The Social Studies department at Russell Sage Junior High School collaborates to implement a rigorous curriculum in preparation for the New York State Regents examination. Having the opportunity to take the examination in 8th grade will not only ensure success in high school but college and postsecondary future as well. Teachers in the departments analyze data and share observations as well as work together to create a trust based environment and respect for all. Teachers help students develop academic and personal behavior skills needed for success. Along with Regents required essay writing, teachers incorporate debates, Socratic Seminars, discussions and projects to engage all students. The Social Studies department allows students to take ownership of the classroom and lessons through questioning and arriving at new ideas through discussions. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively to comment on other people’s work, provide constructive criticism and peer feedback.