Policies & Procedures

(1) General Expectations for Student Behavior.

I keep the door locked to prevent disruptions, so make sure you arrive on time, put your cell phones on silent, and take out your notes/handouts before the start of the period. Consistent lateness and/or frequent reminders to get ready by the start of the period will lower your work habits grade. I’m fine with you eating or drinking in my classroom so long as it doesn’t distract you or your classmates, and so long as you tidy up when you are done.


(2) Homework

Homework is an essential part of the learning process and will give you opportunities to deepen your understanding of a topic, practice disciplinary skills, and make mistakes. Most importantly, completing homework assignments will help you perform better on assessments and apply course content in new situations, so it should not be ignored or left to the last minute. Students who struggle with homework should seek help immediately and are encouraged to attend teacher office hours or after school tutoring. Expect some type of reading or writing assignment every night.


(3) Re-assessment and Resubmission

Students who have not scored an A or B on an assessment are encouraged to retake/resubmit for a higher score. To retake or resubmit an assessment, you must schedule a retake or make a resubmission within two weeks of the work being returned to you. No retakes will be allowed during Finals Week. A student may only retake or resubmit an assessment if they complete the Assessment Retake/Resubmission Form available on Schoology. This form requires students to (a) meet with their teacher, (b) complete a reflection about the assessment and (c) complete additional review/practice.


(4) Absences and Makeup Exams

You are responsible for completing all assigned work for this course. If you are absent, consult the course’s online calendar and/or get in touch with a friend to see what you must make-up. Make-ups for exams given in class are only granted for excused absences. Please note that if you fail to show up for the make-up exam, you will not be able to re-schedule and you will not receive credit.


(5) Late Work.

Academic grades in this course are determined by a student’s mastery of course skills and content. Students who submit work after the posted deadline will not receive a lesser score on that assignment; timeliness will be reflected in the student’s Work Habits grade instead. To prevent students from falling behind and feeling overwhelmed, however, late work should be submitted within three days after the posted deadline. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.


(5) Cheating and Plagiarism

People often learn best when they work with others, and I highly encourage you to create study groups and ask each other for help. That said, I do not tolerate academic dishonesty. Any student caught cheating or found guilty of plagiarism will receive a fail on the assessment with no possibility for make-up and a drop in their Cooperation grade. The bottom line: don’t do it.


(6) Work Habits and Cooperation.

Work habits grades are based on consistently coming to class prepared and on time, as well as consistently turning in assignments and essays by the due date. Cooperation grades are based on your conduct in class. Violations of the policies and procedures outlined in this syllabus, as will any display of extremely rude or disrespectful behavior, will result in lowered work habits and corporation grades. Please note: I will not write letters of recommendation for any senior who has earned a U in cooperation in my classes.


(7) Grades.

For this class, assignments are approximately weighted according to the following categories:


  • Essays (DBQs and LEQs) = 25%

  • Exams and Quizzes (SAQs) = 30%

  • Socratic Seminars and Projects = 25%

  • Participation (includes active reading and note checks) = 20%

Grades for individual assignments are weighted such that assignments given towards the end of a unit count more than assignments given at the beginning. This is because I do not expect you to master the skills and content at the beginning of the year, or even at the beginning of a new unit. However, I do expect that you continuously push yourself. Slacking off will only lower your grade.


All assignments are given letter grades, which are then converted into points depending on the assignment.  Letter grades adhere to the following scale:


                 A+ = 97%              B+ = 87%                C+ = 77%                D+  = 67%

                 A   = 95%              B   = 85%                C   = 75%                D   = 65%

                 A-  = 93%              B-  = 83%                C-   = 73%                D-  = 63%

Fail =  55%

Missing = 50%


Final semester grades adhere to the following scale: (note that grades are never rounded):


A = 90-100%        B = 80-89%        C = 70-79%        D = 60-69%        F = below 60%

(8) The AP Exam.

Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the AP exam on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The College Board charges $94 for the exam; however, Grant High School offers students significant financial aid. Sign-ups take place during the fall semester. See me with questions or concerns.

(9) Recommended Course Materials.

It is extremely unlikely that we’ll use the textbook in this class, so to ensure your success you’ll need the following school supplies:

  • a dedicated 1-inch three-ring binder (do not share it with other classes)

  • tab dividers to help you organize your three-ring binder

  • plenty of blue, black, and red pens

  • plenty of lined, college-ruled, loose-leaf paper


I don’t think I need to tell juniors how to organize their binders—although, if you’re self-aware enough to recognize that you need help with organization, I’m more than happy to give my recommendations:

  • general course handouts (e.g., the syllabus, rubrics) should go behind the first tab

  • put class notes behind the second tab (keep in chronological order)

  • use the next tab for unit readings (again, keep in chronological order)

  • the fourth tab can be for graded work, which should be kept until the end of semester

  • store blank paper behind the final tab

Remember: Your binder is your textbook, so it’s essential that you keep everything and keep it organized. We will often reference old material.