Syllabus & Materials

Class/Instructor Information                                                                                 Mrs. Charmayne D. Clark ’85 LR
                                                                                                                                  J.D., Washington & Lee University
                                                                                                                                  B.S., Radford University
Honors United States Government & Politics                                                      Email:
College Prep U. S. Government & Politics
Bishop McNamara High School

                            Time on Campus: Maroon A & B and by appointment

Room: 215, 216

Course Description
This course is a survey of the U.S. Government Structure, systems and political processes focusing on constitutional structures and foundations. Content will include factors that influence U.S. Government. This course prepares students to become responsible/aware members of American society. (* The Honors Class will have more writing, analysis and special project assignments.  Also, the Honors course will have an additional book to read.)

U.S Government and Politics is a core academic course for graduation. Students in their pursuit of developing civic competence will develop an understanding of structure of power, authority, governance and their evolving function in contemporary U.S. society. Through the study of U.S. Government and Politics, a student will continue to develop their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that will provide leverage and value in other academic disciplines and provide enduring skills for life beyond high school.


Remy, Richard C., United States Government: Democracy in Action. Glencoe McGraw Hill, 2010

Notebook with lined paper or large spiral notebook
Tab dividers for binder
Folder w/pockets
Black/Blue pens and Pencil
Red Pen
3 x 5 index cards on a ring (500 to start the year)
Composition book
BMHS Agenda Book

Course Outline
I. Foundations of American Government
II. The Legislative Branch
III. The Executive Branch
IV. The Judicial Branch
V. Liberty and Justice for All
VI. Participating in Government
VII. State and Local Government

Course Objectives:
1. Students will identify their roles in civic life, politics and government.
2. Students will identify the foundations of the American political system.
3. Students will understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the purposes, values, and principles of American democracy.
4. Students will understand the relationship of the United States to other nations and to world affairs.
5. Students will identify their roles in American democracy.
6. Students will become familiar with current events at the local, state, national and international levels as they relate to government and how it functions.
7. Students will understand the importance and privilege of registering to vote and participating in local elections.

Upon completion of U.S. Government, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate the ability to interpret maps, charts, graphs, and diagrams.
2. Demonstrate research skills (use of databases, evaluation of websites, and use of primary documents).
3. Demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of the foundations of American Government (political tradition, principles, and values; Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights).
4. Demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of political behavior, civic responsibility, and the political landscape (political parties, voters and voter behavior, electoral process, media and public opinion, interest groups).
5. Demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of the legislative branch (Congress, Expressed/Implied powers, committees, legislative process, and amendment process).
6. Demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of the executive branch.
7. Demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of the judicial branch.
8. Demonstrate a working knowledge and understanding of contemporary politics.


All rules of Bishop McNamara handbook apply in this classroom. All students must be in proper BMHS uniform and maintain proper behavior at all times. Specific rules of the class include:
  • being seated in your assigned seat when the bell rings.
  • coming to class with all materials.
  • all assignments must be placed on your desk when class starts.
  • all writing assignments must be typed in 12 point Arial or Times New Roman and printed before class.
  • class is dismissed by the teacher, not the bell.
  • no food, gum or drink (other than water) is allowed in the classroom.
  • no cell phones or other electronic devices are permitted in the classroom.

Academic Integrity

All aspects of the Bishop McNamara honor code will be in full force and effect in this classroom. Academic integrity is expected of each student at all times. If you take words or ideas from a source, you must give credit with a citation. Tests and quizzes are not to be discussed until they have been graded and returned. All work is to be done individually unless a group assignment is given by the teacher. Any instance of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.


The Points System (Points Earned/Possible Points) will be used for calculation of final grades in this class. Your grade will be made up of points on test, quizzes, essays, projects, debate and participation. Test will be worth possible 100 points, quizzes will vary in weight from 10-50 points, essays and projects will be worth 50-100 points and participation will be worth 100 points.


All students will begin the quarter with an A (100 points). The A will be maintained for participation as long as students:
  • are on time for class.
  • complete homework.
  • are attentive in class, participate in class discussion and give meaningful answers when called on in class.
  • create a positive learning environment through words or actions.

Late Work

Late work will not be accepted in this class. Work will be deemed late if:
  • the student does not turn in the assignment when collected.
  • the student was absent and the assignment was not turned in according to the policy for absence.


Unexcused Absences
In the case of an unexcused absence, a student is not able to make up any work. The student will not receive credit for any homework due that day, participation, or graded classwork. Additionally the student will not be granted an extension for homework due the following class.

Excused Absences
In the case of an unexpected excused absence (ex. Illness) the student has the same number of school days he or she was absent to make up any work. It is the student’s responsibility to turn in the homework and get any assignments on the day he or she returns to school, regardless of whether this class meets that day or not.

*The policies set out in this syllabus are subject to change based on the needs of the class. Students and parents will be notified of any changes.

Parents as Partners

Encourage your son or daughter to read the newspaper and follow the news as it pertains to political developments. Encourage your son or daughter to become involved at any level in student government. Encourage reading about famous people of interest, particularly politicians.

I hereby affirm that I have read, understand, and agree to abide by this syllabus.

___________________________ __________________________ __________
Student Name (printed) Student Signature Date

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Parent’s Name (printed) Parent’s Signature Date