Required Social Studies Courses
Social studies education is required for all students every year of their school careers from Kindergarten through grade twelve. In the early grades, students explore their own families, communities, and the communities of others as they build their historical thinking skills.As the years progress, students conduct more in-depth investigations of peoples in the United States and the rest of the world in order to develop a better understanding of the core areas of social studies: government, economics, geography, and history.Ultimately, it is the goal of the social studies program to help students develop the critical skills needed to be active citizens in our community, our country, and our world.
Students are enrolled in the following courses at each grade:
- Kindergarten: Self & Others
- Grade 1: My Family and Other Families, Now and Long Ago
- Grade 2: My Community and Other United States Communities
- Grade 3: Communities Around the World – Learning About People and Places
- Grade 4: Local History and Government
- Grade 5: The U.S., Canada, and Latin America
- Grade 6: The Eastern Hemisphere
- Grade 7: History of the United States and NY I
- Grade 8: History of the United States and NY II
- Grade 9: Global History and Geography I
- Grade 10: Global History and Geography II
- Grade 11: US History and Government
- Grade 12: Participation in Government and Economics
In addition to required social studies courses, the following elective courses are part of our offerings. Students in every high school should be given the opportunity to take any of these courses during their annual course selection process.
1240Y – Africa & the African Diaspora: Early Civilizations & the Advancement of Humanity (.5 Elective Credit )
The “Africa & the African Diaspora” class is an inclusive social studies course that explores Early African civilizations and recognizes that their contributions to the development of humanity are pioneering and undeniable. The historical context/fundamental understanding that Africa is the birthplace of humanity is asserted. Articles, mini-lessons, field experiences, book excerpts, media, online resources and more will be utilized to expose students to new information and support students’ awareness. The curriculum is organized around thematic units, each with an essential question, content, resources, activities and lessons to accompany. The content is focused on culturally relevant literature, and activities that are designed to encourage independent and cooperative learning as well as challenge the current understandings of African significance in a historical context. Throughout this course, formal and informal writing assessments will be utilized to enhance technical writing skills. The Prentice Hall African American History text and the Asante, Classical Africa text are required. At the end of this course, students should know the significance of Africa in the development of humanity and articulate how they are positive reflections of Africa’s development.
1101S – Latino Studies (.5 Elective Credit)
Latinos and Latinas have become the largest minority group in the United States and are reshaping the future of our community, our country, our hemisphere, and our world. Students will explore the diverse challenges and contributions of Latinos and their communities through the study of Latino history, literature, and culture, both national and local.
1201S – Women’s Studies (.5 Elective Credit)
This course explores the core concepts underlying the interdisciplinary field of Women's Studies, introducing the ways in which the study of women and gender as social categories transforms our understanding of culture, history and society. Topics include feminism and the feminist theory, history of the women’s movement as well as various sub-topics which will be analyzed from a historical perspective and with respect to the combined effects of gender, race and class on the status of women in contemporary society.
1435S – Psychology (.5 Elective Credit)
Students are introduced to the theories, milestones, and discoveries in the field of psychology through an integrated hands-on approach. The brain, its functions, and what scientists know and understand about how this impacts human behavior are explored. This elective is recommended for students considering careers in education, health care, human services, and law.
1550S – Rochester History (0.5 Elective Credit)
Our city has a rich and fascinating history. From the “Flour City” to the Fast Ferry, students enrolled in this course will investigate the diverse history and heritage of our community while building an understanding of how world and national events have played out on our local stage. This course will ask students to conduct an independent or group research project about a particular aspect of Rochester’s history that is suitable for submission to the annual National History Day competition.
1580Y – Introduction to Law (.5 Elective Credit)
Intro to law presents an overview of the legal system in the United States including the structure of government and individual rights and responsibilities. The emphasis is on the way laws and rules are written and changed and on the rights and responsibilities of juveniles in school and the courts. Career opportunities in law, law enforcement, and government will be explored.
1590Y – Criminal Law (.5 Elective Credit)
Prerequisite: Introduction to Law
Criminal Law provides a general understanding of the criminal justice system, including the causes of crime, crime detection, arrest of suspects, criminal court procedures, and prisons. Students will investigate careers in law enforcement by taking field trips and talking with professionals in various law enforcement agencies.
1218 – Modern Issues in the United States (.5 elective credit)
Modern Issues in the United States will examine how modern issues of the world have influenced the United States. Students will examine the response of the United States to global and domestic issues and evaluate specific events, issues, policies and movements that have evolved has a result of globalization. This course will give students a thorough understanding of how political, social and economic arenas have transformed the United States today because of world events/issues. Rooted in current events and student interests, this course engages students in close reading and writing to support them as they prepare for the rigors of college, careers, and active citizenship.
1214 – Modern Global Issues (.5 Elective Credit)
Modern Global Issues will present an in depth study of modern issues in the world today. Students will examine multiple topics and issues faced by global citizens. Rooted in current events and student interests, this course engages students in close reading and writing to support them as they prepare for the rigors of college, careers, and active citizenship. Current issues today are relevant to young people and this course will allow them to have an understanding of the challenges and potential solutions to world problems.
1419Y – AP European History (1.0 Elective Credit)
AP European History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university European history course. In AP European History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in four historical periods from approximately 1450 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical comparisons; and utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time. The course also provides six themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: interaction of Europe and the world; poverty and prosperity; objective knowledge and subjective visions; states and other institutions of power; individual and society; and national and European identity.
1439Y – AP Psychology (1.0 Elective Credit)
The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.
1413Y – AP Macroeconomics (replaces Economics credit plus .5 elective credit)
The purpose of the AP course in macroeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price- level determination, and also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics.
1414Y – AP Microeconomics (replaces Economics credit plus .5 elective credit)
The purpose of the AP course in microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy.
1449Y – AP United States Government and Politics (replaces Participation in Government credit plus .5 elective credit)
The AP course in United States Government and Politics will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. Students will become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations of the political systems of the United States.
1220Y – AP Human Geography (1.0 Elective Credit)
AP Human Geography presents high school students with the curricular equivalent of an introductory college-level course in human geography or cultural geography. Content is presented thematically rather than regionally and is organized around the discipline’s main subfields: economic geography, cultural geography, political geography, and urban geography. The approach is spatial and problem oriented. Case studies are drawn from all world regions, with an emphasis on understanding the world in which we live today. Historical information serves to enrich analysis of the impacts of phenomena such as globalization, colonialism, and human-environment relationships on places, regions, cultural landscapes, and patterns of interaction.
1319Y – AP US History (replaces US History Credit)
AP U.S. History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university U.S. history course. In AP U.S. History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in nine historical periods from approximately 1491 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical comparisons; and utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time. The course also provides seven themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: American and national identity; migration and settlement; politics and power; work, exchange, and technology; America in the world; geography and the environment; and culture and society.
1219Y – AP World History (replaces Glogal II Credit)
AP World History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university world history course. In AP World History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical comparisons; and utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time. The course provides five themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: interaction between humans and the environment; development and interaction of cultures; state building, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; and development and transformation of social structures.