You are on page 1of 6

Dual Credit and Advanced Placement U.S. History at John M.

Harlan High School

Mrs. Michelle M. Wheeler (M.A., American Public University), Instructor

First of all allow, please allow me to congratulate you on your decision to embark upon “the road less traveled” and enroll
in Dual Credit United States History and Advanced Placement US History. By electing to take this course you have
chosen to study and learn at an elevated level, even though you already know that this is NOT an easy class. For your
perseverance and determination, I commend you.

To succeed in this class, you must know what type of beast you are attempting to slay. In taking Dual Credit &/or
Advanced Placement you are, for all practical purposes, skipping your junior and senior years of high school, and moving
into what is equivalent to your freshman or sophomore year of college. Please keep in mind that this is a college survey
class, and NOT college preparatory; consequently the expectation is college level work. Because you will not have
the advantage of three years of advanced skills and the intellectual maturity inherent in college sophomores, you will have
to acquire them along the way. The official College Board course description, which applies to both AP and DC courses

“The [class] is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and enduring understandings necessary to deal
critically with the problems and materials in United States 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. Students should learn to assess historical materials, their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their
reliability, and their importance, and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. The
course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to
present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in an essay format.”

So what does this entail?

1. This is a reading-intensive course. Introductory and second-year college courses are taught upon the precept that the
student already has some knowledge of American history by virtue of his/her middle and high school experience. To
compensate for that deficiency, the student will have to acquire that proficiency largely from reading sources. These
sources will include (but not be limited to) the textbook as well as ancillary readings provided by the instructor. In
addition, the course requires analysis of perspective in historiographical material. (Historiography means how historians
wrote about history and why they wrote about it in a particular way.)

2. This course requires mastery of historical essay writing. You will be expected to not only write college-level
analytical essays, but write them in a variety of styles including timed essays, Document Based essays, and short answer
forms. All writing will adhere to proper form and documentation styles.

3. This course requires analytical reasoning skills with which you will engage historical arguments, assess their
merits, and state and defend your argument. You will need to develop a sense of historical perspective, learn to avoid
the dangers of “presentism,” as well as learn to examine the historiographic record to identify merit, objectivity, and bias.

4. This course requires a solid work ethic and time management skills. The student will have to devote some time
each night to the class, particularly with the reading load. THIS IS A VITAL, REQUISITE SKILL FOR ANY LEVEL OF
COLLEGE WORK. Do yourself a favor: learn it NOW!

These are but a few of the requisites for this class; obviously they are a bit intimidating. However, no competent instructor
can expect their high school students to master these skills without proper training, guidance, and instruction. As such,
substantial emphasis will be placed on the development of these and other skills which are vital for success at the college

As practicing historian, I harbor a deep passion for the study of history, so much so that I have made historical instruction,
research, and writing my life’s work. I will be asking a lot from you requiring your maximum effort. However, I am a
firm believer in the doctrine of reciprocity; I demand as much from myself to provide you with the skills necessary for
your success.
For this class to succeed, I must insist on several non-negotiable rules. Do you have the R.I.T.E. Attitude?

• RESPECT. This class will be conducted upon the basis of mutual respect for teacher, student, and each other. We
cannot learn from each other if we do not respect each other. Disrespect in my classroom will not be tolerated. We will
not allow the immaturity of a few to impair the learning of others; we expect you to behave in a manner consistent with
your status as not only college students but as HHS juniors as well.

• INTEGRITY. I will NOT TOLERATE cheating. Honesty in your work is imperative. The study of history is a noble
endeavor, the integrity of which we are charged to defend. I take this responsibility seriously. Cheating is defined as (but
is not limited to) giving and receiving information on assessments, out of class assignments, or in-class assignments,
“community assignments” unless preapproved by the instructor, and above all, plagiarism.

• TRUST. To succeed in this class we must trust each other. You must understand and accept that every assignment you
are given is done so for a reason; there is no “busy work” or “punitive” work. None of us have time for such foolishness.

• EFFORT. This is the most important physical component of the class. All we can ask from you is your utmost effort;
give it to me and you will be successful. If you shortchange your effort, you shortchange yourself, which always shows in
your grades.

Theodore Roosevelt said it best, “It is hard to fail, but it is far worse to have never tried to succeed.”

Textbook: The text for the class is a standard college-level American History text. We are currently using Give Me
Liberty (3rd Edition) by Eric Foner. You will receive this about a week or two after school starts, and will be provided
with an e-copy of the chapters, as well.

Supplemental Texts:
**Book: I would suggest purchasing your own copy of this book – not required, but highly recommended:
United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination (2018 edition) – an AMSCO Publication
by John J. Newman and John Schmalbach (I will provide you w/ a pdf of the 2016 edition, but hard copies are almost
always best. ($18.95 through the publisher’s website, all other stores are sold out and more expensive) or
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (excerpted) – online/hard copies will be provided
Voices of Freedom by Eric Foner – online/hard copies will be provided

Supplementary readings will be assigned and provided by the instructor on special topics and as needed.

Specific Information about the AP Exam - please note that DC students are expected to take the AP exam:
Course Description:
Learn all about what makes America great while preparing for the College Board Advanced Placement Exam. APUSH
has a dual purpose: it fulfills the state requirement of a U.S. History course, and it provides the serious student with the
opportunity to earn college credit by taking a national test. The A.P. test is very challenging and only thoroughly prepared
students can expect success.

This preparation includes reading a college textbook, out of class reading and preparation, interactive assignments, writing
essays, analysis of primary source documents, and engaging in discussions on topics ranging from Colonial America to
the Civil War to the Cold War. APUSH is a college level course. Students are required to show competency in critically
evaluating primary and secondary sources. Students will be taught how to best succeed in the AP exam held in May while
gaining a thorough understanding of America.

AP Exam:
The AP Exam will be given on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 8:00am. Registration for the exam will take place in early
Spring. It is EXPECTED that students take the opportunity to earn college credit by preparing for and scoring high on
the test (a score of 3, 4 or 5 earns you 6 hrs of college credit). This class will prepare you to take and successfully pass the
exam. More information about the AP program and test is available on the College Board website at
Structure of the Course:
This course is student-centered and the responsibility for learning is the student’s. Students are expected to read all
assigned reading whether it is from the text or from supplemental readings provided by the instructor. Students must
participate in all class discussions and activities.

Evaluation Criteria/Testing:
The following types of assessments will be used to evaluate the student’s performance:

50%: Major Summative Performance

-Period Tests (Multiple Choice and Written)<<<can be retaken at a designated time
-Unit DBQs<<<can be rewritten for full credit after consulting w/ instructor
-Unit LEQs<<<can be rewritten for full credit after consulting w/ instructor
-Projects at the teacher’s discretion

50%: Minor Formative Performance

-Reading Quizzes (typically announced) – may use a completed study guide on reading quizzes only (does not
apply to period tests) and if a quiz is to be “retaken,” you must bring a fully completed study guide to the retake –
do not waste my time! No study guide, no retake!
-Short Answer Questions (SAQs)
-Discussion posts via Google Classroom (randomly selected as a formative grade)
-Daily Work***

***Various Formative Practice Assignments can be listed as ‘HW’ on the google calendar. These vary by teacher
discretion. Some may be graded, some may not be graded, but all help prepare students for summative assessments.
(Completion of practice is a REQUIREMENT for participation in quiz and/or exam retakes.)

Attendance in this class is essential and critical. Much of the material for success is provided through discussions and
seminars. Missing class can create problems. If you know you will be absent from school for school- related trips, sports
activities, or another school excused absence, it is YOUR responsibility to get your make-up work PRIOR to leaving. If a
student is absent, it is expected that the student will turn in any assignment that was due or take any quiz missed on the
following class day. In addition, the state of Texas requires that students be in attendance 90% of class time. A student
who has excessive absences is subject to lose academic credit for that class.

PLEASE REFER to the GOOGLE CLASS CALENDAR whenever you are absent.
You are EXPECTED to keep up with the reading!

Academic Honesty:
All students are expected to be honest and to display a high standard of integrity in the preparation and presentation of
work for credit in all classes. The attempt of any student to present as his/her own work that which he/she has not
honestly performed will be regarded as a serious offense which may subject the offender to a grading penalty
and/or disciplinary action. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating or copying the work of
another student, plagiarism and unauthorized communication between students during an examination or outside
of class with students who have not yet tested or turned in work.

Cheating/plagiarism will NOT be tolerated. Any student caught cheating or allows others to copy his/her work will
receive an automatic ZERO for the assignment. You will also be required to meet with myself in a conference, your
parents will be called, and a discipline referral will be submitted to the office.

**Cell Phones, Music Players, and other Electronic Devices:

A “Cell Phone Parking Lot” is provided and mandatory for this class. My expectation is that you will place your
cell phone on SILENT in its assigned parking space for each BEFORE the class period begins. Phones not in the
designated “parking lot” will be confiscated and turned into the APO if they appear out during my class period –
this is a non-negotiable and I will not engage in a conversation about it. My job is to teach you at a college level,
not monitor cell phone and social media use in a college-level class. We cover two college classes in one school year.
It is disrespectful to the job that I am tasked to do – teach you! I have a 1:1 chromebook ratio for students. If you
need to get a hold of your student, please call the front office and have a message sent to him/her, and if a student
needs to contact a parent on an emergency basis, a discussion will be had.
Beginning of the Class:
Students are to enter the classroom and have materials ready by the time the bell rings. Students will need to complete
their bell work and prepare for the start of the day’s activity. If there are any handouts or materials to be collected, they
will be available for pickup by the door.

Outside of the Classroom:

Students are expected to act in a dignified manner while outside of the classroom. Students should proceed to their
destination without interfering or distracting other classes. Students are to return as soon as possible to the classroom.

You will not be permitted to go to the restroom during the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes of class. You must ask
to use the pass. Any extended restroom trips, or “field trips” on the way to or from the restroom will result in loss of
restroom privileges. Do not ask to use the restroom during lecture, presentations, or group work. Our time is valuable!

Completion of Assigned Work:

Reading outside of the class is a requirement. Students will have weekly reading assignments that are vital for success in
the class, it will be impossible to be successful without reading. If the readings are outside of the textbook, they will be
linked to you on our Google calendar, Google drive, or in Google classroom (typically in multiple locations).

Listening and Responding:

Students should listen attentively whenever the teacher is talking or when a student is giving a presentation. Students
should take notes over any lecture, presentation, film or audio presentation. If a student would like to comment, elaborate,
ask a question or present their hypothesis on an item of discussion, they should raise their hand and wait to be called on.

Students are eligible to retest once they have completed supplemental formative assignments assigned by their teacher.
Students are allowed to retest only once per assessment. A student has ONE week from the time they are notified of their
grade to retest. Students may retest for a maximum grade of a 100.

Absences and Make-up Policy:

If you are absent, it is your responsibility to ask for missed assignments. Each classroom has an “Absent Box” where you
can pick up any missing assignments.

Tutoring Hours:
Numerous tutoring opportunities are available to U.S. History students. Please see your teacher for a list of times.

Profanity will not be tolerated. Respect yourselves and each other.

Class Dismissal:
Class is dismissed by the teacher, not the bell. The class will be dismissed only when all cleaning requirements are
completed and all students are in their seats. Please do not pack your belongings; I will always give you plenty of time to
clean and pack up your belongings. Absolutely no lining up at the door!!

Contacting Your DC/APUSH Teacher:

Michelle Wheeler (Dual Credit/AP US History)
Phone: 210-398-2200 ext. 3202
Twitter: @wheelerhistory
Website: (under construction)
Remind: Text @dcapwheel to 81010
Dual Credit and Advanced Placement United States History Student and Parent Contract 2018-2019

The purpose of the DC/AP US History Student & Parent Contract is to provide information to parents and students to
facilitate the students’ success in an academically challenging course. Please read carefully the course syllabus, list of
expectations below and then sign the form on the back confirming your commitment to the DC/AP US History.

1. I understand being enrolled in DC/AP US History is an intense, rigorous year-long course, in which I am expected to
take the national AP exam in May 2019. I will become familiar with the information in the course syllabus and the
expectations of the course. I understand that Mrs. Wheeler’s course syllabus has been approved by College Board and is a
binding document of what will be covered for the course.

2. I recognize that participation in DC/AP US History requires me to:

a. Invest time and energy necessary to be successful.
b. Demonstrate increased student independence.
c. Take on a high degree of responsibility.
d. Meet higher standards than other high school classes.
e. May have assignments over summer, weekends, and/or school breaks.

3. I understand that DC/AP US History is the equivalent of two college-level US History courses and therefore requires
the same amount of work as a college level history course (approximately a minimum of 30 minutes of
homework/reading/studying nightly), even if not formally assigned.

4. I understand that being enrolled in DC/AP US History means that I have to take notes from class discussions, lectures,
readings, and other supplement material.

5. I understand that in order to cover everything that may appear on the AP US History National Exam, this course will
proceed at a rapid pace. Therefore, if I am unclear about any topic that has been covered in previous classes or currently in
APUSH, it is my responsibility to seek help (i.e., attending FLEX, coming to tutorials, etc.) in order to keep up with the
rapid pace of this course.

6. I agree to be academically honest. I understand that if I plagiarize, cheat, or submit work that I did not personally
complete, I will receive a zero for the assignment, discussion with parents, and a potential office referral. I will take
responsibility for all work, whether I am present in class or not (absences do not equate to exemptions). Assignments
missed due to absences may be modified to ensure academic integrity.

7. I recognize that the material covered in DC/AP US History is extremely challenging. I also recognize that while my
grade in this course and the score I receive on the AP exam matter, the amount and quality of knowledge that I take from
this class to college is most important. An exam “grade” does not define you!

8. I understand that Mrs. Wheeler is available to help me whenever possible. All I have to do is advocate for my needs.
a. I will notify Mrs. Wheeler by email when I have questions or concerns -
b. If needed, I will schedule an appointment with Mrs. Wheeler.
c. I will seek encouragement and support from my parents and Mrs. Wheeler, when needed.
d. I will utilize Flex wisely and seek help during this time.

9. I understand that to be successful, I will need the following supplies to be successful in DC/AP US History:

1 – 1” 3-Ring Binder dedicated for DC/AP History only – to store your study guides, reviews and returned
1 – 5 Subject Notebook – preferably Mead 5 Star or one in which an entire 8”x11” sheet of paper can be fixed in
w/out bending or folding the paper
1 – 8”x11” yellow or pastel writing pad, preferably college-ruled – used for writing essays (will be left in class)
Black or Blue Ink Pens – get used to writing in ink – AP exam requires it on all essays
Multiple Highlighters – multiple colors
#2 WOODEN pencils – used for scantron portion of quizzes/tests not given digitally
Retain the front two pages for your records. Please sign this page, along with your student, and have it
returned to Mrs. Wheeler (C202). Thank you.

I have read the expectations and contract for DC/AP US History and confirm my commitment to this
class. Additionally, I acknowledge that I have received and understand the letter on the Statement Policy,
Course Expectations, Grading Policy, Cell Phone Policy, and Guidelines on Academic Honesty for
DC/AP United States History.

Throughout the school year students will have the opportunity to view HISTORICAL film/video/clips, some
references come from PG, PG-13, and/or R rated movies. Please acknowledge whether you give your student
permission or not to watch this type of rated material. Checking ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ with your signature below will

YES, my student HAS permission to watch clips of PG, PG-13, and/or R ratings.

NO, my student DOES NOT have permission to watch clips of PG, PG-13, and/or R ratings.

_________________________ __________________________ ____________

Student Name (PRINT) Student Signature Date

_________________________ ___________________________ _____________

Parent/Guardian Name (PRINT) Parent/Guardian Signature Date

We encourage parents/guardians to provide an email address as this is often the fastest form of communication.
Occasionally, we may notify parents/guardians of class information via email.

Parent/Guardian email address: PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY

(his) ________________________________________@_________________.___________


Parent/Guardian Contact Phone Numbers:

Home Phone (if have one): _________________________

His Name: _________________________ Her Name: _________________________

His Cell: (_____)____________________ Her Cell: (_____)____________________

His Work: (_____)___________________ Her Work: (_____)__________________