U.S. Government and Civics Syllabus
Course Description: Students will study the purposes, principles, and practices of American government as established by the Constitution. Students are expected to understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens and how to exercise these rights and responsibilities in local, state, and national government. Students will learn the structure and processes of the government of the state of Tennessee and various local governments. The reading of primary source documents is a key feature of United States Government and Civics standards.
Textbook: Magruder’s American Government
Replacement cost for lost or damaged textbooks: $89.97
Units of Study
- Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship
- Foundations of Government and the U.S. Constitution
- Political Behavior of Citizens
- Branches of Government
- Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
- State and Local Government
- Citizenship Test and Project as Required by TN State Law (more info given in class)
Materials Needed – Textbook, Paper, pencil or pen, 3 ring binder or folder to keep papers, 1 composition notebook to keep in classroom, face mask
**Please refrain from using your textbook as a folder for papers and handouts as it damages the binding and causes pages to fall out. Books damaged in this manner will be categorized as such when textbooks are collected at the end of the course.**
Attendance – Students perform better when they are present for instruction. Excessive absences may have an impact on a student’s overall grade and performance in class. Students are considered tardy if they are not in their seat in the classroom when the bell rings. A tardy pass will be required to enter class after the bell.
Preparation - Students are expected to come to class everyday with ALL of their materials. Constantly borrowing materials from classmates is disruptive and interferes with class instruction. When the bell rings, you are expected to be in your seat and ready to work. Standing around the room prior to the bell is not acceptable.
Participation – Students are expected to actively participate in class. This includes taking notes, responding to questions/asking questions, and contributing to group and class discussions.
Students will receive participation grades (daily work) throughout the course. Failure to complete or put effort into daily activities and class discussions impacts the student and the class as a whole. Participation/Daily Work grades are based on the following components:
- All daily class work and/or homework will be included in the participation grade. This includes but is not limited to class notes, class discussions, partner/small group activities, vocabulary work, assigned reading and questions, and work from the textbook. Select assignments will also be collected and graded for accuracy to assess student learning.
- Being on time and prepared for class as well as staying on-task during class is also included in the participation grade. Students are expected to bring their textbook, class materials, and any required work for the day as part of the participation grade.
Assignments - Throughout this course, you will be given assignments that require you to think critically and analyze both assorted texts and visual information. It will be necessary for you to read the corresponding textbook assignments prior to class. This will enable you to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the material. Sometimes topics covered in the assigned readings are not covered in depth during class. Please be aware that all topics, whether covered in class or assigned readings, may be included on unit assessments.
Extra Credit – A few select opportunities will be available throughout the semester. In order to encourage careful reading of the syllabus and other documents, send Dr. Frasier a funny animal picture to her e-mail listed at the top of this syllabus by the second day of class in order to earn extra credit for the course.
Code of Conduct - Be aware of all of the policies and procedures in the University School Code of Conduct.
Cheating and Plagiarism – Students who are caught cheating or plagiarizing material will receive a zero for the assignment and a disciplinary referral. Cheating and plagiarism can occur in numerous ways. Examples include:
- Using or paraphrasing someone else’s work and ideas without giving credit. You must include the source and properly cite it. Changing a word or two is not acceptable. This applies to research projects and class assignments involving the textbook.
- Copying assignments in class, at home, or in the hallway before school starts
- Providing test information or answers
Make-Up Policy - If you are absent, it is your responsibility to obtain assignments. Make-up work is due based on the length of your absence. If you miss two days, you will have two days to complete and turn in the assignment.
If an assignment was due on the day you were absent, you are expected to turn it in the day you return. Should you require an extra day, the maximum you may receive is a 70%. No assignments will be accepted after the 2nd day.
Test and Quiz dates will be announced in class and posted on the class website. All students are expected to take assessments on the assigned date. If a student is absent on the day of the test, they are expected to take it during study period (follow the study period test make up schedule) or after school.
Students are encouraged to email Dr. Frasier or request make up work via the office. This will help you stay on track with your school work and not fall behind.
Grading System - Grading will be done on a total point system. The total number of points may vary depending on the number of assignments given throughout the quarter.
You will be able to access your grades online. Most of the time, grades will be updated weekly. Projects and other lengthy assignments will require additional time.
Restroom – Students are expected to limit their requests to visit the restroom. Students will not be allowed to leave during direct instruction, quizzes, or tests. Students who need frequent restroom breaks must notify administration and provide proper medical documentation.
Electronic Devices - Occasionally we will utilize electronic devices for class projects and activities. These items are only allowed when permission has been given by the teacher. Students who abuse the policy will have their device confiscated and face the consequences set forth in the student code of conduct.
Backpacks, Food, and Water – Backpacks and food are not allowed in the classroom. Repeat offenders will be referred to administration. Water is allowed in the classroom as long as it is in a bottle or other clear container. If you arrive to class with your backpack, you will be instructed to return it to your locker and get a tardy slip.
Online Learning - We will be utilizing Canvas for this course when online learning is necessary. Attendance and Late Work policies will still apply when the course is shifted online.