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CIS Policies and Expectations

What to Expect:

Contemporary International Studies is designed to engage students in the story of our increasingly connected world.  The course begins with a global perspective, examining the world during WWI, WWII, and the Cold War.  From there we will transition into regional topics.  In each topic, we will select important events to examine in depth.  The goal of this course is to not only provide students with a better understanding of World History but to also to highlight the importance of staying engaged in global current events.  In order to succeed in this course, students should expect to work hard both in and outside of class.

Textbooks and Other Materials:

 World History:  The Human Journey, Holt, 2005.

In order to succeed in this class, students should be prepared to complete reading assignments from the above textbook as well as any additional reading assignments that may be handed out in class or posted online.

In addition to assigned homework students are expected to keep up with current events.  This may require them to read newspapers, online news sites, or watch news programs.  Newspapers and computers are available to students in the media center before, during, and after-school. Media center access ensures that all students can complete required assignments and readings on time.

It is strongly recommended that students have a notebook in which they can take notes and complete the daily warm up question(s).  There will be occasionally notebooks checks which should be easy points for students who have been taking notes and completing their daily warm ups.

Our Course Website:

Important course information and certain materials will be posted on my website.  Although my website is a useful resource, please do not rely on this information alone.  Always check with me in case the schedule or an assignment has changed. 

Classroom Environment:

Two very important goals for this course are 1) to teach you how to think critically; and 2) to teach you how to express your understanding in a variety of ways (including writing, speaking, and creative projects).

Instruction will be delivered in many different formats including lecture, Socratic seminar, collaborative activities, online activities, and independent study time. It is the responsibility of each student to come to class prepared and ready to engage. Every minute we spend together in the classroom is valuable.

It is expected that each student will actively participate each class period. Active participation includes actively listening to others, engaging with discussion, taking notes during lecture and, of course, asking questions during class. Our goal is to create an environment in which all students feel comfortable to contribute; it is important for students to be respectful of the opinions and ideas of their peers.

Classroom Policies:

All students are entitled to be a part of a positive learning environment. Please abide by all policies outlined in your student handbook, as well as adhering to these three forms of respect:

1.) Respect yourself: Maintain a positive attitude, uphold a high standard of integrity and do not be afraid to think critically about the subject matter we discuss.

2.) Respect others: Be courteous toward your fellow classmates and hold their opinions and beliefs in high esteem. Just because you do not agree with someone does not mean that you should disrespect them.

3.) Respect the learning environment: Being a respectful student means showing up to class prepared, on time and ready to participate.

*Personal Electronic Devices

Cell phones, tablets and all other electronic devices must be silenced and remain out of sight during the class period.  

*Food and Drinks

Bottled water is permitted. All other food and drinks should remain out of our classroom unless expressed permission is granted.

Academic Integrity:

Being challenged academically is part of the learning process. Accepting a challenge and rising to overcome academic adversity is paramount to becoming a successful high school graduate. All incidents of academic malpractice (including but not limited to cheating, collusion and plagiarism) are taken very seriously and will be reported to administration.  See your school handbook for more specific information.

Grading and Evaluation:

 All grades for the course will be assigned one of the following categories:  Assessment or Responsibility.  The assessment category includes but is not limited to tests, quizzes, papers, and projects and will be given a weight of 70%.  The responsibility category includes participation based assignments like homework, in-class discussion, and notebook checks.  Anything in the responsibility category is given a weight of 30%.  

Most exams will consist of multiple-choice questions, short-response, and essay questions.  Papers and projects will also be assigned periodically.  Additionally, there will be quizzes (announced and unannounced) given throughout the semester.  Emphasis will be placed on reading, writing, and critical thinking. 

Extra credit is not a planned component in this course.

Students should keep all assignments.  Grade changes will not be made without access to the original assignment.  Additionally, assignments will serve as a review tool at the end of the semester. 

Make-up and Late Work Policy:

In the event of an excused-absence, it is the responsibility of the student to inquire about make-up work.  This should be done outside of class time.  Students will not be given credit for make-up assignments submitted after the extension deadline.  Per school policy, if an absence is unexcused, the student will receive a zero for any assignments missed. 

Any assignment turned in after the due date without an approved extension will be subject to a point deduction.  If turned in one day late, the student will earn a maximum of 75% credit on the assignment.  Assignments turned in two to four days late will receive a maximum of 50% credit.  Assignments will not be accepted for credit beyond four days late.