US History Syllabus

US History Grading Policy



This course will cover a curriculum based on the California Standards for Social Studies-11.1 to 11.9. The standards are attached to the syllabus. The course will prepare the students to score a proficient score or better on the California State Test in April. The course will also enhance skills for the students in order to think critically, and to express critical thinking through reading various materials, writing essays and doing presentations.


The US History Grade will reflect a cumulative score for the semester


Quarterly Benchmark Exams 200 pts each    2 per semester

Lesson Packets                        25 pts each      1 per Unit

Unit Tests                                100 pts            each     4 Unit Tests

Semester Presentations           100 pts            each     1 per semester

Class Participation                  50 pts each      2 per semester

Notebook with lesson packets and Benchmark Study Guide can count toward 15% of the benchmark score.


Quarter Benchmark Exams are a cumulative multiple choice tests that is given to all US History Student. Student scores will be scanned and collected as data to be use for analysis of student progress, teacher instruction and CST preparation. The test will count as 200 points for each quarter. The students will receive the percentage of points on the questions answered correctly.


Class Participation-Students are expected to fully participate in class lectures, assignments, presentations and activities. Students will define terms, fill in and color maps, take notes, listen to lectures and peer presentations, complete class work, and be an active participant in the class at all times. Students are expected to complete their own assignments and be honorable by not cheating or plagiarizing for any assignment/activity in this class. Students are expected to come prepared every day with appropriate materials each day-(instructional handouts, writing utensil, textbooks, notebook paper, etc.) Students are given 50 pts at the beginning of the quarter. The student will only lose points if they are not fulfilling their expectations as expressed above.


Unit Tests are assessments on the unit of instruction. It will include multiple choice questions, matching of vocabulary terms, fill in the blank section, and free response section.


Semester Presentations-All students will sign up to present information on a historical article they have selected that most links to their area of interest. Each semester will have a window time frame that the students must select their article from. Students will receive more information on an additional handout.


Lesson Packets are the compilation of unit material given to the students each week to complete their work. Students are to enter all of their work in the packet and use the packet as a study tool for the Unit Tests and Benchmark Exams. The students are to keep the packet in a folder that will be left in the room to complete their work in them every day in class. Loss of the packet or negligence to bring the packet each day will result in a 5 point reduction of their class participation score per infraction.


Students are given the opportunity to gain a 15% advantage on their Benchmark Exam Score if they turn in their completed lesson packets along with a completed Study Guide organized chronologically by unit in a three ring binder on the day of the Benchmark Exam.


The Grading Scale is as follows

90%-Above  = A

80%-89%     = B

70%-79%     = C

55%-69%     = D

54%-Below  = F



  1. Makeup work will be accepted only for excused absences. That includes tests, quizzes, and assignments. You cannot make up work from suspension or unexcused absences.


  1. All Lessons will have correlating Chapter information that the student is responsible for reading and learning in relation to what we did in class.


  1. Makeup work (including tests, quizzes, and assignments) must be completed the day you return from your absence. There is a 1-day grace period for each day you are gone (excused). Being absent the day before a test, quiz or before an assignment is due does not excuse you from the test or the assignment.  You will be notified of due dates well in advance.


  1. Projects and Take home essays are long term assignments with a specific deadline, and can usually include working in a group. You will be given ample time to complete the project and given the deadline ahead of time.  Presentations/Projects/Take home essays cannot be made up, even from excused absences, except in rare circumstances, like extreme illness or family emergency. Your parent must speak with the teacher first in these cases.


  1. Extracurricular activities do not excuse late work. If you are going to be absent, you must turn in your assignment on the due date.


  1. Makeup work must have a completed “make-up work” form attached to the front of your paper in order to be accepted. It will be graded and recorded at the teacher’s convenience.


  1. Make up days for tests will be after school on Thursdays. (Subject to change).


It is your responsibility to complete makeup work and to come in for makeup tests and quizzes. You must be your own reminder


Mrs. Gibbs Pet Peeves


 Peeve # 1-Students who refuse to bring their book and expect to share a book with a friend.

Consequence # 1-You share a book, you share the credit. Students who do not have their book will only receive ½ credit on the assignment turned in. You will also be placed on a step


Peeve # 2- Students who talk or do distracting things while others are taking tests, quizzes and other activities.

Consequence # 2 – You will receive ½ credit on your test, quiz or assignment. You will also be placed on a step.


Peeve # 3-Students who continuously ask to see their grade.

Consequence # 3- If you ask, I will say, “no”. I update grades about a week after a unit test. That would usually be about every three weeks or so. If you want to see it sooner, then encourage all students to attend class regularly and not to miss test days. Then I won’t have to grade make-up work which holds up posting all grades.


Peeve # 4-There are no stupid questions, but there are repetitive ones. I expect students to listen carefully to what I say the first time. I expect you to read directions and all paperwork that I handout to you. I will explain directions for every assignment and explain my policy on makeup work at the beginning of the course.

Consequence # 4-If I have to repeat myself more than once, I won’t. You might miss valuable information that you will be held accountable for. I will not accept “I didn’t hear you” or “I never received that information” as an excuse for work not completed properly.