• AP U.S. Government & Politics

    PURPOSE: The Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics course is an in-depth inquiry into the American political system. The course will provide students with the knowledge and skills with which to analyze, interpret and participate in the American democracy. The course will follow the curriculum designed by the College Board Advanced Placement Program and the Virginia Standards of Learning. It is designed for highly motivated college preparatory students. Students will prepare for the AP exam which is given in May. Students who are successful on the AP exam could receive college credit for the course.


    EXPECTATIONS: Attendance is the key to success. Students are expected to have excellent attendance for any Advanced Placement course. Any missed work should be made up immediately. · Students are expected to take an interest in the actions of the government and the political process. Interest is evidenced by consistent and active participation in class discussions. · Students should stay abreast of current events in government and politics at the national, state and local levels and be prepared to discuss such affairs in class.

    OPERATIONS: The class meets daily for forty-five minutes for the entire year. · Students must commit to reading outside of the classroom. In addition to regular homework assignments, supplementary readings will be required on a regular basis. Students should arrive for class having read and thought about the reading assignments, and can expect to be tested on material that is not taught in class. · Internet access is a necessity for students to access resources, especially news media. If a student’s home does not have Internet access, school computers will be available.
    GRADING: The final course grade for the year will be the average of the first and second semester grades. Each semester grade is made up of the three six-weeks grades plus the exam. There will be a first semester exam in AP Government.
    Six week grades will be calculated as follows:
    • 40% Tests & Quizzes : Quizzes on textbook sections, readings and class lectures will be assigned with or without warning. Unit tests will be announced in advance.
    • 30% Free Response Questions (FRQs): FRQs are highly structured, task-based questions (essays). Students are required to answer four FRQs on the AP Government test. Students must master the ability to respond to FRQs in order to be successful in AP Government and will regularly practice this skill.
    • 30% Classwork & Homework: This component will include a variety of assignments such as student notes, current events assignments, question sets, and daily bellwork.
    CURRENT EVENTS: Students are expected to maintain awareness and knowledge of current events in government and politics at the state and national levels. This awareness begins with summer assignments which incorporate current events requirements. Students should develop the habit of skimming headlines (newspaper or Internet news sources), listening to radio news and watching television news. Participation in a class blog related to current events will be a course requirement.
    TEXTS: Government by the People. National, State & Local version. James MacGregor Burns, J. W. Peltason, et al. Prentice Hall.2004. This text is referred to as Burns. American Government Readings & Cases 14th edition. Peter Woll. Longman. New York. 2002. This text is referred to as Woll.
Last Modified on August 13, 2012