This course is designed to provide students with a practical knowledge and understanding of our American government and its direct connection to them.  Relevance to life is imperative for students to connect with the democratic process as citizens of the United States.  Students will be able to apply knowledge of the US Constitution and demonstrate their understanding of how the American system of government functions on the local, state and national levels as well as the impact on individual citizens.  Students will also be able to demonstrate their understanding that US citizens have both rights and responsibilities in order for our government to maintain order in our society.

Units of Study 

1.  Connecticut State and Local Government

2.  Foundations of American Government

3.  Citizenship:  Rights and Responsibilities

4.  Federalism

This Class is a required course for graduation! 

Homework Expectations

Homework is assigned often in preparation for or as a reinforcement of previously learned material.  Assignments are to be completed with accuracy and neatness.  Blogging on is a common assignment. Class preparation is an integral component of this course. A strong effort will earn you MAJOR points. 

Skills Emphasized

Debate, research-based Internet searches, position papers, document package analysis, mock public hearings, public speaking, court case analysis, cooperative learning activities, reading for content, etc … There are MANY ways to show what you have learned. 

Major Assignments

Throughout the course, several projects will be assigned.  A major project of the course is for each student to attend a public meeting in their respective towns, take notes and prepare a verbal and typed presentation.  This assignment is worth 70 points.  A minimum of 60 minutes in attendance at one of these meetings is required.  Directions for the assignment are distributed during the first week of the course and students are encouraged to attend a meeting in a timely manner. 

Daily Civics Debates

One of the major components of this class is daily discussions and debates. You are required to get a journal or have a specific place in your notebook for these writing assignments. This will be checked randomly for a class work grade.


Homework is a major part of each marking period grade with essays, projects, papers, research, quizzes, tests, etc. carrying considerable weight.  A final exam will be administered at the end of the course and will count as 10% of the final grade.

Cell Phones and Text Messaging

Cell phones are not allowed in the classroom.  PLEASE DO NOT USE THEM! Use of cell phones will result in the following penalties: 

First offense – I take it and you get it back at the end of the period.

Second offense – I take it and you get it back at the end of the day.

Third offense – I take it to the office … when I get around to it.

Collaboration or Cheating

You will be told when it is okay to work with someone else on an assignment. That is the only time when collaboration is allowed. Otherwise, it will be cheating. DO NOT CHEAT! You will get a 0 for the assignment and reported to the office.


Student Expectations

You are required to bring all learning materials to class every day. That includes, textbook, notebook, and writing utensil (pencil or pen). You are required to sit in your assigned seat unless told otherwise. You will not be allowed to go anywhere without your student handbook that has your hall pass in it. You are expected to participate and be an active learner. No free rides! Please respect me and I will respect you. You are an adult – act like one.