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Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Colorado Public Schools


  • A Holocaust and Genocide Implementation Guide (April 2024).  This guide was written by members of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies committee.  The purpose of this guide is to support teachers in teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides.  Included in the guide is background information for teaching about genocide, write-ups about genocides found in the standards, a sample lesson plan, and professional development resources.

  • In November 2022, the State Board of Education approved the Colorado Academic Standards for Social Studies.  Within these standards are the standards for the Holocaust and other genocides that can be used by school districts to determine which courses required for graduation will include the standards for teaching about the Holocaust and other genocidesThis document illustrates ONLY the standards for the Holocaust and other genocides.  This is the complete 2022 Colorado Academic Standards for Social Studies document.
  • The Holocaust and Genocide Resource Bank is the work of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Committee.  The committee used a vetting tool to determine the quality, usability, and alignment with the Holocaust and Genocide standards for selection of collection resources.   

Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Colorado Public Schools

On July 8, 2020, Governor Polis signed into law HB20 – 1336.  This legislation includes several elements focusing on the teaching of the Holocaust and Genocide in Colorado.  Specifically, on or after July 1, 2023, each school district Board of Education and charter school shall incorporate academic standards on Holocaust and Genocide studies into an existing course that is currently a condition of high school graduation.  Said standards shall be recommended by a stakeholder committee and adopted, on or before July 1, 2021, by the State Board of Education and should identify the knowledge and skills that students should acquire related to Holocaust and Genocide studies, including but not limited to the Armenian genocide.  In addition, the CDE shall create and maintain a publicly available resource bank of materials pertaining to the Holocaust and Genocide, no later than July 1, 2021.


On or before July 1, 2021: The Holocaust and Genocide Committee will make recommendations for adoption of standards to the State Board of Education.

On or before July 1, 2021: The CDE will have created a resource bank with the guidance of a committee of experts in Holocaust and Genocide studies.

On or after July 1, 2023:  Local school districts must incorporate the adopted Holocaust and Genocide standards into a course required for high school graduation.


Expectations for committee members

  • Participate in 8 committee meetings throughout the 2020-2021 school year
  • Review the Colorado Academic Standards for social studies
  • Make recommendations for standards adoption
  • Make recommendations for resources to be included in resource bank

Process for convening committee

  • Meetings will be conducted in a virtual setting through video conferencing, through spring, 2021
  • Meetings may occur in person in the spring
  • Meetings will be open to the public

Selected Committee Members:

Basile, Abigail
St. Thomas More Catholic School

Bleak, Tenaly
Otis Jr/Sr High School

Blomquist, Matthew
Sheridan High School

Dayeen, Omhagain
University of Colorado, Denver

Feinstein-Johnson, Kelly
Prospect Ridge Academy

Johnson, Kathleen
Fountain Fort Carson High School

Kraver, Jeraldine
University of Northern Colorado

Lieber, Julie
Jewish Colorado

Maghakyan, Simon
University of Colorado, Denver; Armenian Community

Mehlbach, Peter
Colorado Holocaust Educators

Mitchell, Robert
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Pearson, Michelle
Century Middle School

Raju, Tara
Anti-Defamation League

Santiago, Victor
Sand Creek High School

Starr, Helen
Holocaust facilitator, researcher, second generation

Thorsen, Mark
Ponderosa High School

Van Arsdale, Peter
Coalition Against Global Genocide


Meeting Information

All meetings of the Committee will be open to the public; however, only Committee members will have an active role in the meeting. ​


Stephanie Hartman, Ph. D.
Social Studies Content Specialist
Office of Standards and Instructional Support