• Course Descriptions

    Economics & Government


    US History

    This course is a continuation of the US History studies that began in 8th grade.  We cover from the end of Reconstruction (1877) to the election of President Obama (2008).  Historical content focus on the political, economic, and social events and issues related to industrialization and urbanization, major wars, domestic and foreign policies, and reform movements, including civil rights.  Students will study the geographic factors on major events as they analyze causes and effects.  Students examine the impact of constitutional issues and analyze efforts to expand the democratic process.  Students use critical-thinking skills to explain and apply different methods that historians us the interpret the past.  At the end of this course, students will take the final STAAR End of Course exam, required for graduation.


    History in Film

    This course is centered around a series of inquiries (historical representation, factual accuracy, culture, and modern impact) as we look at human history from pre-historic to modern times through the lens of major theatrical films.  Through these investigations you will learn what you need to be prepared for life in and after high school.  This course will emphasize “The Academic Essentials”:  communicating, reading, learning, thinking, and managing yourself, your resources and your reputation.  Special emphasis will be placed on research and verbal communication skills, as well as the use of technology.

    Career Preparation and Practicum

    The Career Preparation course provides opportunities for students to participate in a work-based learning experience that combines classroom instruction with business and industry employment experiences. The goal is to prepare students with a variety of skills for a changing workplace. Career preparation is relevant and rigorous, supports student attainment of academic standards, and effectively prepares students for college and career success.



    Grading will be weighted as follows:  10% Homework/Daily Work, 30% Quizzes; 60% Tests, Projects & Presentations
    Late or missing work will be accepted per district policy (see note below).
    I try to post grades at least weekly. Check the parent connect information available on-line for grade updates.

    This year I will be grading on a 4.0 equal interval scale, rather than a 0-100 scale.  This 4.0 grading system will then be converted to the standard 0 – 100 percentage system we are all used to.

    • Grading consists of presentations and written assignments (major grade, 60% of final grade), weekly quizzes (30% of final grade), and homework and class participation (using class time wisely, etc., 10% of final grade).
    • Group project presentations may receive two grades – one for academic content and a second for 21st Century group skills (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Creativity, & Communication).
    • Final grade takes into consideration performance, progress, and contribution to the class.

    Late work may be accepted within reason but the grade reduced accordingly.  Grading will look like this.

    Letter Grade

    E.I. Scale Grade

    % Grade





    Mastery of material with in-depth understanding that goes beyond what was taught.




    Partial mastery and understanding of material that goes beyond what was taught.




    No major errors or omissions regarding any of the information and/or processes (simple or complex) that were explicitly taught.




    No major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes and partial knowledge of the more complex ideas and processes.




    No major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes, but major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes.




    Partial knowledge of the simpler details and processes but major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes.




    With help, a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes and some of the more complex ideas and processes.




    With help, a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes but not the more complex ideas and processes.




    No work turned in; OR Even with help, no understanding or skill demonstrated.

    All assignments, quizzes, paers, projects and exam grades may be corrected up to a 2.5 during the grading period until the end of the second to last week (week 8) of the 9-week grading period.  No late work will be accepted that last week as I will need that time to finalize my nine-week or semester grades.  Usually, grades taken during the last week of the 9-week grading period will be assigned to the next grading period so there will be no surprises on a student’s grades.  An exception to this procedure will be Semester Exam grades.



    I am available most days for tutorials from 7:20 to 7:50 am and from 3:30 to 5:00 pm.  Students who have permission to leave class during 8th period may come to my room for tutorials with permission from their teacher.  In addition, students enrolled in my US History class may be assigned Monday & Tuesday B Lunch tutorials to assist them in preparing for the STAAR End of Course Exam.  Other times for tutorials can be arranged by contacting me.



    I do not usually assign homework.  If homework is given, it is usually because classwork was incomplete.  I will not collect or grade homework.  If a homework assignment is given, students may have a “homework quiz” during the first few minutes of class the next day.  The “homework quiz” will include similar problems to those on the homework assignment.  Students having difficulty with any homework assignment are expected to see me during my before-or after-school tutorials.



    1. All school district policies and procedures are followed in the classroom.
    2. Keep your work area neat and clean and take care of all equipment and books as if they were your own.  Please do not mark on equipment, books and tables/desks in the classroom.  Thank you!
    3. Turn work in by the due date assigned.  If absent on due date, work is due the day the student returns to class. Students are expected to prepare in advance for planned absences (school activities such as athletics or field trips) and to make up all missed assignments upon return to class after an unplanned absence.  It is the student’s responsibility to ask the teacher for make-up work upon returning to class.  It is the teacher’s responsibility to record make-up work for students absent from class.
    4. Students are expected to be in their assigned seat when the bell rings.  Begin the warm up exercise upon arrival.  Entrance after the tardy bell will implement the school tardy policy as outlined in the student handbook.  School tardy policy will be strictly enforced.
    5. Water is allowed in the classroom but per school policy no other food or drink will be allowed in the classroom.  Students possessing food and drink will be asked to dispose of it or place it in their locker, which could result in a student being late to class.
    6. Telephone Use – Students are encouraged to download the Google Classroom app if they have a smartphone.  This app will allow students to take photos of their written work to submit as a part of their classroom assignments.  Other in-class use of telephones may be allowed on a day-to-day basis.  Per school policy, students using their phones for non-classroom use may have their phone collected.  For first-time offences, the phone will be returned at the end of class.  For second-time offences and above, the phone may be turned into the office and the school's policy for telephone returns will be followed. 
    7. Hall Passes – Students are expected to take care of restroom breaks BEFORE class.  Restroom breaks during class are only given for true emergencies.  Students are expected to let the teacher know of any chronic or short-term medical needs that may require them to be excused from class during instructional time.  Only one student at a time may be gone from the class.
    8. Submitting & Returning Work – For those times when actual paper is turned in (exams, for example), each period has a turn-in tray by the front door.  Returned work is placed in a student folder under the window at the back of the room.  Students are allowed to keep work in that folder.  Students are not allowed to view or remove work from other students’ folders.



    All students should bring their Chromebook fully charged and ready to use as well as pencil and paper to class each day.  Most student work will be submitted via Google Classroom by completing the work online, or taking a photo of handwritten work and submitting the assignment in this manner.  Written/Paper work submitted in pen will be returned, ungraded and subject to a late submission penalty.  Student may wish to use a small notebook to keep up with any papers or test review materials.  In order to save trees, most material will be distributed electronically. 


    US History Course Outline
    Blue Ridge High School
    2018 – 2019 School Year

    1st Nine Weeks – August 15th to October 18th
    Unit 1 – Thinking Like an Historian
    Unit 2 – Growing Pains - the Gilded Age (1877-1898)
    Unit 3 – Reforming America - the Progressive Era (1898-1920)
    Fall Benchmark – Date TBD for Fall Benchmark Exam

    2nd Nine Weeks – October 22nd to December 19th
    Unit 4 – Emergence as a World Power - Spanish-American War and World War I (1898-1920)
    Unit 5 – Boom Time - America in the 1920s (1920-1929)
    Unit 6 - Economic Bust - the Great Depression (1929-1939)
    Semester Final Exams – December 17 – 19

    3rd Nine Weeks – January 8th to March 6th
    Unit 7 – Total War - the Second World War (1939-1945)
    Unit 8 – Differing Ideologies - The Cold War (1945-1970s)
    Unit 9 – Liberty and Justice for All - The Civil Rights Movement (1945-1970s)
    Winter Benchmark – Date TBD for Winter Benchmark Exam

    4th Nine Weeks – March 16th to May 28th
    Unit 10 – A Growing World Presence - New National Directions (1970-1990)
    Unit 11 – A New Century Turns - History during Our Own Lifes (1990-Present)
    Unit 12 – Tying It All Together - STAAR Exam Review
    Unit 13 – Ever-Changing America - Yesterday's Challenge & Today's Opportunities

    English Language Arts STAAR Testing – Week of April 6th.
    Algebra 1, Biology, US History STAAR Testing – Week of May 4th.
    End of Year Final Exams – May 21 – 22.