Social Studies

To graduate: All students must complete four units of Social Studies. All students must pass the Regents Exams in both Global History and U.S. History. To earn a Regents Diploma With Advanced Designation: Students must earn a Regents Exam grade of at least 65 in Global History and in U.S. History.

Required high school Social Studies courses are:

  • Grade 9: Global History
  • Grade 10: Global History II
  • Grade 11: U.S. History and Government
  • Grade 12: Economic/Participation in Government

GLOBAL HISTORY I

1 Unit of Credit
This course includes an important introductory unit on culture and the social sciences –government, geography, history, anthropology, economics and sociology – which establishes a framework for both Global History I and Global History II. It will also include a survey of European and Non-European World History. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate the ability to utilize the knowledge and insights gained to participate in democratic decision making and to work effectively with others of differing views and cultures. This course begins with the Ancient Period of History and ends with the Enlightenment Period.

GLOBAL HISTORY I AD

1 Unit of Credit
This course includes an important introductory unit on culture and the social sciences –government, geography, history, anthropology, economics and sociology – which establishes a framework for both Global History I and Global History II. It will also include a survey of European and Non-European World History. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate the ability to utilize the knowledge and insights gained to participate in democratic decision making and to work effectively with others of differing views and cultures. This course begins with the Ancient Period of History and ends with the Enlightenment Period. In addition to regular course work students will be expected to complete a quarterly project or reading assignment. The level of difficulty in the advanced course is designed to offer a challenge to the more academically motivate or capable students. As such, course concepts will be examined in greater detail that greatly exceeds the Regents course of study.

GLOBAL HISTORY II

1 Unit of Credit
This course consists of the continued study of Europe and Non-European World History, It consists of the study of the political, historical, social, cultural and economic events that shaped history from the 1700s to the present. All students will take the Global History & Geography Regents Examination (a comprehensive exam consisting of both Global I and II courses.)

GLOBAL HISTORY II AD

1 Unit of Credit
This course consists of the continued study of Europe and Non-European World History. It consists of the study of the political, historical, social, cultural and economic events that shaped history from the 1700’s to the present. All students will take the Global History & Geography Regents Examination (a comprehensive exam consisting of both Global I and II courses.) In addition to regular course work students will be expected to complete a quarterly project or reading assignment. The level of difficulty in the advanced course is designed to offer a challenge to the more academically motivate or capable students. As such, course concepts will be examined in greater detail that greatly exceeds the Regents course of study.

GLOBAL STUDIES / U.S. HISTORY: AIS

No Credit
Each one is a remedial course for those who have failed to pass a Social Studies Regents Examination Test one or more times. The course will focus on the interpretation of charts, graphs, maps and political cartoons as well as learning to read and listen for understanding. Regents exams will be administered in January, June and August.

U.S. HISTORY and GOVERNMENT

1 Unit of Credit
This course will deal with a thorough analysis of the Constitutional foundations of the Republic. Key Constitutional principles such as separation of powers, check and balances, judicial review and the Bill of Rights will be examined. The remainder of the year is based on American History from 1865to the present. All students will be required to take the New York State Regents Examination in U.S. History and Government. This course is required by the NYS Education Department for all students for graduation. A grade of 65 or better is necessary for a Regents Diploma.

U.S. HISTORY and GOVERNMENT AD

1 Unit of History
This course will deal with a thorough analysis of the Constitutional foundations of the Republic. Key Constitutional principles such a separation of powers, check and balances, judicial review and the Bill of Rights will be examined. The remainder of the year is based on American History from 1865to the present. All students will be required to take the New York State Regents Examination in U.S.History and Government. This course is required by the New York State Education Department for all students for graduation. A grade of 65 or better is necessary for a Regents Diploma. In addition to regular coursework students will be expected to complete a quarterly project or reading assignment. The level of difficulty in the advanced course is designed to offer a challenge to the more academically motivated or capable students. As such, course concepts will be examined in greater detail that greatly exceeds the Regents course of study.

ECONOMICS

.5 Unit of Credit
This is a survey course in macro and micro economics. This course will include a study of the United States and international economy, history, theories and practical applications. This course is required by the New York State Education Department for all students for graduation.

PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT

.5 Unit of Credit
This course is a study of democracy in action through participation in government activities such as Youth in Government, School Elections and Mock Trials. It includes a look at local, state and national government operations and the roll of citizens in the democratic process. This course is required by the New York State Education Department for all students for graduation.

SOCIAL STUDIES ELECTIVES

ADVANCED PLACEMENT AMERICAN HISTORY

1 Unit of Credit
This course is open to those students who have excelled in advanced social studies previously and are willing to make a definite commitment to the subject. All students taking the course will be required to write the College Board Examination each May. Students must pay for their own AP exam (approximately $91.00). With approval of the counselor, this course may be taken in place of American History & Government. Students who do so will be required to take the New York State Regents Examination. The Advanced Placement Program is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in American History. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full year introductory college courses. College Credit or advanced placement in college may be earned if adequate scores are achieved on the College Board Examination.

PSYCHOLOGY

.5 Unit of Credit
Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes. Motivation, moods, memory, reactions, attitudes, perceptions, attraction, talent, what you enjoy – or despise – all of these things have their roots in your Psychology. While Psychology is in the Social Science curriculum; it is in reality a Behavioral Science that often overlaps with the Natural Sciences. Have you ever experienced a physical reaction to an emotional situation? Sweating, shaking or stomach discomfort before a big test, a game, a presentation or performance? Have you ever known someone was talking about you when you walked into a room even without anyone saying anything? Has a certain smell or song ever brought back a strong memory? Have you found yourself attracted to someone you have nothing in common with? Have your sleep patterns changed since you reached adolescence? All of these situations have much to do with brain chemistry and illustrate the intrinsic connection between mind and body. While we cannot always control our feelings and behaviors, we can understand and manage them with awareness using psychological and neurological tools. We all learn differently, react differently and process information differently, however there are theories that sometimes prove that we are more predictable than we realize. Why is there evil in the world? There are psychologists that have theories that can explain that too. My hope is that you will hang in there for the first several units which are designed to prepare you for an introductory college level Psychology Course, (all the while having fun doing it – that’s a promise!), and as we progress and build a strong foundation – move along to aspects of Psychology that you can use as tools to understand yourselves and others in a way that will help you now and in the future.

SOCIOLOGY

.5 Unit of Credit 
Sociology is the systematic study of human society. The first half will include: an analysis of culture and society, social interaction, deviance, sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity. The second half will include: aging and the elderly, the family, religion, education, health, social movements and social change. This course is recommended for Grade 11 and Grade 12 students interested in the Social Sciences.

MEDIEVAL and RENAISSANCE EUROPE (SUNY ORANGE)

3 College Credits / .5 HS Credit
This is an introductory course which deals with the medieval and Renaissance periods in European history. The course begins with post-Roman world and ends with the Protestant Reformation. Emphasis is on the political, social, cultural and economic developments of the period. Topics to be considered are: feudalism, manoralism, the life of the peasant, monarchy, the development of the nation-state, the medieval church, the Renaissance and Protestantism. Students receive three SUNY Orange credits.

MODERN EUROPE (SUNY ORANGE)

3 College Credits/ .5 HS Credit
This course begins with the Congress of Vienna and extends to the present time. Some topics considered are nationalism, imperialism, Communism, Fascism, the two World Wars, the Cold War, and united Europe. Emphasis is on the social, economic, cultural, and political developments ,centering on the theme of humanity’s disillusionment with the promises of earlier generations.

THE HOLOCAUST IN HISTORY (SUNY ALBANY)

3 College Credits/ .5 HS Credit
Begins with an overview of European Jewish life on the eve of the attempt at its destruction, examines the cultural, social, and intellectual roots of Nazism, and discusses the efforts to isolate and marginalize those marked as “a-socials” in German society. Explores the radicalization of the Nazi program and investigates the variety of ways targeted groups responded to the crisis. This course covers a number of survivor accounts and the memorialization and politicization of the Nazi Holocaust in the United States and Israel. Students will receive three SUNY Albany credits.

NATIONAL GOVERNMENT (SUNY ORANGE)

3 College Credits/ .5 HS Credit
A survey of the United States political system at the national level including treatment of the historical background, central concepts and revisions of the constitutional framework, examination of the presidency, congress, federal bureaucracy, judicial structure and process, political parties, interest groups, the media, and current public issues.

AMERICAN LAW

.5 Unit of Credit
This half year course is an elective course that examines the various aspects of the United States law and its practice. This provides a very significant overview of a major segment of American Government. This course includes law as it relates locally on the state and federal level. Units will include constitutional law, tort or civil law, criminal law and the historical influence in our legal system. Activities will include mock trials, “one on one” examinations and cross-examinations,briefs, individual and group research interviews and oral presentations. Students should have good writing skills. Prerequisite: Open to students in 11th-12th grade who have successfully completed Global I and Global II

WORLD WAR II: From the Origins to the Long Term Impacts

.5 Unit of Credit
Students will examine the complex causes of World War II by dissecting the political, social, and economic conditions that led to the War. Students will also analyze key battles and strategies during the war while also focusing on impact the war was having on the home front. In conclusion, students will determine the long term impacts of the war and gain an understanding on how it shaped the modern era. This course will focus on skill development and provide students with the opportunity to engage in critical thinking through the new practices in Social Students. Students will be required to complete two projects and a four page paper in order to gain credit for this course.