St. Paul High School

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Social Studies » Social Studies Department

Social Studies Department

Social Studies Department

Department Philosophy:

We believe in the Christian social values as derived from the teachings of the Church.

We believe that the individual is dependent upon and responsible for their environment, ranging from their own family to the entire world community.

We believe that social studies education should produce an integrated person able to make and act upon personal moral decisions consistent with Christian social values.

The Christian social values best emphasized in our department include:

1.  Appreciation of the diversity among world cultures and among our own nation’s ethnic            heritage.

2.  Tolerance for diverse ideas and ideologies, including various political, economic, social            religious philosophies.

Social Studies Department Goals

Implementation of the philosophy stated above calls for the department:

1.  To enable the students to recognize their own worth, to clarify and to develop personal values, and to appreciate the worth of


2.  To enable the students to think critically and logically and to see the connections among their various learning experiences.

3.  To offer the students a number of elective courses designed to broaden their social studies awareness and background.

4.  To assist the students to acquire an understanding of the development of mankind throughout history.

5.  To help the students to appreciate their own as well as different cultures, institutions, and aspirations.

6.  To prepare the students to function as an informed and responsible citizen, and to assume responsibility for heir own social

and intellectual growth.

7.  To assist the student in gaining an understanding of the government’s role, function and current economic trends.

8.  To assist students in their understanding of basic human rights being protected and denied in the world community.

9.  To help students to appreciate the need to protect the environment now and for future generations.

Department Functions, Policies, and Operating Procedures


Department Chairperson

Responsibilities assigned to all Department Chairpersons include, in brief, coordination of all department operations and the implementation of all policies detailed on the following pages, coordination of planning, facilitation of communication between the department and the administration, budgeting, and purchasing, dissemination of information to the department, facilitation of personal growth of teachers, and evaluation of teachers.

In addition, the Social Studies Department Chairperson shall:

1.  Monitor local and national trends in social studies curriculum, with special attention to the recently revised California State

Framework for Social Studies, and admission requirements of the University of California.

2.  Monitor the condition, storage and circulation to the department and others in the school of audio/visual and other materials

in the Social Studies Department.

3.  Communicate with the library regarding Social Studies needs.

Department Meetings

Department meetings will be held at least once a month at a time determined by the Administration.  In the course of the year
department meetings should concern the following matters, in addition to other subjects which might arise:

1.  Planning

2.  Curriculum development

3.  In-service activities

4.  Articulation with the administration

5.  Dissemination of information of use or interest to social studies teachers

Field Trip Policy

Field trip procedures are detailed in the Faculty Handbook.  Social Studies teachers are encouraged to arrange field trips to attraction that are relevant to their course content, such as museums, course and government capitals.  Teachers should take care to note the limitations on the number of faculty permitted to attend field trips on any one day.

Testing and Grading Policies

Student performance in the Social Studies classes will be evaluated by evidence of achievement of behavioral objectives shown in homework, class work, oral participation, major projects, quizzes, essays, unit tests and a comprehensive final examination.  The comprehensive final examination will comprise of 25% of the student’s grade.  Grades on tests and examinations will be based on the number of correct answers with some flexibility in percentage levels, depending on the difficulty of the test.  Letter grades will reflect the standards for “A” through “G” specified in the Student/Parent Handbook.


Grade Distributions


No strict quantitative standard will be applied for grade distributions in each course.  However, the department will carefully monitor itself by attention to computer grade print outs and ongoing communication among teachers to assure consistency in grading and fairness to students.

Selection of Instructional Materials

The following characteristics will be evaluated in material considered or adoption:


1.  Reading level and writing style

2.  Currency of content

3.  Usefulness in teaching Christian values

4.  Cost to Students

5.  Usefulness of support materials

6.  Quality of scholarship

Audio/Visual materials-

1.  Usefulness in supplementing course content

2.  Appropriateness to age of audience

3.  Usefulness in teaching Christian values

4.  Currency

5.  Timeliness

6.  Cost