Advanced Placement United States History Syllabusi
“What Students and Parents Need to Know”
I would like to welcome students and parents/guardians to Advanced Placement United
States History. Please read the following document carefully and return the tear-off to
The following requirements are based on what I believe is necessary to do well in
1. I expect each student to be in class and on time every day. Attendance will
play a part in determining grades. Tardies and excessive absences will have
a negative effect on students’ grades.
2. I consider this a college course which is being taken in high school.
Therefore, it is quite demanding (an average of one to one and a half hours of
homework per night) and coupled with Core that already gives students three
difficult and/or time-consuming courses. Thus, students need to look closely
at the rest of their school schedule as well as other time commitments that
might interfere with their schoolwork. I am aware that homework exists in
other classes so there’s no need to whine about the schedule. As students
you need to make certain choices and be held responsible for those
3. I am aware that for many students this will be their first AP course. The
content of the 11th grade Core program has been structured in a way to assist
students in succeeding in this class. Thus, I want everyone to do well in here
and take the National AP Exam in May, but to qualify I recommend that
students need to get at least a “C+” for the first semester. If a student works
hard in here they can earn a “C+”. It won’t be easy but if the commitment to
work hard is made and fulfilled, it can be done. Even if a student attempts the
National AP Exam and doesn’t pass, the experience of attempting it is well
worth it. In May students who do not take the National AP Exam must take
the Magnet AP Exam. It is modeled on the National Exam, but is two hours in
length rather than three.
4. To assist in this endeavor, there will be several special AP Review sessions
set up beginning in late March. Students will be given extra credit for
5. The official school record will show AP U.S. History both semesters. Students
get AP/Honors grade for this course and if the National AP Exam in May is
passed “college credit” is earned but the type of college credit varies
depending on the score you attain (3, 4, or 5) and the college you end up
attending. The grade in this class is not necessarily tied to the exam! Also
note that although the exam is in mid-May, the course goes through the end
of June. Although the period from mid-May through June will be more relaxed,
we will be doing work. Vacation does not begin the day after the AP Exam!
1. All assignments will be given a point value. Assignments are weighted based
2. There are numerous graded assignments in this course. Students cannot do
well in here unless they consistently do well on classwork and tests.
3. The grading scale for this class is as follows.
4. There are two exceptions to strict adherence to the grade scale mentioned
a. In the case of excessive absences and tardies I reserve the right to
adjust the final course grade.
b. If students fail to take any part of the Final Exam I also reserve the
right to adjust the final grade.
I will use three types of exams in this class. All of them are modeled on the types
of exam questions given on the A.P. Exam in May. They are: multiple choice, free
response narrative essays, and Document Based Question (DBQ) essays. I will teach
all students how to do well on these exams.
I will give reading quizzes on the previous night’s assigned key terms a few times
per week. Some quizzes will include review questions from earlier in the course. The
emphasis must be on learning the content, not just memorizing it.
Academic Fraud/ Cheating:
Do your own work! I have ZERO TOLERANCE for cheating. Cheating includes
the copying of work done by other students either for homework or tests and plagiarism
of published works (including texts and Internet sources). Below are the consequences
you face if you make the decision to cheat.
1. First Time Offense: Students will receive a zero on the assignment cheated on.
There will be no make-up assignments for a student committing academic fraud.
In addition, there will also be a 7-10% reduction (at my discretion) in your grade
at the end of the semester.
2. Second and Final Offense: A parent conference will be held which will include the
Magnet Coordinator, your counselor, and the Core 11 Grade Level Coordinator.
Student will Fail my class.
I want each student’s meaningful participation in class discussion and I will
reward students for their participation. Your participation helps me to know who’s
involved and who’s prepared for class. I understand that participating in class is not
easy for everybody, but I assure you that it becomes easier with repetition and I will not
look at any individual negatively for giving an incorrect response. By participating in
class discussions you will remain engaged on the class topics and get more out of our
1. All work is due the day it is assigned. It may be turned in up to two days late with
a penalty of 50%. If a student is absent, it’s due the day they come back or on a
day agreeable to me based on a conversation that students must initiate before
the absence. Beware: Students who tend to be absent on “certain days” (i.e.
testing days) will be held accountable for abusing this policy.
2. Make-up exams will be given weekly at lunch. There is a one grade penalty for
missing a test. There are no exceptions. If you miss the make-up exam you will
receive a zero on the exam. Once again, beware, students who tend to be
absent on “certain days” will be held accountable for abusing this policy.
3. When absent it is the responsibility of the student to find out what assignments
and information was missed. Therefore, I advise students to get the phone
numbers of 4-5 other students in the class.
Some Final General Points:
Now some final comments on things students need to be aware of with regard to
1. THE CLASS BINDER: Students will be issued a textbook but it is up to you to
decide when and if you want to use them. I have Xeroxed most of the materials
students need. Therefore, students will rely mostly on “my book”. The course
materials (“my book”) will be held in 3-ring binder by the students. I recommend
purchasing a 2” binder and 10 dividers for the class binder.
I will explain how these binders will be organized. Students must bring their main
binder with them each day as if it were their textbook (which it is).
2. I will be using a website to post announcements, reference documents, and
homework assignments. Students should get in the habit of checking the website
daily or at least every couple days. More information will be provided in class.
3. Being the teacher or a student in this class is incredibly difficult due to the
number of “vacation days” during the school year. Additionally, I am asked to
teach and students are asked to learn a year’s college course in about seven
months and be tested on all of the content. Consequently as I indicated earlier,
this is a demanding course that will require a student’s full attention and highly
developed time management skills are essential.
4. Major assignments and test dates will be posted on my www.corebabry.org web
I am looking forward to a good year. I hope that the class won’t intimidate students. This
course looks very impressive on college applications. Together we can work hard and
succeed in here.
Please tear off the next page then fill-in the appropriate information and return it to me.
Then keep the document in the front of your course binder for future reference.
Syllabus – Advanced Placement United States History
Signature Page – Student/Parent Contract with Mr. Saavedra
PLEASE RETURN THIS SIGNED
Student Name: _____________________________________________
Please keep the document above for future reference. If you have any further questions
please feel free to ask.
I have read these requirements and I agree to abide by them. In addition, I
have read the requirements with regard to cheating and I am aware of the
consequences if I cheat in this class in any way.
Student Signature Parent/Guardian Signature
Student Name (Printed) Parent/Guardian Name (Printed)
Date Signed Parent E-mail Address