St. John Vianney High School

Course Description/Syllabus:
Welcome! This course will have you look at the way our governmental system works, from the way our three branches interact in running this country to the way individual citizens become involved in the political process. Using your text as a guide, you will become knowledgeable about our Constitution, familiar with the way the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches are set up, and clear about the civil liberties and rights that you enjoy in America. You will become aware that you also have responsibilities for the protection of these rights in a democracy.

Course Objectives:

1. Provide relevant, standards-based content
2. Encourage critical thinking and active learning
3. Prepare students for the 21st century with integrated technology
4. Include valuable resources to plan, present, and assess
5. Learn to distinguish fact from opinion
6. Identify cause and effect
7. Analyze points of view and frames of reference
8. Analyze primary and secondary sources
9. Analyse political cartoons
10. Determine relevance
11. Develop and test hypothesis
12. Synthesize information from multiple sources
13. Create a multimediat presentation
14. Make decisions
15. Solve problems




Fraga, Luis Ricardo, United States Government: Principles in Practice, Holt McDougal, Austin, TX., 2010


We will have unit tests that will include both objective and essay questions. There will be a final exam at the end of the semester.


Occasional announced and unannounced quizzed will be given at the beginning of class on the assigned readings and discussions.



Usually there will be an assigned reading from the text. Students are expected to take notes while they read so they have the chance to refresh what they have learned. There will be other types of homework when students are involved in preparing for class presentations or when the class is working on the class project.
Planned Graded Activities:

Partner presentations

Class discussions
Political Article Archive
Unit Tests

You will receive one grade at the end of the semester. The grade will be calculated by dividing your points earned by the total possible points available for the semester.

Absent From Class?
Late Work
- Students will have the number of days they were absent to make up missed work
e.g. If John is absent on Tuesday, returns on Wednesday, his assignments from Tuesday are due on Thursday.
Daily attendance is required for academic success. Our discussions and in-class activities are vital to mastering the concepts of this class. Therefore, it is a must that you attend class. If you are absent, the file holder at the front of the classroom will have the documents and assignments from the previous day. Each day, the instructor will place the information in the file for the corresponding day of the month.
- If a student is unable to complete missed work in the appropriate time frame or is absent for an extended period of time, it is essential he communicate his needs to the teacher.
Encore is an unstructured period where students may:
- visit teachers to get help in a subject; visit teachers to get make up work; to arrange make up tests and quizzes; work on projects; meet with clubs organizations, or activities; meet with counselors, campus minister, coordinators, administrators, etc.
The teacher may continue the class period into Encore.
If you ever need to get in contact with me, e-mail me at



Guidelines for Students:

Students are expected to be in attendance and on time for all classes. Chronic absenteeism is a precursor for failure.

Students are expected to take tests at the scheduled times except for an excused absence. Make up test will be given during the first available Homework Hotel time.

Students should make good use of learning opportunities provided, such as meetings with me before or after class, and during encore.

Assigned work should be submitted in neat form and on time.

Students should preserve the academic atmosphere of the classroom and not engage in any disruptive or distractive behavior.


The teacher retains the traditional authority to take disciplinary action in the event of academic misconduct such as cheating and plagarism. The discisplinary action will consist of a failing grade on the assignment.