Course Syllabus

    Scott Gardner

    VA/US History


    Course Summary:

    Virginia and United States History The standards for Virginia and United States History include the historical development of American ideas and institutions from the Age of Exploration to the present. While focusing on political and economic history, the standards provide students with a basic knowledge of American culture through a chronological survey of major issues, movements, people, and events in United States and Virginia history. Students should use historical and geographical analysis skills to explore in depth the events, people, and ideas that fostered our national identity and led to our country’s prominence in world affairs. The study of history must emphasize the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship. Students practice these skills as they extend their understanding of the essential knowledge defined by the standards for history and social science.


    Materials: Students are expected to bring the following to class EVERY DAY:

    ·             Charged electronic device ( phone, laptop, Ipad, tablet, etc)

    ·             Binder (1” binder with 5 dividers and loose leaf paper)

    ·             Pencil pouch with pencils, pen, highlighters, & markers or colored pencils (some loaner materials are made available in the classroom).



    Students will be expected to keep a binder where all in-progress and completed vocabulary, study guides/notes, quizzes/tests, and labs will be organized in one place. Students are encouraged to bring their binder home to complete assignments and study for quizzes or tests. Binders will be checked periodically and a grade will be assigned for having all necessary papers organized. A class binder will be kept up to date and made available to students as an example.


    Tips for Success:

    1.    Complete homework every night. Spending 15 minutes studying the Quizlet set or study guide pertaining to the current unit, along with any additional unfinished classwork.

    2.    Come to class prepared. Students must bring their binder, pencil, highlighter, and FULLY CHARGED device to class with them DAILY in order to participate fully.

    3.    Ask for help when needed. I can assist students before school or during lunch by request. It is best to take advantage of these opportunities early!


    School Policies:

    All school policies will be enforced in the classroom including tardy, absence, dress code, and cell phone use policies. Please see the MVHS student handbook for details. Policies can be found on the school’s web site: http://web.henry.k12.va.magnavista.us//


    Classroom Rules:

    1.     Be prepared for class EVERY DAY.

    2.     Be respectful to yourself and others.

    3.     Participate actively in all class activities.

    4.     Follow instructions the first time they are given.

    5.    Be responsible with all loaned and owned materials.




    Grading Scheme:

    Tests 40%

    Classwork 30%

    Projects 20%

    Homework 10%


    Tests/Quizzes: Students will be assessed formally over the material we cover each unit (SOL standard). This portion of the class makes up the largest part of the grade because it assesses what you have learned. Your goal should be to earn an 80% or better on each quiz or test. Students will be given the opportunity to complete retake quizzes on selected problems from each unit test to improve their overall score.


    Homework/Classwork: Each day (Mon-Thurs), material covered in class that has not been completed will be assigned as homework. In addition, students may occasionally be assigned graded activities or worksheets that they are given time to complete in class. There is an expectation that any work students are unable to complete in the allotted class time be completed as homework.


    Projects: Cooperative learning and laboratory techniques are also important for high school success. Each unit will be accompanied by at least one major project. These projects will be assessed via a rubric. They are meant to showcase students’ creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills (the 4C’s). Projects will have a variety of formats and will often involve student choice in how to present the material. Some class time will be set aside for the completion of projects but students may need to do some work at home in order to complete them.


    Absences and Make-Up Work:  Students who are absent from class are responsible for checking daily work folder for any materials distributed on the day(s) they were absent. If a test or quiz was missed, the student will be expected to make up the quiz during class the next day they are present. The absent student is responsible for completing any classwork missed during their absence and test or quiz make-up. Due date extensions can be arranged as needed for excused absences, but students are expected to submit all make-up work as soon as possible. If an absence is anticipated, students are encouraged to request work in advance.


    Late Work: A penalty of 10% of the total grade will be assessed the 1st week the graded assignment is late. Work that is 2 weeks or later will receive a 20% grade reduction.