Social Studies - Introduction, Expectations & Academic Standards


    Introduction, Expectations & Academic Standards

    Dr. M. Scott

    Welcome to my Social Studies Web Page!  

    First off, when you see "Social Science" think "Social Studies."  It's six of one, half a dozen of the other.  We decided it would be more efficient to give each teacher their own section on the website.  We couldn't use the same name for both pages, so the link name I got was "Social Science" and Mr. Teefy was awarded the "Social Studies" link name because he had it first.  "Social Science, Social Studies...  Tomato, Tomato...."

    In this page, I have posted general course expectations and curriculum overviews as well as brief descriptions of some of the projects we will be planning and resources for students in the classes.  If you are interested, you can also browse my professional certifications and teaching experience which are also posted here.  Hopefully you will find these pages useful in preparing for the year.



    TEXT BOOKS: In selected classes, we will be using textbooks as the main resource for content material.  However, in all classes there will be the added component of research projects and presentations.


    American History Text Books can be accessed ON LINE with any device with internet capabilities.  Students can access the text by using the log in given below:


    STUDENT Log in:

    District:  Morrisville 19067

    Your User Name = YName

    Password = Student




    NOTEBOOKS:   Students will be expected to bring notebooks for personal hand-written note taking during class.  Note taking is a valuable skill that is extremely useful in college classes and also in the professional environment.  I recognize that all students are different and learn in different ways.  Note taking is a chance for each student to learn to organize the material in a way that works best for them.  One of the ways students will be expected to engage in learning is to take their own notes on the content being presented in class. Notebooks will be graded regularly to award points for classwork and participation.

    Students will be expected to translate the material from the resource into their own words and phrases.  This should help to promote a deeper level on understanding and a more thorough mastery of the material.  Students will be strongly discouraged from "copying word for word" as this does not usually lead to any meaningful connections with the content.

    Students will be expected to generate Questions and Answers ("Q? & A!") as a component of their personal notebooks.  This technique allows the student not only to identify the most important elements of the content, but also to begin to anticipate and better prepare for the types of questions a teacher (and eventually an employer) might ask on a test or in an interview.

    STUDY GUIDES:   Each student will be given Review Sheets and/or Study Guides before each quiz and major exam.  There will be a variety of review formats that we will be using in our classes.  The two main formats will be the “Student Generated Exam” and the “Teacher Generated Review.”

    QUIZZES:   Students will be given brief quizzes periodically to help assess progress and understanding of the material.  Quizzes may be preceded by a brief review or may be given as a “Pop-Quiz” in which there would not be a formal review.  Quizzes will be a smaller component of the overall points used to calculate student grades.

    PROJECTS:   Students will be offered the opportunity to create projects related to the course content.  The structure of the projects may vary and some projects will be individual while others may be group projects.  The weight of the grade of each project will vary depending on the size and scope.

    ALL STUDENTS will be expected to present their projects to the rest of the class.  Public Speaking is required at most universities and is a vital skill to develop for future educational and professional experiences.  Gaining experience presenting to a large group can be extremely valuable for all students.  

    MAJOR EXAMS:   Students will be given major exams at the conclusion of each unit.  Exams will be one of the Major Components in determining student grades.  Exams will be comprehensive and questions will be presented in a variety of formats allowing students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the material through multiple choice, short answer, essay and true/false responses. 

    PROFESSIONALISM POINTS:  All quality schools are committed to insuring that students are able to succeed after the students graduate.  Preparation for that process must begin well in advance and cannot be limited to knowledge and facts alone.  It is extremely important that Students learn to demonstrate appropriate behavior that would lead to Success in a Professional Environment.  Students who choose to make choices and engage in actions that would have a negative impact on their professional opportunities will be PENALIZED in terms of points which will likely have a negative impact on the final grade. 

    HOWEVER, students who demonstrate maturity and engage in actions that help create a more safe, comfortable and productive classroom environment will be REWARDED in terms of points which will have a positive impact and elevate their final grade!

    EXTRA CREDIT:   Extra Credit assignments deal with Current Events.  Students may ONLY engage in an Extra Credit study after all of the regular assignments up to that point have been completed.  Extra Credit will only be offered to students who have already completed the “Regular Credit” assignments.  Only two (2) Extra Credit opportunities will be afforded per marking period.  No Extra Credit will be available during the final week of any marking period.

    INDEPENDENT STUDIES:   Extra Credit and Independent Study projects will be additional points awarded to students who elect to engage in study areas beyond or more in depth of what is offered in the core content.  If a student finds and interest in a topic area or concept and would like to explore that particular area further or at a deeper level, they will be awarded points for doing so provided that the project is a comprehensive and quality effort.  Students may ONLY engage in an Independent Studies after all of the regular assignments up to that point have been completed.  

    PARTICIPATION:   Students will be rewarded for contributing positively and constructively to Classroom Discussions.  Each diverse point of view is welcome and encouraged because students can (and do) learn from productive interactions with one another as well as from the provided books and materials.

    Students who are disruptive to the classroom environment and are asked to leave the room will lose 10 participation points for that day (in addition to any administrative consequences).

    HOMEWORK:  There may be times throughout the course of the year during which students may be assigned work to do that extends beyond the school day.  Students will all be expected to put in time at home to study and prepare for exams.  Students may also be expected to spend extra time at home on projects or other larger assignments. However, we will make every effort to make the most efficient use of our class time and try to keep homework assignments to a minimum.   

    DUE DATES:  Due Dates for all assignments and projects will be given at the time the assignment is presented.  Due Dates are deadlines that will not be flexible.  All assignments and projects are expected to be submitted during class on or before the date they are due.  All assignments are expected to be submitted at the BEGINNING of the scheduled class.  Any assignment not submitted at the start of the scheduled class period will be considered late.

    Points will be deducted if a student submits a project on the due date but later in the day.

    An assignment submitted Later than the Beginning of Class will still be eligible for up to 89% of the overall points.

    An assignment submitted ONE (1) school day late will still be eligible for up to 79% of the overall points.

    An assignment submitted TWO (2) school days late will still be eligible for up to 69% of the overall points.

    An assignment submitted THREE (3) school days late will only be eligible for up to 59% of the overall points.

    Any assignment submitted three school days beyond the due date will not be accepted and no points or credit may be awarded.

    A student who is absent on the day an assignment is due will not be penalized provided that the work is submitted on the day of their return to school.  If the student returns to school and does not submit their assignment on that day, the work will be considered late and the penalties explained above will apply.

    Extensions and special accommodations may be afforded if a student has been absent for a number of days (or for other circumstances) provided that there is contact with the parent or guardian regarding the need for an extension of the due date. 



    EXTRA HELP:  Any student who feels they need some extra help in any area may schedule time to meet with the teacher before or after school.  Students who find that they need a significant amount of extra help may want to consider a tutor or enrolling in one of the credit recovery programs.

    ADDITIONAL TESTING TIME:  Students who require extra time for testing may be permitted to stay after class to complete their test.  They may also be permitted to come after school on the day of the test and complete the exam after school.  All exams must be completed on the day the student begins the exam.  Students will not be permitted to “carry-over” an exam into the next school day.

    RE-TEST:  Any Student who scores in the 60 percentile will be eligible for a re-test PROVIDED they fill out a form and have it returned the next school day signed by a parent or guardian.  A student who scores 100% on a Re-Test will be awarded 90% as it will have been a second attempt.  Any scores below 90% will be counted as they are.  If a student should achieve a lower score on the Re-Test, the higher of the two scores will be used.



    All of the expectations listed here are aligned with those spelled out in the student hand book.  These expectations are in place to provide students with the understanding that my goal is to provide a safe and productive learning environment for all of our students.  Hopefully if everyone cooperates and follows these simple guidelines, we should have a great year!

    ELECTRONIC DEVICES:  Cell phones, iPods and other personal hand held electronic devices are not permitted in the classroom.  These devices can be a major distraction.  There are also incidents on record in which students have used these devices to record and post things on line without the permission or even awareness of the people who are being recorded.  Cyber-Bullying is a serious offense and to help minimize any chances for it to occur and to keep the members of our classroom safe, we are asking students not to bring electronic devices into the classroom.

    ARRIVAL TIME:  Students are expected to arrive to class on time.  Students are given an allotment of time to travel from one class to the next.  Students who are late will be written up for lateness and administrative consequences will follow.


    FOOD & DRINK:  Food and drink are not permitted in the classroom.  Spillage can create an unsanitary environment.  The cafeteria is the designated area for food and drink.  Students who do not adhere to this policy may be asked to discard their food and/or drinks in the trash.  

    Students with medical conditions or other specific or special needs will need to bring a note from a doctor or the school nurse and those students will be accommodated and briefly excused from class with a pass to the cafeteria. Students who violate this rule risk having their food confiscated and receiving administrative consequences.

    SELF-MANAGEMENT/SELF-DISCIPLINE:  All students will be expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner for the classroom.  Students will be held accountable for their choices.  The classroom environment should be a constructive environment in which students should be able to feel safe and be encouraged to contribute constructively to classroom discussions.  Students who engage in inappropriate or destructive behavior that results in a negative classroom environment will face administrative consequences for their actions.


    -          Students will be expected to respect one another
    -          There should be no physical contact between students in this classroom
    -          There should be no profanity or other abusive language 
    -          There is no need for name calling and bullying of any kind will not be tolerated
    -          Nothing should be thrown either to or at another student for any reason


    We will ALL need to work together to create and maintain a safe and productive learning environment so that all of our students can feel safe and are afforded the best opportunity to learn and to succeed!  


    Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Social Studies 

    (or Social Science... Potato, Potatoe...)


    1  Historical Analysis and Skills Development


    A. Continuity and Change over Time


    B. Fact / Opinion and Points of View


    C. Research




    2  Pennsylvania History


    A. Contributions of Individuals and Groups


    B. Historical Documents, Artifacts, and Historical Places


    C. Impact of Continuity and Change on PA History


    D. Conflict and Cooperation




    3  United States History


    A. Contributions of Individuals and Groups


    B. Historical Documents and Artifacts


    C. Impact of Continuity and Change on U.S. History


    D. Conflict and Cooperation




    4  World History


    A. Contributions of Individuals and Groups


    B. Historical Documents, Artifacts, and Sites


    C. Impact of Continuity and Change

    D. Conflict and Cooperation


    If you have any quesions or comments, please feel free to contact me at:

    Dr. Michael R. Scott

    Morrisville School District


    Looking forward to a great year!

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