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Social Science

The Social Science Department is comprised of the following teachers:

The Social Science Department is comprised of the following teachers:

  • Rick Brail - U.S. History
  • Diane Rasic - AP Psychology, Sociology/Psychology, and World History
  • Kurt Berkenkotter - AP Government/AP Economics and AP U.S. History
  • Rick Woodward - AP Macroeconomics/American Government
  • Jenn Woodward - AP Psychology and Educational Psychology
  • Kimberly Jindra - AP Geography and World History
  • Laura Thompson -  AP European History and AP Art History
  • Pat Harnett - AP U.S. History and American History
  • Rich Polk - American Government and World History
  • Peter Chance - AP Macroeconomics/American Government and World History
  • Jonathan Knaup - Economics and U.S. History
  • Sarah Sanchez - World History and American Cultures (U.S. History)
  • Sara Higgins - U.S. History and World History
Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

World History (10th Gr.) - introduces students to modern historical eras such as the Enlightenment, WWI, WWII, and current events. 
AP European History (10th Gr.) - AP European History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about European history from 1450 to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Five themes of equal importance-interaction of Europe and the world, poverty and prosperity, states and other institutions of power, objective knowledge and subjective visions, and individual and society-provide areas of historical inquiry. 
US History (11th Gr.) -  students examine major developments and turning points in American history from the late nineteenth century to the present. During the year, the following themes are emphasized: the expanding role of the federal government; the impact of technology on American society and culture; changes in racial, ethnic, and gender dynamics in American society; the movements toward equal rights for racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities and for women; and the rise of the United States as a major world power.
American Cultures (11th Gr.) - This interdisciplinary humanities course combines the study of American history and literature. Students study the development of American culture from 1600 to the present through an analysis of the beliefs, values, and customs that have shaped America. It is team taught by instructors of history and literature/composition and fulfills two 11th grade requirements: U.S. History and English IIII.
AP U.S. History (11th Gr.) - an introductory college-level U.S. history course. Students cultivate their understanding of U.S. history from c. 1491 CE to the present through analyzing historical sources and learning to make connections and craft historical arguments as they explore concepts like American and national identity; work, exchange, and technology; geography and the environment; migration and settlement; politics and power; America in the world; American and regional culture; and social structures.​​​​​​
Economics/American Government (12th Gr.) - 1 semester of  Economics will focus on the basic economic principles of micro- and macroeconomics, economic systems,  measurements, and methods. 1 semester of American Government will focus on the systems of government in the world today and analyze the history and changing interpretation of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the current state of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of government. An emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationship among federal, state, and local governments, with particular attention paid to important historical documents. 
AP Economics/Govt.(12th Gr.) - Year-long course that examines major principles of Macroeconomics. This course prepares the students to take the AP Macroeconomics exam and fulfills the senior year requirements for both Economics and Government.
AP Econ/AP Govt.(12th Gr.) - an introductory college-level course in U.S. government and politics. Students cultivate their understanding of U.S. government and politics through analysis of data and text-based sources as they explore topics like constitutionalism, liberty and order, civic participation in a representative democracy, competing policy-making interests, and methods of political analysis. The Economics half of this class examines major principles of Macroeconomics. This course prepares the students to take the AP Macroeconomics and AP Government exam
Social Science Electives

Social Science Electives

AP Human Geography (9th Gr.) - introduces high school freshmen to college-level introductory human geography and cultural geography. 
AP Art History (10th,11th,12th Gr.) - AP Art History course is equivalent to a two-semester introductory college course that explores topics such as the nature of art, art making and responses to art. By investigating diverse artistic traditions from prehistory to the present, students become active participants in the global art world as they experience, research, discuss, read and write about art.  
Sociology/Psychology(11th,12th Gr.) - This course introduces the scientific study of human society, culture, and social interactions. Topics include socialization, research methods, diversity and inequality, cooperation and conflict, social change, social institutions, and organizations. Introduction to Psychology provides students with a general overview of the science which seeks to understand and explain behavior and mental processing.
AP Psychology (12th Gr.) - introductory college-level psychology course. Students cultivate their understanding of the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes through inquiry-based investigations as they explore concepts like the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology.
Educational Psychology (12th Gr.) - This course studies the psychology behind teaching and child development. Students who take this class observe and intern at elementary, middle, and high school site in order to be exposed to the teaching profession.