Social Studies Department

    United States History – Advanced Placement

     Instructor:     Mr. Summa                 Room CM214                psumma@alvinisd.net


    Course Description: The AP U.S. History course focuses on developing students’ understanding of American history from approximately 1491 to the present. The course has students investigate the content of U.S. history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in nine historical periods, and develop and use the same thinking skills and methods (analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation) employed by historians when they study the past. Students will also make connections among historical developments in different times and places.


    Course Rationale: Because past events have shaped American society today, students should understand the development and growth of the United States to effectively participate in civic affairs and assume societal responsibilities. Completion of this rigorous course culminates with an opportunity for students to earn college credit by mastering historical objectives in both multiple choice and essay format. Furthermore, this advanced placement course provides students with the content knowledge and skills necessary to pass the end-of-course 11th grade social studies STAAR test.


    Materials Required:

    Pen – blue or black ink

    Notebook paper (lots of it)


    Grading Policy:

    Homework/Daily work           40%

    Tests and major projects        60%



    Pretty much any day 3:00 – 3:30 p.m., or by appointment


    Make-Up Work:

    It is your responsibility to get your make-up work assignments and due dates.  This is to be done before or after school.  It is also your responsibility to get any notes missed from another student. It might be wise to create a partnership with someone you trust – you get notes for them if they miss and they get notes for you if you miss. If you are present for the unit or chapter or material and are only absent for the test itself, you will be required to take the test on the day you return to class or receive a zero.  The day of the test will be announced several days in advance so even if you miss days preceding the test, you will still be required to take the test on the same day as everyone else. Make sure you prepare yourself for the tests even if you have missed several days of school. Make-up tests will be given during PowerHour or after school as instructed by me.  It will not be the same test that was given in class.


    Late Work:

    If an assignment is turned in late the same day it is due, or the next day, 15 points will be deducted from the grade.

    If it is turned in two days after it is due, 30 points will be deducted from the grade.

    Late work is not accepted beyond two days and a zero will be recorded for the grade.



    Cheating is defined as giving or receiving information on tests or quizzes, copying homework assignments, or giving or receiving information in any area that I have specified that you work alone. A grade of zero will be recorded for work on which you have cheated. The incident will then be reported to the appropriate Assistant Principal so that disciplinary action can be taken (ECOs, ISS, removal from the AP program, etc.). The choices you make are a reflection of your character – choose wisely!


     Class Rules:

    1. Follow directions
    2. Keep hands, feet, objects, negative comments to yourself
    3. When teacher talks, all other talking will stop
    4. Always bring materials
    5. No food, drinks, or grooming


    Tardy Policy:

    It is important that you arrive to class on time and are ready to begin learning when the tardy bell rings. Coming in late can make you miss valuable information (that you are still responsible for) and coming in late can disturb the other students that are trying to learn. After the tardy bell rings, you are only allowed into my room with a teacher’s pass or a paper from the Tardy Kiosk. Excessive tardies will result in an office referral.


    Phone Policy:

    Phones must be put away and out of sight during the class period. If cell phones are out, they will be confiscated and turned in to the nearest AP’s office and you must pay $15 to get it back. If you refuse to relinquish your device, you will be written up and ISS will be automatically assigned. Cell phones have shown to be a distraction to student learning and student success.

    Phone Policy on Test/Quiz/Essay Day:

    On test or quiz day you will turn your phone into a “phone box” to prevent any violations of academic integrity. If you refuse and I hear your phone during the assessment, a penalty of a 25 point deduction will be assessed. If the phone is out and visible during the assessment, a penalty of a 50 point deduction will be assessed.

    Academic integrity is a priority in this class.


    Academic Expectations:

    All students will:

    1. Complete all assigned work
    2. Participate in class discussions
    3. Read the book
    4. Write essays, papers, etc.
    5. Study to successfully pass exams


    Students are expected to behave in a mature manner to allow for the maximum amount of learning to take place.  Students who consistently hinder the learning environment will face disciplinary action or removal from the class.


    Come to my class ready to learn, discuss, and present in various ways the rich history of our great country!!!


    Rough course outline:


    1st Semester                                                                     2nd Semester

    Exploration and Colonization                                            Gilded Age and Progressive Era

    Road to Revolution                                                         Imperialism and WWI

    Our New Nation                                                              Boom to Bust

    Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy                            WWII

    Economic and Cultural Expansion                                   Cold War

    Causes of the Civil War                                                  Civil Rights Movement

    Civil War                                                                         Turbulent 60s

    American West                                                               Seventies and Beyond


    You can expect a major exam to follow each unit in either a multiple choice or essay format and sometimes both.


    It is highly encouraged to sign up for “Remind” messages via text. I will periodically send out homework/quiz/test reminders to hopefully avoid procrastination and/or forgetfulness.


    Simply text @apsumma to 81010 to sign up.            Go Jackets!!!