Latin American Studies
Office Location: 2035
Email: Meghan_ward@westport.k12.ct.us or email@example.com
Welcome to the 2007-2008 School Year!
The Latin American Studies course is organized thematically. This year we will be looking at the myths versus the realities of
Latin America including social, political and economic issues the area has wrestled with for centuries. Toward the end of the
course you will be given the opportunity to wrestle with conflicting evidence on topics such as education, healthcare, bio-
diversity and trade to reach your own conclusions regarding these issues in Latin America.
Additionally, you will be asked to complete varying assignments including oral presentations, papers, PowerPoint presentations
and group exercises. Much of the emphasis will be placed on your ability to take a position and defend that position.
Which factor – cultural traditions, ideology or socio-economics – has most significantly impacted the
development and identity of modern Latin America?
Unit 1: Impact of Geography
Unit 2: Foundations of Traditional Society
Unit 3: Development of Modern Latin America
Unit 4: Contemporary Issues
Texts to be referenced:
Galeano, Eduardo. Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. New York: Monthly
Review Press. 1997.
Chasteen, John Charles. Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America. New York: WW Norton &
Icaza, Jorge. The Villagers (Huasipungos). Trans. Bernard Dulsey. Southern Illinois University. 1964.
In order to make the most out of everyday it is important that you know what I expect from you:
Come to class ready to learn with all materials ☺ Come to class on time. ☺ Try your best to succeed. ☺ Turn
off your cell phone. ☺ Take your headphones out of your ears. ☺ Use the laptops for your work, be
productive(no games). ☺ Respect all students. ☺ Participate, Participate, Participate however you do best!!!
I keep a class website that can be accessed from the Staples eChalk page: http://www.stapleshighschool.org or
directly on the internet at http://shs.westport.k12.ct.us/ward/. The majority of assignments will be posted here for
you to refer to. If an assignment is given in class, however, but is not posted on the website it is still a valid
assignment and must be completed. It is always your responsibility to stay current with your homework, paper and
I am available period 1 in the English/Social Studies Learning Center in room 2038 and during periods 2 & 8, see me for
an appointment. Let me know if these do not work for you and we can meet before or after school.
Grading Policies & Assessments
Homework will be graded on a 10-Point Rubric. Papers will be graded on a 100-Point Rubric. Class
Participation points will be awarded at the end of each quarter according to the 40-Point Class Participation
Rubric. Quizzes and tests will be graded based on the total number of points which will vary between 10-100
points. Total Points earned will be added and divided by the total points available to achieve quarter grades.
1st Semester Grade 2nd Semester Grade Final Grade for the Course
1st Quarter 40% 3rd Quarter 40% 1st Semester 50%
nd th nd
2 Quarter 40% 4 Quarter 40% 2 Semester 50%
Midterm 20% Final 20%
As stated above, if you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed – either from us or another student.
Class assignments will be posted on my website. If you choose not to do your homework but you were in class late
assignments will not be accepted. Each student will be allowed 2 “drama” cards per quarter. If you do not use them they
will expire at the end of the quarter (they do not rollover into the next).
Late Assignments Due to Absence: You will have time to make up work without penalty. If you were absent 1 day, you
have a 1 day grace period; if you were absent 2 days, you have a 2 day grace period, etc. Your grace period includes every
school day. Even if our class does not meet the first day you come back to school, it counts as a day.
Making up tests, quizzes, projects: If you miss a test or a quiz it will be available for you to take in the Social Studies
Learning Center Room 2035 in my folder. Simply walk in the room and ask the teacher on duty for the assignment. All
make-ups must be taken and/or presented within a week of the absence. If the work is not made up it will be scored a zero
(0). A full letter grade will be deducted on all long-term projects and papers for every day they are handed in
late. After 5 days they will not be accepted.
Please have this syllabus signed by your parent/guardian, tear off this portion and return to me by Friday,
I have read the procedures and expectations for Mrs. Ward’s Latin American Studies course. I now know what is
expected of me and agree to participate and behave accordingly, knowing that my participation will only help the
Student Name: __________________________ Signature: _______________________
Parent Name: ___________________________ Signature: _______________________
We are a community of learners engaged in a quest for academic excellence and committed to civic and social responsibility. We are
unwavering in our belief that we must act with integrity and treat each other with respect.