Social Studies Department

Students must earn a total of 3 credits of Social Studies. 


            Required Courses

            2 Semesters of U.S. History and Geography

            2 Semesters of World History and Geography

            1 Semester of Government

            1 Semester of Economics


Suggested Electives:

            Contemporary Issues

            Social Studies through Cinema



            Law & Justice


            Current Events


World History& Geography

Grade:  9                                  Credit:  ½ per semester

Prerequisite:  None


Description:  The course will examine key historical events that happened throughout the world.  Ancient times through current events will be examined.  World cultural regions will be studied including an examination of religion, social customs, and regional traditions.  The five themes of geography will also be applied to help further historical and cultural understanding.  Students will be expected to locate countries, major cities, and major geographical features.


World History& Geography Honors

            Grade:  9                                  Credit: 1/year

            Prerequisite:  Permission of instructor


DescriptionThe first ¾ of the class will integrate world history and the five themes of geography. The last ¼ of this course will focus on comparative political systems of the world (preparation for “We the People”).


US History & Geography

Grade: 10 Credit: ½ per semester

Description: The first semester of this course will focus on the time from 1900 to 1939. The time periods and issues covered will include the Progressive Era, White House reforms, WWI, Roaring 20s, Great Depression, and the New Deal. The second semester of this course will focus on the time from World War II to the present day. The time periods and issues covered will include World War II, the Cold War and US Involvement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam Era, political issues, and current topics. Applying the five themes of geography will also be a tool used to help students understand the historical principles.

US History & Geography Honors

Grade: 10 Credit: 1/year

Prerequisites: Student should have at least an 85% in 9th grade history.

Description: The first ¾ of the course will analyze American history from the end of WWII until the 1980s. The last ¼ will focus on the American political system and its historical underpinnings (preparation for We the People).



Grade 11 Credit: ½ per semester

Prerequisite: Student must have credit in World History & Geography and US History & Geography

Description: This course is designed to evaluate the branches of government, voting, and the Constitution, with an emphasis on current political issues.



Grade: 11 Credit: ½ per semester

Prerequisite: Student must have credit in World History & Geography 1/2 and US History & Geography 1/2

Description: This course is designed to introduce economic principals such as supply and demand, consumption, debt, production, investments, and their global implications.


AP US Government and Politics / Honors Economics

Grade: 11 Credit: 1/year

Prerequisite: 3.5 GPA or better or permission of instructor.

Description: This course includes intensive evaluation and philosophical beginnings of the American Government. All levels will be discussed to include a comparison with foreign governments. Aspects of the American economic system including macro and micro economic principles will be analyzed as they apply to both the US and global economics. Investment planning and basic business principles will also be examined.

The content and work load of this course will reflect that of a college course as well as prepare students for the AP Government Exam. There is a cost to take the AP exam and a student’s score may earn college credit. The minimum score needed for credit varies from college to college.



Grade: 11-12 Credit: 1/year

Prerequisite: "B" average overall

Description: This course is a full year but will be divided into two semesters. If you do not pass the first semester, you will not be asked to return for the second. In the first semester we will dissect the roots of psychology and learn how to study and apply it to our lives. We will unveil the founding fathers of the field analyzing and applying their insights and contributions to the realm of psychology, and we will discern between such application theories and how they may

factor into our own lives and the world at large. In the second semester we will consider psychology from a broader perspective, understanding how many of the unique divisions of the field may or may not directly apply to us and to other persons in and throughout our lives. We will unearth the hidden basis of personality types and stare directly into the normal and abnormal worlds in which we all live, appreciating how various therapies and coping methods are a natural part of who we are and what we do every day in private and social atmospheres.


Social Studies Through Cinema

Grade: 11-12 Credit: ½ per semester

Prerequisite: Credit in World History & Geography 1/2 and US History & Geography 1/2 together with a signed permission slip from parents (some films will be R rated due to violence and/or language.)

Description: This course will be a study of key events of American History from WWII, the 1950s, and Civil Rights. Movies will be used to explore an in-depth study of history. The purpose of the class is not to give general information of the entire time period, but give a narrow detailed perspective on key events (examples: McCarthyism & the push for minority voting rights during the 1960s). Focus will also be on Hollywood’s interpretation of history versus the historical correctness of the movie adaptation. Main resources for the class include film, primary readings and notes.


Current Events

Grade: 11 / 12 Credit: ½ per semester

Prerequisite: Have 2 credits (4 semester classes) in social studies.

Description: Current Events is designed to further a student’s knowledge of social studies through a study of World History since 1945 and how current events (political, historical, economic, geographic news, etc.) are founded and tied to previous events, history, and future outcomes. Students will demonstrate cause and effect, critical thinking, comprehensive knowledge, etc. through tests, research, papers, projects, presentations, and so on.


Contemporary Issues:

Grade: 12 Credit: ½ per semester

Prerequisite: Have 2 credits (4 semester classes) in social studies.

Students must have a 3.5 GPA or teacher approval

Description: This research and writing intensive class will allow students to look closely at several current issues (such as terrorism, the environment, and human rights) that influence our lives. Students will learn in-depth knowledge of issues; apply decision-making and critical thinking skills to real world problems. Assessment will be in form of presentations, papers, traditional tests, and other projects.

Law & Justice

Grade 10-12 Credit: ½ per semester

Description: Course is broken into two parts. The first part deals with state and local law. (Police procedures, crime scene investigation, and local jurisprudence.) The second part addresses the court system to include court procedures, pre-trial behaviors, and prosecution of offenders. Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to apply local law, follow a case to its completion, and analyze the decision. Mock trials as well as evaluation of actual cases will be used as a basis of assessment.


Sociology:  Social problems (1 Semester)

This class familiarizes students with theoretical and empirical aspects of some of the major social problems afflicting American society and the world. Topics may include crime and delinquency, poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, family violence, prejudice and discrimination, and environmental pollution. Emphasis is placed on the objective and subjective aspects of social problems and their proposed remedies and solutions. Students are exposed to the roles that power and influence play in defining social problems, in maintaining existing conditions, and in promoting social change.


Sociology: Culture and Social Structure (1 Semester)

This class familiarizes students with sociological concepts, theories, and methods. Students in this class will be encouraged to develop "sociological imagination," that is, an understanding of the connection between personal biography and history. Class content will include an examination of social structure and culture (and the relationship between these two concepts), the socialization process, the major social institutions and their impact, the nature of inequality in society, social stratification, the changing social world, and social inequality.


Philosophy: A Journey into the Thinking of the Human Mind

Grade: 10-12 Credit: ½ per semester

Prerequisite: None

Description: A Journey into the thinking of the human mind. This will be a one-semester course that will focus on the discovering of philosophy. The foundation of this course will be the great philosophers (Plato, Locke, Mill, Kant, etc.) However, the goal of the course is to develop or better understand a personal philosophy as well as understanding esoteric philosophical concepts and alternative philosophical opinions. Current events and moral dilemmas will be used to apply philosophical principles.

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