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 Social Studies

Global History and Geography         Length of Course: 40 weeks
Prerequisite: Grades 9 & 10 Social Requirement                 Credits: 1
“The global history and geography core curriculum is designed to focus on the five social studies standards, common themes that recur across time and place, and seven historical eras. The curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore what is happening in various regions and civilizations at a given time. In addition, it enables them to investigate issues and themes from multiple perspectives and make global connections and linkages that lead to in-depth understanding.” Over the two years, students are consistently preparing for the culminating activity, the Regents Exam.

Global History and Geography Honors        Length of Course: 40 weeks
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation                                      Credits: 1
The honors global history and geography curriculum is designed to focus on the five social studies standards, common themes that recur across time and place, and seven historical eras. This curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore what is happening in various regions and civilizations at a given time. In addition, it enables them to investigate issues and themes from multiple perspectives and make global connections and linkages that lead to in-depth understanding.
Honors students will be using authentic “real-work” examples, including timelines, maps, graphs, cartoons, charts and short readings. Participants in this class are expected to have achieved an advanced level of reading and writing skills.

U.S. History and Government Regents Course            Length of Course: 40 weeks
Prerequisite: Grade 11 Social Requirement                                                   Credits: 1
This is a comprehensive history course that follows the New York State syllabus. There is great emphasis placed on our government, The U.S. Constitution and The Bill of Rights, Landmark U.S. Supreme court cases, and post reconstruction U.S. history. At Saranac, we also intertwine current events, public speaking and ongoing and ever changing projects into this course. The main focus of this course is to meet the needs of our students so that they will pass the New York Regents Exam, develop a respect and positive attitude towards our country and become informed, loyal citizens of the United States. Working closely with our English department, we also place a priority on thematic and document based essay writing. Like all social studies courses at Saranac High School, we are very successful and very good at what we do.

AP U.S. History & Government (Advanced Placement)         Length of Course: 40 weeks
Prerequisite: Score of 85 or better on Global Regents exam                                    Credits: 1
The AP program in United States History is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and material in United States history.  The program prepares students tor 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 interpretative problem, their reliability, and their importance - and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.  An AP United States History course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgement and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.  Students enrolled in this course will be expected to take the AP exam in the spring which could make them eligible to receive college credits.  There will be a fee for the exam.

Economics
                                     Length of Course: 20 weeks
Prerequisite: Grade 12 Social Requirement                     Credits: ½
The course will deal with the basic concepts and principles of economics, the major elements of the economic systems and the roles of the various components of those systems. It will deal with issues addressed in a basic Economics 101 college course and give students an introduction to both microeconomics and macroeconomics concepts. Such issues such as supply and demand, gross domestic product, inflation, and unemployment will be explored. A further aspect of the course is a project that gives the student a real life experience in regards to how day-to-day economics will affect them. Part I of the project involves the student getting an apartment, setting up a checking account, getting a job, setting up a budget, and doing grocery shopping. The second part of the project is that the students will pay their monthly bills, including getting unexpected expenditures, and balancing their check book each month. The purpose of this project is to give student an economic experience that they can relate to their everyday life.

Government                              Length of Course: 20 weeks
Prerequisite: Grade 12 Social Requirement                Crediits: ½
The purpose of this semester course is to empower students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to fully participate in the political process at the local, state and national levels.  This course expands on knowledge of our government learned in previous courses.  To the extent possible, students will learn the act of participating in government by engaging in project-based work that simulates real-life participation.  Students will engage in discussion of current events affecting U.S. government including political campaigns and fundraising; the role of political parties and political action committees; U.S. domestic and foreign policy; the roles of the President and congress; and the workings of our judicial system.  Our goal is for our students to become active and educated citizens as they leave Saranac High School.

AP Government (Advanced Placement)           Length of Course: 40 weeks              Credits: 1
Prerequisite: Grade of 90 or better on the Global History and US History Regents exam, recommendation of your 11th grade social studies teacher and completion of a summer research project.
Economics/AP Government fulfills the graduation requirement of one semester of economics and one semester of government.  The first and fourth marking periods of this full-year course are devoted to economics and the second and third marking periods are devoted to the Advanced Placement course of U.S. Government and politics in preparation for the AP exam in May.  The economics portion of the course is the same as the semester-long economics course.  USGOPO is an introductory college course in United States government and politics or in comparative government and politics is generally one semester in length.  In both subject areas there is considerable variety among the courses offered by colleges.  In terms of content, there is no specific college course curriculum that an AP course in United States Government and Politics or in Comparative Government and Politics must follow.  Therefore, the aim of an AP course should be to provide the student with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory U.S. or comparative government and politics courses.  Students enrolled in this course will be expected to take the AP exam in the spring which could make them eligible to receive college credits.  There will be a fee for the exam.

Psychology                            Length of Course: 20 weeks
Prerequisite: Grade 12 Elective                                Credits: ½
Students will be introduced to several areas in the field of Psychology to help them to develop a Psychological-Historical Perspective. Some of the fields of study will include: Abnormal Psychology, Criminal Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Social Psychology, Animal Behavior, Experimental Psychology and Counseling and Psychotherapy. Experts and Guest speakers will visit the classroom often and several field trips will be taken throughout the semester to the Merrill Cooper Program and the Main Prison at Clinton Correctional Facility.

Sociology                              Length of Course: 20 weeks
Prerequisite: Grade 12 Elective                                 Credits ½
Students will research and develop a Sociological Perspective that will help them to understand how culture, community, social structure, symbolism, and subgroups impact their lives, Possible topics throughout the year will include: The study of different deviant groups such as Gangs and Cults, Women of World, Human Rights issues, Genocide throughout different periods in history, The Death Penalty, Euthanasia, Ethnocentrism, The Power of Symbolism, the Juvenile Justice System, the Homeless and American Veteran. Experts and Guest speakers will visit the classroom often and several field trips will be taken throughout the semester to The Merrill Cooper Program and the Main Prison at Clinton Correctional Facility.

U.S. History through Films            Length of Course: 20 weeks
Prerequisite: None                                                   Credits: ½
This semester course covers U.S. History from colonial times to the present. The films used depict U.S. history in a visual manner that relates well with 21st century students. Students complete a film review and essay about each film. This is a very popular course at Saranac High School.