AP U.S. HISTORY   2013-2014                              


Course Description

            This is a college-level surveycourse designed to satisfy both the requirements of the College Board forAdvanced Placement U.S. History and to meet the Standardsestablished by the State Board of Education for U.S. History, as well aspreparing students to pass the STAAR End-of-Course Exam required for graduation.   


AP U.S. History is a rigorous classdue to the enormous amount of content and the short time frame.  Students are expected to read and write extensively,to conduct independent research, and to be motivated and disciplined.  The student’s primary responsibility is toread the required text to ensure they have a full understanding of the requiredcurricula.  Students will be required to read one or twochapters per week in addition to other required readings projects, essays, anddiscussion.  Each reading assignment isaccompanied by notes recorded in a Journal, followed by a Quiz over thematerial and a Journal Check.  CumulativeTests over this material are given periodically.  Thesingle most important contributor to student success is completing each readingassignment and its accompanying work. There is no substitute.    


It is the instructor’sresponsibility to organize the curriculum to meet the requirements of theCollege Board and the State Board of Education, and to assist each student tosucceed in this class.  To do this, the course is organized into Thematic and Chronological Unitsreflecting historic eras and key issues. Students will be taught historical thinking skills, comparison andcontextualization, historical interpretation and synthesis, and how to crafthistorical arguments from historical evidence.  Students will also learn to use technology toassist with their workload and will practice presentation skills in class.      


Access to a computer and theinternet is required.  Students who donot have a computer or internet access need to come to campus before or afterschool or to find access off campus.             


One goal of the class is to assist studentsto pass the AP Exam with a 5 or better.  All students will take the AP Exam.  Students who score a 5 on the AP Examgenerally receive an A for college credit (4 = B; 3 = C).   Studentsalso receive credit toward high school graduation.  A grade of 80 or above is part of Districtrequirements for a Distinguished Graduate.    


Course Grading Policy

Grades are based on student performance.  Formative grades (Daily grades, Quiz grades,etc.) count as 50% of the Nine Weeks Grade. Summative grades (Tests, Projects, etc.) comprise the remaining 50% ofthe Nine Weeks grade (27 Formative and 3 Summative grades are required each 9weeks).  District Progress Reports willbe handed out every three weeks:

Grading Key:  A = 90-100      B = 80-89        C = 75-79        D = 70-74          

Class Expectations:

  • Be present and on time.  It is easy to get behind in this class.
  • Be prepared.  Bring completed homework and supplies: pen (blue or black only), pencil, paper, highlighters, thumb drive, small pencil sharpener, and a binder with dividers.
  • Follow directions, both verbal and written.  It is important to understand exactly what is expected.
  • Late work will be NOT be accepted.  DON'T make excuses.  If you were absent, you have three class days to make up Formative grades upon your return to class.  A missed Test must be taken before or after school.  Writing assignments and projects are due on the Due Date. 
  • Extra Credit is offered only to the entire class.  There is no individual Extra Credit.
  • DON'T plagiarize!  Plagiarism (copying from the internet, a book, or from another student’s paper without giving credit) will be rewarded with a "zero." 
  • Observe District and Class Rules for behavior and dress.  Class Rules are posted in the room.
  • DON'T tell me you can't get to a computer.