Course Expectations and Syllabus


    This course will cover United States government and history, from colonization through the Civil War and Reconstruction, including the economic and social impact of historical events. Ohio 8th Grade Social Studies Standards will be used as a guideline for all aspects of the course.


    • BE PREPARED! Students should bring all necessary classroom materials to class daily.  Students are expected to complete reading assignments or homework assignments in order to be prepared to participate in discussions and activities relating to text content.
    • BE ON TIME! Students should arrive to class and begin the warm up assignment immediately after the tardy bell rings.
    • BE RESPONSIBLE! Assigned work should be turned in on the due date.  Failure to do so will result in a reduction of points available on the assignment.
      • Students may turn in completed assignments (such as research papers, writing assignments, projects, and any other projects specified by the teacher) early in order to receive feedback and the opportunity to correct any problems. No additional points will be given for turning in work early.
      • For each day that an assignment is late, 10% of the total points for the assignment will be deducted. Students are NOT allowed to turn in assignments more than TWO days late.
      • Students with excused absences have five days (beginning on the first day the student is back in class) to make up work they have missed. It is the STUDENT’S responsibility to get the work and turn it in within the five day period.
    • BE RESPECTFUL! Students should maintain a positive and respectful attitude in class at all times. Students should cooperate with the teacher and classmates to create a supportive and effective learning environment. 
      • Plagiarism is NOT tolerated. Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered “common knowledge” may differ from course to course. If a student is caught plagiarizing (this includes copying homework or any other assignments from other students), the student will receive a zero for the assignment. 
      • Any student caught cheating on a quiz or test will receive a zero for the quiz/test grade. The matter will be handled appropriately between the student(s), teacher, and administration. Whether or not cheating has occurred is at the discretion of the teacher. 


    • Students at grade level eight are expected to complete library research, write clear outlines and paragraphs, work together in groups, and successfully complete examinations. (Note: Requests for reasonable accommodations will be considered.)
    • It will be imperative for students to possess the basic geography skills to successfully master the material covered in American History. Students will be tested on geography of the regions of the world we are studying in each unit. Students will be expected to pass the map tests with a 75% or better. Students will be given time to study for each map test before the unit is started. 
    • Communication with parents and students is something I dedicate great attention to. These will include reminders, upcoming events/assignments, important school dates, updates, etc. I will also send home a letter via discretion (good or concerns) both will be delivered via SUNGUARD.


    • In order to retake any test, additional studying must be completed such as book assignments, study guide, quizlets, review materials with teacher, etc. Proper paperwork must be completed prior and a conversation should be addressed with me.
    • It is the student’s responsibility to check for missed assignments.  Ask about missed assignments on the first day back after an absence (missing assignments bin).
    • *Absences due to suspension will need to be addressed with the teacher via administration, parent contact, or email.


    All policies set forth by the Jackson Local Schools Board of Education in the Student Code of Conduct, school rules, and classroom rules must be followed at all times by the students.



    The final grade for each grading period will be based on various methods of assessment. These may include, but are not limited to, tests, homework assignments, projects, portfolios, essays, research papers, notebook organization, quizzes (announced and unannounced), and classroom participation. The grading scale for student achievement according to Board policy is as follows:

    90-100 = A           Product = 85%

    80-89 = B

    70-79 = C             Process = 15%

    60-69 = D

    0-59 = F

    Students’ grades are determined by mastery of course standards set forth by the Ohio Department of Education revised standards for 8th grade American History. Students are encouraged to keep track of grades in order to maintain an idea of their overall grade. Students can simply do this by adding the total number of points earned and dividing it by the total number of points possible. Each student will have access to their grades using Home Access Center and always have the right to request a print out of their grades. I post grades regularly as grades become due (both 4.5 weeks and 9 weeks). All assignments, papers, and tests will be handed back to the students in a timely manner and enable them to check their overall grade for accuracy. Below is a breakdown in accordance to time.

    Tests = 20% (Product)

    Projects = 20% (Product/Process)

    Quizzes = 10% (Product)

    In-class activities =  25% (Process)

    Warm up questions = 10% (Product)

    Homework = 15% (Process)


    SUGGESTED COURSE OUTLINE (Outline changes may occur to provide quality instruction and meet the needs of students)

    • Historical Skills (will be included in subsequent lessons throughout the semester: primary and secondary sources, map skills, citations and research skills, etc.)
    • Age of Discovery (1000 - 1500)
    • The Roots of the American People (1600 - 1770s)
    • Colonies Take Root (1587 - 1752)
    • Life in the Colonies (1650 - 1750)
    • The Revolutionary War (1750 - 1787)
    • Launching a New Nation (1789 - 1800)
    • The Era of Thomas Jefferson (1800 - 1815)
    • A Changing Nation (1815 - 1840)
    • Westward Expansion (1820 - 1860)
    • A Nation Divided (1846 - 1861)
    • The Civil War (1860 - 1865)
    • Reconstruction and the New South (1863 - 1877)

    Additional Help

    Any student who is experiencing difficulty with the course material or any concept throughout the semester is encouraged to contact me about tutoring or extra help. I cannot help you with anything, if I do not know you are having difficulty! I will do my best to be as available as I can to you and your parents! Please feel free to contact me—parents and students. You can call the school to set up an appointment for a meeting or email me directly. I welcome all communications with students and parents that pertain to the classroom—good and bad.