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Tri-Point CUSD 6J

High School


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Government Syllabus


High School


Course: Government  Year: 2010-2011

Level: 12  Teacher: Mr. Emerson


Course Description


This class will focus on the origins, structures, and functions of government.  You will learn how to be an active and intelligent citizen.  The study of civics stresses knowledge, interpretation, evaluation, and participation in the arena of government.  This class will follow these criteria by using examples of past, present, and future political issues and debates.  You will also study the Illinois Constitutions and take a state-required test for it.


Text Book

William A. McClenaghan, Magruder’s American Government, Prentice Hall, 2010.



Every student will be expected to complete the reading and written assignments, construct a student portfolio, complete assigned projects, and participate in class activities.


Tests and Quizzes

There will be a test given at the end of every chapter and semester. Quizzes will be given at the discretion of the teacher.


Projects are meant to be used in conjunction with and supplement the text. Mini-projects will count as 1-3 regular assignment grades, depending on the length of time to complete. Major projects will count as a test grade.


Student Portfolios

Your portfolio will consist of a checklist and then a collection of your completed assignments, vocabulary, journals, notes*, and tests. It will be divided into chapters and each chapter will be organized by those categories. Each category will be organized by date. You will complete one portfolio for each quarter and the grade will count as a regular test grade. You will have to buy a folder with clips in the middle. In some papers you will have to punch holes.

*Note: Use a separate sheet of paper for each chapter for vocabulary, journals, and notes.


Portfolio Checklist

The first item in your portfolio will be the checklist. It is a list of items in your folder. Items you have in your will be checked off. If the item is not in your folder, do not check it off. I will pass out the checklist approximately 1-2 weeks before the folders are due.



Graded Assignments

The next items to go into your portfolio will the graded papers for the chapter. Graded papers include regular assignments, minor projects, worksheets and quizzes. These papers are organized by date within each chapter. Graded assignments do not include tests or major projects.



The third set of items is the vocabulary. For Government, the vocabulary words are located at the beginning of the section known as the Political Dictionary. When a section is assigned as a reading assignment, you are to look up the definitions of the words in the reading. On a sheet of paper, write your name and class at the top right hand corner. Label the sheet “Chapter # Vocabulary” at the top of the sheet. Then list out the terms and definitions. (See illustration below)



At the top right hand of the paper, put your name and class. Put the chapter number and label the sheet “Notes” at the top center of the sheet. At the beginning of each set of notes, record the section number and date of the notes. (See illustration below)



Usually, a journal will be given at the beginning of each class pertaining to the section covered that day. Your name and class will go in the upper right hand corner. Label the sheet as “Chapter # Journals” at the top and center. Label each journal with the section number and date. (See illustration below)


Notes SampleNotes SampleNotes Sample



The last item is the major project (if one was completed) and test. Save your tests and major projects, put them as the last item in your portfolio.


The folders will be graded on completeness (check lists, assignments, vocabulary, journals, notes, and tests, in the folder), labels (all assignments, vocabulary, journals, and notes labeled), order (by chapter, then by category, then by date), everything in the clips, and checklist completed correctly.




You have the right:


You have the responsibility:


You must:

To be treated with respect and kindness: No one will tease you, demean you, or insult you.

To treat all others with respect and kindness by not teasing, demeaning, or insulting them.

Treat all others with respect.

Examples: act appropriately and respectful towards others, especially school personnel

To be yourself: No one will treat you unfairly due to looks, abilities, beliefs, or gender.

To honor individual differences by treating all others fairly regardless of looks, abilities, beliefs, or gender.

Treat all others fairly.

Example: be fair to others despite their looks, abilities, beliefs, or gender

To be safe: No one will threaten you, bully you, or damage you or remove your property.

To help make the environment safe by not acting dangerously, and by securing my property, by not threatening or bullying others and by respecting the property of others.

Respect the property of others.

Examples: not touching the property of others including school property such as the fans without permission

To be heard: No one will yell at you and your opinions will be considered.

To listen to others, consider their opinions and allow others to be heard.

Listen to others.

Examples: actively listen to listen to school personnel, allow others to talk when it is there turn

To be free to express your feelings and opinions without criticism and to learn about yourself through constructive feedback.

To express yourself respectfully in ways others can hear you and to allow others to express themselves and to provide constructive feedback.

Express yourself respectfully and allow others to express themselves.

Examples: be respectful when talking to others, be positive when others are expressing themselves

To learn and to be provided assistance to do so.

To accept assistance when given in the spirit of increasing your opportunity to learn and grow and to unconditionally provide assistance to others whenever you can do so.

Accept learning opportunities and provide help to others.

Examples: allow the teacher to teach the class, help other students when they need help, having your materials ready for class

To a comfortable, supportive, challenging appropriate learning environment.

To contribute to, and not detract from, the learning environment.

Contribute to the learning environment.

Examples: remain quiet, attentive, and remain in your seat during a lesson

Major and/or repeated infractions and infractions against school policies will automatically result in a referral to the principal. Minor infractions will result in a warning (only one will be given).

Grading System

100 = A+                     82 = C+

93-99 = A                    75-81 = C

92 = A-                        74 = C-

91 = B+                       73 = D+

84-90 = B                    66-72 = D

83 = B-                        65 = D-

0-64 = F


Quarter Grades

For the quarter grades, your daily grade (worksheets, in-class assignments, quizzes, homework, etc.) average will be half of your quarter grade and your major grade (tests, portfolios and major projects) average will be the other half.


Quarter Grade = (Quarter Daily Average + Quarter Major Grade Average)/2


Remember that there will be more daily assignments than major grades so a single test is worth more than a single homework assignment.


Semester Grades

For the semester grade the semester final is worth 20%.


Semester Grade = (1st Quarter Average + 1st Quarter Average + 2nd Quarter Average + 2nd Quarter Average + Semester Final)/5


Grades will be posted weekly. Your name will not be published on the grade sheet. You will be assigned a student number by the school. If you do not wish other students to know your grade, do not tell them your number.


Homework pass points will be given occasionally. You will receive points for completing your journals correctly, completing your vocabulary, and participating in the sustained, silent, reading or SSR (you are to silently read the full 15 minutes material related to the textbook). Once you have received 10 points, you may use it in place of a regular assignment (you do not have to do the assignment). Or you may use it to replace a zero or your lowest daily grade (except for quizzes). You may not use a homework pass for projects, quizzes, tests, or your portfolio.


An assignment is considered late if it is turned in after the period has ended and the student does not have a valid excuse (e.g. absent, out of class, etc.). Grades for excused late assignments will not be reduced providing they are turned in within the time given in the student handbook. If the assignment is turned in after the allotted time, it is considered late. A late assignment will be reduced 50%.