and cognitive enrichment. The emphasis of the redesign is simple: different work doesn’t necessarily mean more work.  Students who choose to participate will be engaged in a curriculum that supplements traditional classroom learning. Students considering participating in the self-select program should demonstrate:


Proficiency and engagement in current events, and love of history

Appreciation of civics education and the role of the individual in history

Willingness to “think outside the box” and engage in “what if” scenarios

Ability to draw connections and parallels to modern phenomena

  • Passion for reading and flair for writing


During the school year, students will participate in an advanced curriculum where they will be called upon to go beyond the regular coursework, including:


1) Extensions and differentiation of homework, projects, tests, quizzes, etc. in a timely and thorough fashion.


2) History Through the Arts assignments that will engage students in the power of art as political editorial, and as an expression of current events.


3) Attendance at all lunchtime Self-Select Seminars.


4) Higher-level outside reading selections that will include:


  • Edmond Morris’ Pulitzer-Prize Winning Theodore Rex
  • The Post-American World 2.0 by Fareed Zakaria
  • Charles Wheelan’s Naked Economics
  • Supreme Power: FDR vs. the Supreme Court by Jeff Shesol
  • The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
  • David Halberstram’s The Fifties


Program Requirements and Expectations:


Students in the program must be engaged learners that maintain an average of 90 or above each quarter in order to receive the H (honors) designation on their report card. Student status in program will be monitored during “checkpoints” throughout the year. In cases where performance lags behind initiative, the classroom teacher will meet with the student and contact the parent/guardian with insight and direction.


If a student does not participate in the self-select program, s/he must achieve a 95 average for the year to be considered for ninth grade honors.