Ms. Thomas' APUSH Class


Course Syllabus


                   Advanced Placement United States History


Ms. Thomas


Contact Information

897-5517 ext.536

 Welcome to APUSH! 

Course Goals

Advanced Placement United States History is a chronological and thematic survey course in United States History covering the time period from Colonial America (1492) to contemporary America (2000).  The Advanced Placement program in United States History is designed to provide students with the analytic skill and factual knowledge to deal critically with the problems and issues in United States History.  The course prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands equivalent to those made by full year introductory college courses.  Students will learn to assess historical materials—their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance, and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.  The course will emphasize key themes in United States history including: American diversity, identity and culture, demographic change, economic transformations, the environment, globalization politics, reform, religion, slavery, and their legacies in North America, and war and diplomacy. The curriculum is based on the California State Standards for Advanced Placement United States History.  For access to the full text of the standards, go to Course Objectives  
  • Student will acquire fundamental and advanced knowledge of United States political, social, economic, constitutional, cultural, and intellectual history.
  • -Students will develop mastery of the process skills:  analysis, synthesis, evaluation and critical reading necessary for critical understanding of United States History
  • -Students will demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the content, concepts and themes unique to United States History.
  • -Students will develop the ability to recognize the significance of change over time and cause and effect.
  • -Students will be able to develop historically accurate interpretations of the events of United States History.
  • -Students will develop the ability to think and reason analytically as demonstrated through essay and expository writing of document based and free response essay questions as well as formal debate.


Graebner and Richards. The American Record 5th ed. Volumes I and II, New York: McGraw-Hill 2006Kennedy, David M., Elizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey.  The American Pageant: A History  of the Republic. Boston: McDougal Littell / Houghton Mifflin, 2006.  

Progress Reporting

Grades shall be reported at the end of each progress-reporting period for all students.  Progress reports will be mailed home and/or accessible to parents online approximately every five/six weeks.  Whenever a student falls below a C- after the second Progress Report for either semester, the teacher shall arrange a conference with the student’s parent/guardian and/or send a written report.  (Board Policy 5121)


In addition to Board Policy progress reporting parents may access their children’s grades on line at anytime through Aeries.

 Classroom Policies  


Grading is based on total points100% - 88%           A88%  - 78%            B77%  - 68%            C68%  - 58%            D

(The final exam is comprehensive and 20% of the final grade.)



Academic Dishonesty

This course will operate with a zero-tolerance policy regarding cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty. Any act of academic dishonesty will subject the student to penalty, as described in NUSD Board PolicyExamples of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to the following:
  • Use of or possession of unauthorized materials on an exam. This includes unauthorized "cheat-sheets" written on paper, on your person, or on the desk. This also includes exam-related information stored electronically on a calculator/computer/palm device.
  • Receiving unauthorized assistance during an exam, for example by looking at the work of a classmate taking the exam, or via direct written, oral, or electronic communication with a classmate (e.g., passing notes or whispering answers).
  • Soliciting information about the content of an exam or quiz from students who took the exam or quiz at an earlier date (e.g. a student in an earlier class section).
  • A student need not be the beneficiary of academic dishonesty to be subject to penalty. Any student who willfully assists another student to engage in dishonest behavior is him- or herself engaging in academic dishonesty, and will be subject to penalty, including possible failure in the course.


-Students will create and maintain and AP U.S. History notebook.  The notebook will be of a loose-leaf type and contain the following sections:
  • Lecture notes
  • Reading notes/journal
  • Class activities
  • Primary source documents and document analysis
  • Test preparation and review.
 -Assignments, after review by the instructor or her designate, will be returned to the students and placed in the AP notebook along with all class handouts. -There will be a minimum of two unit examinations each semester and one final exam. Expect weekly reading quizzes on the required textbook reading. The examination format may include one or more of the following: multiple-choice questions, free response and document based essay questions, and term identification.  The final examination each semester will be comprehensive.  The final exam is 20% of the final grade.  The end of the year final will consist of a released AP Exam. 

-Students will submit written responses and evaluations of primary and secondary sources, (either article reviews or 50 word sentence analysis of an essay thesis.) These analytic writing assignments, will be are based on the readings in the American Record, A People’s History and various handouts.  Specific due dates will be announced throughout the semester.

  -Late assignments will never be accepted. Assignments may not be electronically transmitted. All quiz and exam dates are handed out on the first day of school. Therefore, there will be no makes ups on Unit exams and you may only miss and make up one weekly quiz per-semester.Students will be permitted to drop some assignments at the end of the semester. -All students enrolled in AP U.S. History are required to take the Advanced Placement United States History Examination. The AP test will be administered on Friday May 8, 2009. 

Classroom Tardiness

Failure to arrive on time to class will have a negative effect on your grade.

 Supplemental Materials / Media  (See Board Policy 6161.11)Epstein, Mark.  Fast Track to a 5, Preparing for the United States History Examination, Boston: Harcourt Inc. 2005. Gonick, Larry. The Cartoon History of the United States, New York: Collins Reference, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 1991. Hofstadter, Richard.  The Progressive Movement 1900­1915, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:Prentice Hall, Inc.1963. Kennedy, David M., and Thomas A. Bailey.  The American Spirit – United States History as  Seen by Contemporaries, Volume I and II, 11th edition. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006. Lafeber, Walter. The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion 1860­1898.  New York: Cornell University Press, 1998. Zinn, Howard.  A People’s History of the United States 1492 to Present,  New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 1995.