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Contact Info:

West Jessamine High School
Social Studies

5th Block Planning

Hours also available before and after school.



Janet O’Connell:

West Jessamine High School

859.887.2421 ext. 3610



I would like to welcome you to US History, and give you valuable information so that you can be successful in our class. This syllabus will give you information about your textbook, materials you need, grading policy and classroom procedures. If you have any questions that are not answered here, or need clarification, please contact me by email or phone. I look forward to a great year and hope you do as well.


Course Overview:

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of U.S. events from the age of exploration to modern times.  The focus will be on the events that helped shape the economic and social institutions as well as their effect on the United States.  The course will begin with a review of U.S. History through the time of Exploration to the present.


Text: The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21st Century

           A Reading Study Guide and electronic version of the text is available.


Standards Based Grading Policy:


According to school guidelines, students are expected to master each of the standards specified in the previously mentioned content areas for this subject.  Grades for this course will be based entirely on the mastery of these standards as demonstrated on formative and summative assessments.  No portion of the course grade will be obtained from bonus, additional assignments, etc.  It is expected behavior that each student will prepare for these standards through completing the assigned reading, completing the standards based assignments, and participating in class discussion/activities.


Grading Policy:

Summative Assessments                                                            80%                     Retakes are allowed if all formative work is complete and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                must be taken within two weeks of the initial assessment.

               Unit Exams                                                       70%

               Final Exam                                                       10%


Formative Assessments                                               20%




               Class Activities                                             



Attendance and Tardiness

You are expected to be present and participating in class every day. Per school policy, a student will be counted tardy if they enter the class after the tardy bell rings. Disciplinary actions for tardies will be based on West Jessamine High School Code of Conduct procedures.


Class Policies

The school policies for make-up work, tardiness, dress code, cell phone use, etc. will be followed.


Electronic Devices

Cell phones may be placed in the secure holder located in the front of the classroom at the beginning of the block.  Just a note:  I am not against using cell phones for instruction or personal use.  I am even offended by adults who feel there is no place for cell phones in school.  It reminds me - Cole Camplese noted that in 1800, the chalkboard was considered a disruptive technology in the classroom because it put teachers' backs to the students (as cited by Laurie Rowell in "Capture the Back Channel," eLearn Magazine, August 6, 2009). While I believe that cell phones are a necessary part of our daily lives, I also believe that they are a very powerful distraction that can be detrimental to a variety of activities (i.e. driving and having conversations with someone not on the phone).  Because of the power of distraction cell phones have on our lives they can destroy a positive learning environment.  Refer to the student code of conduct for consequences regarding the cell phone policy.





Units and Exam Schedule (unit exam dates are tentative)


Unit                                                                                      Exam Dates to be announced




The Growth of the Nation

Civil War                              


The Gilded Age                                                                

The Progressive Era                                                         



1st Semester Final Exam                                                    Week of December 17-19


Great Depression and New Deal                                   



Post WWII-the 50’s                                                                        

Civil Rights, 60’s, Vietnam                                            

Nixon, Ford, Carter                                                                         

Reagan to present

End of Course Exam (State)                                                                                              

Final Course Exam                                                                            






I will …

• respect others as well as school and personal property

• observe all WJHS

Code of Conduct rules including (hats and


• be seated in my assigned seat with materials ready when the bell rings

• stay in my seat until the bell rings

• follow directions the first time they are given






I understand that I am to …

• ask permission to leave, sign out

and take hall pass

• turn in my homework and

assignments as directed by the teacher

• find work I missed while absent

in the assignment notebook

• find missing handouts by asking teacher or peers before or after class

• get missed notes from my shoulder partner

• arrange to get additional makeup

work before or after class or school

• arrange to take any tests I miss

before or after school




Class Rules/Guidelines

See WJHS Code of Conduct for school rules.


Supplies Needed:  binder of choice with dividers for assignments and assessments.


Teacher’s Note

This course will be very active and will depend upon willing participants to be successful.

We can have fun learning together with respect for ourselves & others.



“America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely true

and the opposite is probably equally true.”

-James T. Farrell, Introduction to H.L. Mencken’s Prejudices:  A Selection




I have reviewed the U.S. History Syllabus and agree to uphold all classroom rules, procedures, grading policy and requirements.



Student Signature




I have reviewed the U.S. History Syllabus and agree to support my son/daughter in upholding all classroom rules, procedures, grading policy and requirements.



Parent Signature


Parent Contact information



Email (If this is your preferred method of contact)



Dear Parents,


It is extremely important that we keep communication open between you and the school.  Please contact me by August 30, via email, phone, or in person, so that we can determine how to best communicate with each other throughout the course. Your son/daughter will receive classroom participation points for this contact.



                                                                                                Hope to hear from you soon,


                                                                                                          Ms. O’Connell



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