Modern World History – (0) Zero Period

Study of the cultural, political, geopolitical, economic, and religious factors involved in global events from the Age of Exploration and Conquest to the present day. Mastery of basic historical content, the ability to analyze and interpret both primary and secondary source materials, note-taking and research skills will be developed. Writing skills for the Social Sciences, including the development of a formal thesis, the defense of that thesis through in-class writing and a formal research paper, and identifying historical significance are a major focus. Students will also be able to trace the roots of global inequality and consider the major world events of the 20th century that continue to form our modern world.

This course meets Monday-Thursday for 50 minutes (8:00 am – 8:50 am).  Students who will have morning practice or another morning commitment for the whole year that would prevent them from coming to class at 8:00 am should not take this class, as regular attendance is required.

This class is offered outside of the 9:00 am – 2:45 pm school day.  Zero period Modern World History classes will be of average size.  Courses offered during the 9:00 am – 2:45 pm school day will be double the average class size, team-taught by two teachers.

Introduction to Ethnic Studies

Introduction to Ethnic Studies challenges students to frame their individual identity, their family history, and their community history through the lenses of race, ethnicity, gender, nationality and culture.  Students will examine case studies that identify problems and analyze causes of systemic inequality through historical and contemporary contexts.  This course will also focus on developing reading, writing, notetaking and dialogue skills necessary to create and present well-organized arguments.  The semester-ending project will focus on the history and the work of a social movement.  By the end of this course, students should have an understanding of what it means to live responsibly and ethically as men and women with and for others.

United States History and Cultures Honors

United States Histories and Cultures examines the social, cultural, political, economic, religious and ideological movements and moments that constitute the American history.  We will focus explicitly on the diversity of the American experience and the development, change, and perpetuation of structures of inequality in the U.S over time.  Empowered with this knowledge, students will then analyze what unites us as Americans through our shared historical experiences and events.  Students will examine, critique, and analyze historical narratives, focusing explicitly on tensions between historical events and the stories that have been written about them. This course focuses on building an understanding of knowledge production, critical research and writing skills, and college-level reading and analysis.  Students will leave this course prepared to heed our school’s mission to respond to the challenges of our time by becoming active participants in their civic communities.

In addition to the assigned coursework, the honors curriculum for this course will include college-level historical analysis, including, but not limited to supplemental textbooks, primary documents, original research, historical fiction assignments, museum visits, and optional preparation for students who wish to take the AP exam.

*Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

U.S. Government: Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law challenges students to become experts on the United States Constitution. With just 4,543 words on four pages of parchment paper, the original Constitution established a framework with competing values that endures to this day. More specifically, this course will focus on the policymaking institutions established in the first three Articles of the Constitution: Congress, the Presidency, and the Federal Judiciary. Furthermore, this course will examine how the media, interest groups, political parties, and elections serve as linkage institutions between the American people and the federal government.

Students will examine case studies involving domestic policy (e.g. the federal budget) and foreign policy (e.g. wars and armed conflicts).

U.S. Government: Constitutional Law Honors

Constitutional Law challenges students to become experts on the United States Constitution. With just 4,543 words on four pages of parchment paper, the original Constitution established a framework with competing values that endures to this day. More specifically, this course will focus on the policymaking institutions established in the first three Articles of the Constitution: Congress, the Presidency, and the Federal Judiciary. Furthermore, this course will examine how the media, interest groups, political parties, and elections serve as linkage institutions between the American people and the federal government.

Students will examine case studies involving domestic policy (e.g. the federal budget) and foreign policy (e.g. wars and armed conflicts).

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

*Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU calculations

U.S. Government: Crime, Law and the Constitution

U.S. Govt: Crime, Law and the Constitution evaluates the origin and application of due process rooted in British law and found in the United States Constitution. The course will analyze issues related to the federal and state criminal justice systems including: policing, arrest, arraignment, trial, sentencing, and incarceration/alternative rehabilitation. At the federal level, students will evaluate the impact of federal laws such as the 1994 Crime Bill and precedents set by Supreme Court cases. At the state level, students will examine key California laws such as the Three Strikes Law.  Case studies will include recent trials, and the coursework will include field trips and guest experts from the Bay Area. Students will participate in a mock trial and produce a research based podcast or documentary related to criminal justice.

U.S. Government: Crime, Law and the Constitution Honors

U.S. Govt: Crime, Law and the Constitution evaluates the origin and application of due process rooted in British law and found in the United States Constitution. The course will analyze issues related to the federal and state criminal justice systems including: policing, arrest, arraignment, trial, sentencing, and incarceration/alternative rehabilitation. At the federal level, students will evaluate the impact of federal laws such as the 1994 Crime Bill and precedents set by Supreme Court cases.  At the  state  level, students will examine key California laws such as the Three Strikes Law.  Case studies will include recent trials, and the coursework will include field trips and guest experts from the Bay Area. Students will participate in a mock trial and produce a research based podcast or documentary related to criminal justice.

The honors curriculum for this course will include more rigorous assessments, as well as more in-depth research for the semester research project.

Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations.

U.S. Government: San Francisco Case Studies

This course will analyze the changing demographics of San Francisco from a Gold Rush town to a blue-collar manufacturing and shipping center to a technology hub, and how those changes impacted the City’s politics. Students will learn about the evolution of the “strong mayor” system of government and the relationship between the executive (Mayor’s Office) and legislative (Board of Supervisors) branches of City government. Students will also examine San Francisco as a case study in federalism by evaluating how the national government (e.g. the Hetch Hetchy water system and the New Deal programs) and the California state government (e.g. the “great freeway revolt”) have shaped the City and County of San Francisco. Furthermore, students will study how San Francisco became a center of the civil rights, free speech, anti-war, and gay rights movements, particularly from the 1960s to the present.

U.S. Government: San Francisco Case Studies Honors

This course will analyze the changing demographics of San Francisco from a Gold Rush town to a blue-collar manufacturing and shipping center to a technology hub, and how those changes impacted the City’s politics. Students will learn about the evolution of the “strong mayor” system of government and the relationship between the executive (Mayor’s Office) and legislative (Board of Supervisors) branches of City government. Students will also examine San Francisco as a case study in federalism by evaluating how the national government (e.g. the Hetch Hetchy water system and the New Deal programs) and the California state government (e.g. the “great freeway revolt”) have shaped the City and County of San Francisco. Furthermore, students will study how San Francisco became a center of the civil rights, free speech, anti-war, and gay rights movements, particularly from the 1960s to the present.

The honors curriculum for this course will include additional assignments (e.g. college-level research papers) and participating in outside experiences (e.g. city council meetings).

Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

U.S. Government: Race, Gender and Power

U.S. Govt: Race, Gender and Power is a course that explores personhood and its construction in the American political system. Since the drafting of the Constitution, the US political system has restricted access to legal rights and protections of personhood; in particular for women and People of Color. In turn, this creates unique political realities for the Black, Chicanx/Latinx, Asian American, Native American, Feminist and LGBTQ experiences within the US political system. This course will examine the Constitution and the federal and state governments it creates from the perspectives of these communities, as well as how the Constitution, judicial system, media, and political parties have been used by the People to achieve greater access to freedom and equality. In short, this course will examine who exactly has historically been included in the American collective of “We the People”, how this has changed over time, and what this means for our society today.