Academics


Social Studies

ABOUT SOCIAL STUDIES

The Social Studies Department offers a curriculum which challenges students to make informed, reasoned, and value-based decisions. They are encouraged to become responsible citizens of our culturally diverse, democratic society and knowledgeable participants in an interdependent world. Learning experiences are active, requiring students to create, role-play, simulate, debate, and present multimedia research projects designed to utilize traditional library resources and computer-based data. The Social Studies curriculum requires students to study United States history, world history, and to select from a variety of social science electives in their senior year.

United States History

Grade 10 - Yearlong course

The course is a two-semester survey of U.S. history emphasizing the major social, political, economic, intellectual, and international developments of the twentieth century. The course is based on the textbook, The American Vision, and includes classroom activities of lecture, discussion, audio-visual presentations, cooperative groupings, games, simulations, debates, and individual research projects. A research paper is required in the second semester. Homework is assigned daily.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

AP United States History - Grade 10 - Yearlong course

This course is designed to study a range of topics and issues in the political, economic, social, and cultural history of the United States from the Colonial Era to the early 21st Century. The primary goal of the course is to prepare students to earn college credit in United States History by passing the Advanced Placement exam in May. Throughout the course, students will engage in a wide range of rigorous activities and assignments including lectures, readings, analysis of source materials, debates, simulations, and the writing of well-focused essays.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP examination in May. There is a College Board fee assessed for this examination that will be added to the students' tuition. No final exam is administered in this course in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: English I grade of B+ both semesters or English I Acc grade of B both semesters; academic cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Placement: Students who meet all prerequisites and wish to take this course must complete the AP US History Placement Request Form by Friday, February 26, 2016. The form is distributed through current English teachers.

World History - Grade 11 - Yearlong course

The course is a two-semester survey of world history designed to introduce students to the major world developments and issues that have shaped our past, present, and future. Its focus is modern history but will begin with an introduction to the foundations of democracy and Western civilization. Students will then explore influential events of the last five hundred years in a chronological and topical manner. A critical component will be a look at the growing interdependence of people and cultures throughout the world by studying African, Latin American, South and East Asian, and Middle Eastern civilizations. This course will challenge students to work to their full capacities, to develop critical thinking skills, and to assume a global responsibility. A research paper is required in the first semester and a research project in the second. Homework is assigned daily. Students must earn a passing grade for graduation.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Prerequisite: US History or AP US History

AP World History - Grade 11 - Yearlong course

This course is an advanced placement level study of the history of the human race since its origins to the present time. The course is sequenced chronologically and thematically and is selective in the periods and developments covered. Since student placement is based on achievement, interest, and department approval, this AP-level course expects students to assume greater personal responsibility for the success of the learning process than the core World History course. The primary goal of the course is to prepare students to earn college credit in World History by passing the Advanced Placement exam in May.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP examination in May. There is a College Board fee assessed for this examination that will be added to the students' tuition. No final exam is administered in this course in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: US History grade of A- both semesters or AP US History grade of B both semesters; academic cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Placement: Students currently enrolled in AP US History will automatically matriculate into AP World History if they earn a B or better both semesters. Students who are currently enrolled in US History must complete the AP World History Placement Request Form by Friday, February 26, 2016. The form is distributed through current US History teachers.

Senior Courses

Seniors are required to take two semesters of social studies electives. The yearlong AP European History and AP Psychology courses each satisfy this requirement.

AP European History Grade 12 - Yearlong course

The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we would lack the context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuity and change in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and intellectual discourse. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of AP European History are to develop an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European history, an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and an ability to express historical understanding in writing.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP examination in May. There is a College Board fee assessed for this examination that will be added to the students' tuition. No final exam is administered in this course in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: World History grade of A- both semesters or AP World History grade of B both semesters; academic cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Placement: Students currently enrolled in World History or AP World History must complete the AP Senior Elective Placement Request Form by Friday, February 26, 2016. The form is distributed through current social studies teachers.

AP Psychology - Grade 12 - Yearlong course

AP Psychology is a yearlong course that will introduce students to the systematic, scientific study of mental processes as well as the behavior of humans and animals. Students will be exposed to the science of psychology, as well as the role of the brain and nervous system in regards to the emotions, cognitions and behavior of an organism. In addition, the course will include the study of sleep, learning, memory, intelligence, motivation and emotion. Students will also study developmental psychology, personality theories, anxiety and mood disorders and their treatment. The course will also include the study of ethics and methods psychologists utilize within their science and practice.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP examination in May. There is a College Board fee assessed for this examination that will be added to the students' tuition. No final exam is administered in this course in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: World History grade of A- both semesters or AP World History grade of B both semesters; academic cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Placement: Students currently enrolled in World History or AP World History must complete the AP Senior Elective Placement Request Form by Friday, February 26, 2016. The form is distributed through current social studies teachers.

AP Government and Politics: United States - Grade 12 - Semester course (second semester only)

This course will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. Students will become familiar with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. Students will also become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP examination in May. There is a College Board fee assessed for this examination that will be added to the students' tuition. No final exam is administered in this course in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: World History grade of A- both semesters or AP World History grade of B both semesters; academic cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Placement: Students currently enrolled in World History or AP World History must complete the AP Senior Elective Placement Request Form by Friday, February 26, 2016. The form is distributed through current social studies teachers.

AP Macroeconomics - Grade 12 - Semester course (second semester only)

AP Macroeconomics is a course designed to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. This course places particular emphasis on the study of economic indicators like the GDP, creating and developing a price index to measure inflation, cause and effect of unemployment, and international economics. The class will also provide students with an understanding of the impact of monetary and fiscal policies on economic growth. In addition, case studies, graphical analysis of macroeconomic concepts and real-life application of macroeconomic concepts will also be addressed.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP examination in May. There is a College Board fee assessed for this examination that will be added to the students' tuition. No final exam is administered in this course in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: World History grade of A- both semesters or AP World History grade of B both semesters; academic cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Placement: Students currently enrolled in World History or AP World History must complete the AP Senior Elective Placement Request Form by Friday, February 26, 2016. The form is distributed through current social studies teachers.

American Government & Politics - Grade 12 - Semester course

Students will analyze government and politics in the United States. Students consider the fundamental principals and nature of power in a constitutional republic. They develop a deep understanding of the branches of government, key Supreme Court cases, political parties, interest groups, and the importance of federal, state, and local elections. Furthermore, students take and defend positions on fundamental American political controversies. Through lectures, discussions, group projects, simulations, and a research paper, students develop the essential skills needed to positively impact politics and seek social justice on the federal, state, and local levels.

UC/CSU approval course
NCAA Core Course

Economics - Grade 12 - Semester course

Economics educates to a strong foundation in economic reasoning and financial literacy. It covers both microeconomic and macroeconomic principles. This class is rich with interactive simulations as economics is best understood and appreciated through experiential learning. Students will be introduced to concepts such as economic decision-making; business organizations and entrepreneurship; the price system and laws of supply, demand, equilibrium and price elasticity. Students would also learn about macroeconomic concepts such as GDP, the business cycle, price indexes, global trade and our central banking system. Class assignments will include participation in market simulations, the creation of a business plan, a stock market research and investment game, and other written assignments and presentations that will connect students with their domestic and global economy. Upon completing the course, students will have a strong foundation in economic understanding that will prepare them for college economics courses.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Ethnic Studies - Grade 12 - Semester course

Ethnic Studies examines the impact of race in America in various areas (music, the economy, government, mass media), while also examining some of the root causes of these contemporary concerns through a historical lens. During the course of this semester class, the students will examine the historical struggles and triumphs of ethnic groups in America, from the early 1800’s to contemporary times. The groups of focus will be the Irish, Chinese, Mexicans, and Africans, although other ethnic groups will also be incorporated into the course curriculum. By examining the history of each of these groups, within the American social, political and educational fabric, a stronger understanding of why some groups have been able to elevate themselves into the mainstream of America while others continue to exist on the margins of society will be established. In doing so, the goal is for students to work for a more just and equitable society for all ethnic groups.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

Modern American History - Grade 12 - Semester Course

Modern American History is a one-semester course examining current social history in the United States. Particular emphasis will be on government policies on food production and its impact on the food we eat, including the creation of fast food, the resulting costs, and the current emphasis toward healthy eating. In addition, the course will define popular culture and how it represents the values and experiences of the average person. Through the lens of popular culture, students will study the changing idea of family over the last sixty years, as well as the development and impact of reality television on society. There will be an emphasis on in-class essay writing as it will be the dominant form of assessment for unit tests. There will also be research projects in which students examine different types of popular culture such as music, television, movies, and fads, and explain how they reflect the ideas or connect to historical events of a particular decade.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

The Rise of the Rest - Grade 12 - Semester Course

Today’s global society is largely defined by the “rise of the rest,” or growth in non-western countries such as China, India, Vietnam, South Africa, Russia, and Brazil. With particular focus on China and India, students will analyze the economic, political, social, and cultural implications of this shift. To put these changes into context, students will explore international trade, globalization, economic development, poverty, and U.S. Foreign Policy. Through eighteen thought-provoking weeks of discussion, simulations, lectures, debates, and research, students will learn to think critically and communicate effectively about geopolitics and the role of the U.S. in today’s world.

UC/CSU approved course
NCAA Core Course

DEPARTMENT CONTACT

Department Chair
Graham Oleson