this course, we will explore the foundations of the United States
government and evaluate the role that our government has today.
Focusing on modern day issues which impact our country and community, we
will consider ethical dimensions and tough moral questions. Civic
awareness is the primary focus of this course. By understanding our
government's impact on Ipswich and around the globe, we will be more
prepared to take on our roles in U.S. society. The politics of
today will become the history of tomorrow.
Appreciating our rich diversity and recognizing
the significance that diversity has on our nation are goals of this
course. We will look at the American political system from many
angles and challenge each other to respect varying views while defending
our own belief systems.
President Warren G. Harding said, "Our most dangerous tendency is to
expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little."
We will make a difference during this course and hopefully the lessons
learned throughout American Government will inspire future civic
are the units for our course:
Foundations of the U.S. Government
The Legislative Branch
The Executive Branch and Political Parties
Issues Facing the Nation
final grade for this course will be determined based on the following
and overall grades will be based on a points system.
Prior to each assignment, you will know the total available points. The grade will be based on the following calculation:
Total Points Earned ÷ Total Possible Points
other assignments, such as in-class work, research in the library, or
special projects, you will be made aware of the possible points when the
is an important part of this course.
The homework is meant to enhance our work in the classroom.
Completing the homework will help you understand the subject matter
and, hopefully, make it more interesting.
You will be better prepared for class discussions, other assignments,
and tests or quizzes. Likewise,
you will have the opportunity to participate in many activities. These
activities will range from group presentations to individual projects.
I hope the assignments will be engaging and enable you to demonstrate
your expertise in the field of politics and American government. Successfully completing
and handing-in all of the homework and assignments will improve your grade
for the course.
Homework/assignments are due at the beginning of class or when collected.
homework/assignments will not be accepted unless you have an excused
are responsible for obtaining homework/assignments if you are absent.
are responsible for submitting your homework/assignments if you are absent.
Homework will be
evaluated using the following sliding-scale rubric:
Homework shows excellent
and the work is fully completed
Homework shows acceptable
and the work is mostly completed
Homework shows minimal effort or is not submitted when due
Classroom Contribution -- Sliding Scale
Classroom contribution will be included as part of your quarterly grade.
Classroom contribution represents 15% of your quarterly grade.
See below about the effect of absences on your classroom contribution
rubric below outlines the grading criteria:
Truly exceptional leadership and participation in
the classroom by
demonstrating an outstanding work ethic,
complete focus when working independently,
adds significantly to the culture of the class, and willingly goes
beyond to bring material from outside the classroom into discussions
and the learning environment.
participation in class discussions,
thought provoking questions, willingly
works with other students during classroom activities,
attitude, and/or shows extensive
effort towards creating a positive atmosphere in the classroom.
participation in class discussions,
usually works well with other students
during classroom activities, excellent
attitude, and/or shows substantial
effort towards creating a positive classroom atmosphere.
participation in class discussions,
sometimes works well with other
students during classroom activities, and/or
meets some expectations
with attitude and contribution to the classroom environment.
participates in class discussions,
negative attitude, and/or is
participates in class discussions, is
disruptive in class, does not engage in
group projects, and/or is not part of the "class environment."
If you are absent from class,
you should complete the Class
online form within 4 school days of your absence(s). For example,
if you are absent on Monday, you have until Friday by the end of the
school day to submit your form and receive credit. You
should complete a separate form for each day of class you miss.
classroom contribution grade will be reduced by 10 points if you don't successfully
complete the Class
form and submit it by the deadline. For example, if you have a B
(85%) for your classroom contribution grade and you don't successfully
submit the Class
form by the deadline, your classroom contribution grade would be reduced
to a 75%.
Here for the Class Absence Summary Form
and classroom contribution are important aspects of the course. Participating
in class advances your knowledge of the material and enables other students
to learn from you. Class sessions are also meant to supplement homework
and individual research rather than replace or repeat your readings.
Please refer to pages 9 and 10 of the Ipswich High School 2018-2019 Student-Parent Handbook
for the attendance policy and the effects absences has on
important note about field trips
trips are valuable components of a course curriculum. Throughout the
semester, it may be necessary for you to miss our class session(s) to
attend a field trip for another course. Please note that you are responsible for notifying
me AT LEAST TWO DAYS IN ADVANCE OF A FIELD TRIP if you are going to
be absent. Also, if you are working on a group project, you are responsible
for notifying your team members that you will be absent.
you fail to provide prior notification (AT LEAST TWO SCHOOL DAYS) for
an absence due to a field trip, you will not be able to make-up any
of the missed work done in class.
important note about family vacations
vacations must be approved by the Main Office PRIOR to your absence. While I will provide assistance, advanced assignments are
not guaranteed. If you are eligible to submit make-up work, the
work must be submitted in accordance with
the guidelines included in family vacation policy.
Students may take American Government for honors credit by signing
an Honors Contract. Students
who participate in an honors contract should:
regularly in class discussions,
a high level of critical thinking during class discussions,
all assignments with an excellent level of quality written and oral
the ability to work independently and as a member of team, and,
with other students to produce work that exceeds expectations.
If you are interested in taking the course for honors credit, please note
the following deadline: Honors Contracts are due by the start of class
on Friday, September 14.
Once you sign and submit the Honors Contract, you may not drop the Honors
Students who do not submit an honors contract by the due date will not be
eligible to take the course for honors credit. The due date is
posted on the Assignments/Topic page.