Course Syllabus

American History

Coach Picou

2008-2009 Course Syllabus 

Textbook:    American Republic Since 1877


Course Goals: to provide an overview of American history from the time of westward expansion in the United States to present-day, connecting major concepts, events, and characters, i.e. cause and effect.


Class Policies: It’s simple! You do not have to memorize a list of rules for this course. Just know three simple class policies…

1.      BE ON TIME



However, these three policies include several classroom procedures…

  1. Come to class on time… BE ON TIME! “On time” means that you are in your assigned seat when the tardy bell rings. Students outside the classroom or not in their seat when the tardy bell rings will be sent to the Attendance Office to obtain an tardy.
  2. You should enter the classroom in a quiet and orderly manner, be seated immediately, and begin working on the day’s bell ringer assignment. Since bell ringer assignments will be graded, talking will not be tolerated!
  3. You should have all necessary materials with you when you come to class, notebook, course text, pencils, pens, and an open and attentive mind! In other words, BE PREPARED! Do not ask to leave the class.
  4. Do not write on desks, in books, etc. Please place all trash in the proper receptacle before or after class. Do not leave your seat during class without permission to do so. Don’t even ask for permission to dispose of trash during class time. Once the tardy bell has rung, students are not allowed to leave their desks without permission.
  5. Do not sleep, talk, daydream, pass notes, apply make up, brush your hair, etc. during class… BE RESPECTFUL! Not only to me, your teacher, but also to your fellow classmates.
  6. If you have a question or comment, raise your hand and wait to be called on to talk.
  7. Class is not finished until you are dismissed by me, your teacher. The bell is not for you, it is a reminder for me that its time to end class.
  8. Adhere to all school rules and Caddo Parish Rules as discussed in each handbook.

Disciplinary Actions:

We will follow the school policy on discipline.


Required Materials:

  1. Textbook
  2. 3-ring binder notebook and paper
  3. #2 pencil
  4. blue or black ink pens (do not write in purple, pink, red, etc.)

Attendance and Make-Up: It is extremely important that you be in class everyday and that you are actively participating in class discussions, completing assignments as required, and taking notes. You are responsible for everything that takes place in this course, and if you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed and to make up the work. All make-up work will be given three days to be turned in from the date that you return.  After the three days, you will get a “zero’ on the assignment if it is not turned in.  Bell Ringer assignments will be placed on the class website. Check the website periodically to see if you need to make-up a bell ringer for any reason.

WARNING: If you were in class the day an assignment or a test was announced, you will be expected to have the assignment ready or take the test on the scheduled day. All make-up quizzes and exams will be given in the essay or ID/short answer format!


Homework: Throughout the semester, there will be a number of homework assignments that will require students to collect, interpret, and analyze historical information. These homework assignments will be worth anywhere from 5-50 points. Failure to hand in these assignments on time will result in a “0”.


Writing Assignments: Throughout this course, students will be given writing assignments, which will include daily written assignments in the form of bell ringer activities, as well as both in class and out of class essay assignments. I am looking for a thesis statement and supporting sentences to back up that thesis statement in every writing assignment, even the bell ringers. The objective of these writing assignments is to enhance the student’s writing and critical thinking skills. They will be worth anywhere from 5-100 points


Late Work: Students will complete and turn in all work on time! Late work will not be accepted.


Cheating: Cheating in any form will NOT be tolerated! This includes copying another student’s homework and/or writing assignments; talking during the bell ringer; looking on another student’s paper; using cheat sheets and/or any other materials without permission; etc. If you are caught cheating, I will not interrupt the entire class during the assignment, bell ringer, quiz, or test. Instead, I will allow you to finish your assignment, and after class, I will speak with your privately. CHEATING WILL RESULT IN A GRADE OF ZERO FOR THAT PARTICULAR ASSIGNMENT AND A REFERRAL TO THE OFFICE, AS STATED IN THE STUDENT HANDBOOK!!!


Extra Credit: There will be NO individual extra credit opportunities! If any extra credit opportunities are given, they will be offered to the class as a whole, but do not count on an extra credit opportunity.


Passing or Failing: If you make the required amount of points to pass, you will pass. If you fail to make the required amount of points to pass, you will fail. DO NOT ask for extra credit… read the above statement!


Grading Scale:

93-100 A                               74-84 C                       0-65 F

85-92   B                               66-73 D


Components of Course Grade:

Unit Tests: at the end of each unit; generally every 2 weeks; 100 points each

Quizzes: given periodically throughout the semester, value ranges from 5-15 points each

Bell Ringer Assignments: 1 or 2 bell ringer assignments will be graded at random per

week; each bell ringer assignment will be worth 10-15 points. Some bell ringers will be grade for completion; while others will be graded for correctness.

Homework: Homework Assignments will be given and will be 0-50 points each.

GEE Reviews. These reviews will be graded for completion and then graded for correctness as part of GEE Quizzes or as part of the Unit Tests. Point values will vary.

Class Activity Grades: assignments and activities which are completed as part of daily

class instruction; point total varies according to size and nature of activity

Writing Assignment/Paper: 1 paper; point total varies according to the topic and length.

Semester Exam: cumulative exam given at the end of each semester; exact point value is

yet to be determined but will be 15% of semester grade.


Class Fee: The class fee will be $3.00.


Course Website: The website for this is

 Please check the course website to access course readings, homework, important dates, and announcements.



 *Syllabus is subject to revision during the course of the year!