Course Syllabus

United States History ACP

Syllabus: 2022-2023

Instructor: Mrs. Sullivan 




Dear Scholars, 


         Hello and welcome to United States History.  The 2022-2023 school year will yet again look different than any other school year because you have all recently had an interrupted education over the past two years. Keeping this in mind, this year can feel (and be) different from the previous two. You may have gained new knowledge and skills that will enhance both you and your classmates' experience.  While there may be gaps in your skills or knowledge and over time I will become aware of this and find the proper support you need. Wherever you are in your journey as a scholar please know that I am here to support and guide you through your own learning process. The more you can engage in this process the better I can support you.


        As juniors and seniors you are becoming more independent in your learning and your approach to school. As a result I have created a class that reflects this growth. Therefore I already expect that you know how to use Canvas (upload documents and navigate the course). It is also expected that you understand how to read your grades within Canvas and Powerschool. I will continually review these skills, and it is your responsibility to ask questions if you are confused as we move forward in the year.  I am aware that Standards Based Grading is new for many of you so ASK QUESTIONS!!!! As Juniors and Seniors  it is your responsibility to advocate for yourself. Practice the skill of advocating for yourself now so that you feel confident post high school to do so. 

                                                                                                                               Mrs. Sullivan 

Guiding Questions for the Year

The Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal,” yet the United States has often failed to achieve such equality. How have individuals and groups sought to make America live up to the founding ideal that all people are created equal?


Units of Study 

The history department has organized the United States curriculum with a thematic approach. As a result, the content will not always go in chronological order. 

The United States Constitution: The first unit you will learn the structure, strengths, and weaknesses of the Founding documents ; The Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution. This unit will introduce the foundational information that is necessary to analyze the complex history of the United States.

Democracy and Authority: This unit will look at the balance that existed (and still exists) between federal and state powers and the impact this balance has on those living in the United States.  

Foreign Policy: We will view the role of the United States on the international stage through the lens of United States’ immigration policies and trends over time. 

Equality and Hierarchy: This theme will explore how marginalized groups in the United States have used their own agency in order to obtain equality. It will also explore the policies created that allowed for groups to become marginalized. 

Supplies to bring to class daily

As Juniors and Seniors you need to understand your own organization style. To this end, you can choose whatever organization system that works for you. I will check this system by the end of September so be clear on where you are taking notes and where you are keeping hand outs. This can be electronically or in a notebook, either way there needs to be a clear place where this exists. 


Indiviidual Support

I am free during Block 1 from 7:30-7:55am. I am also free after school from 2:30-3:00pm . You also have access to receive support from the the History Lab. Check the schedule here. If you want to individually check in It is your responsibility to reach out to me and set up time(s).


Evidence-Based Grading

In an effort to foster a growth-mindset and facilitate an authentic learning experience, we use a standards-based grading model.  You will get feedback on each assignment you submit this year, but no A-F grade. Categories within quarters will be weighted differently throughout the year to recognize our increasing focus on higher-order thinking.

At the end of each quarter, your grade will be determined based on the extent to which you have met or modeled  the expectations of each standard.  I will update powerschool at regular intervals to give you a sense of how you’re doing overall, and you will always have access to feedback on each assignment on Canvas.

We will spend a few days at the beginning of the year reviewing this practice, and the philosophy behind it, in more detail. 


The Different platforms that will be used this year:


Feedback  (informal)

Rubrics (formal)


-Only scholars have access to Canvas.

- In order to know the skills you are understanding and the skills you need to work on you will use the Grades tab on Canvas. 

- All assignments will be uploaded to Canvas (unless otherwise stated). 

- You can see your missing assignments by clicking on the grades tab and then clicking on assignments

-The purpose of feedback loops are for the scholar to better understand the skill they need to improve. At times feedback loops will be informal and can occur in class or on Canvas. 

It is imperative that you use the feedback in order to improve your skills. 

Therefore it is your responsibility to check your rubrics and assignments on Canvas to read the comments that I have provided. 

Remember: Using feedback is not simply “fixing the few mistakes that I point out”

-Rubric scores in Canvas are what will be used to determine the grade within the standard being assessed. 

-Will be divided into the 4 major Standards that the Social Studies Department has adopted. 

- The 4 standards  will be updated once a month.

-If I do not have evidence of learning approaching a standard, likely through non-submission of work, PowerSchool will note this.

- Unresolved ‘Incomplete’ at the end of a semester within a standard will become a F when the school requires us to translate that ‘Incomplete’ to a fixed letter grade. 

-I encourage students and parents to have open conversations about the best way for your family to use PowerSchool.  It can be a great tool that can also sometimes distract us from our larger learning goals.  


Makeup Work & Late Work Policies

Makeup work: Students have the same number of class days as they were absent to submit makeup work. With Evidence Based Grading scholars have the ability to redo particular assignments. However, this ability can happen only within the time frame provided by the teacher. 

Late Work Policy: In order to align with restorative practices, this late-work policy is designed to offer intervention supports rather than punitive consequences.  Students can submit late work without grade penalty if they participate in the following interventionsStudents who do not participate in the interventions will not receive credit for late work. 

  • First late submission: No intervention (It happens. We are all human)
  • Second late submission: Meeting with Mrs. Sullivan to reflect on assignment process to diagnose reason for late submission and plan for next assignment submission.
  • Third late submission: Meeting with Mrs. Sullivan, guidance counselors, and parents/guardians to problem solve
  • Fourth late submission: Mandatory regular working sessions scheduled with Mrs. Sullivan. 

Cell Phones and Laptops:

Cell phones and laptops are integral tools in our teaching and learning. As the year progresses you will find what works, and what does not work, for you as a student. If I feel as if you are not participating properly in class and technology is becoming a distraction I will speak with you and your adult supporters directly. We will work with you, as a team, to find what best works for your learning. 

To that end, I am not standing in front of the classroom texting my friends. I ask for the same respect from you. 

Extra Time on Assessments 

If you are allowed extra time on assessments per an IEP or 504 it is your responsibility to reach out to me (and the Learning Center teacher) to set up extra time 48 hours prior to said assessment. 

Evidence Based Grading 

Click here to access the handout that was provided in class with all the necessary information 

If you were unable to make it to Back to School Night please click here to access a short video that allows me to introduce myself. If you have any questions or concerns about the information on this page please do not hesitate to contact me via email. 

Back to School Night Video

If you were not able to make it to Back to School night please check out this welcome video.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due