Course Expectations

11th grade Civics & Government

Shikellamy High School – Room 203

Instructor: Mrs. Berger


Course Description

This course is called Civics and Government. The course provides an overview of the structure and functions of the U.S. government and political institutions, and examines constitutional principles, the concepts of rights and responsibilities, the role of political parties and interest groups, and the importance of civic participation in the democratic process. This course will mostly focus on the national government, but will also examine the structure and function of state and local government.


The major purpose of this course is to help students gain and display an understanding of American government and politics and the processes of government that help shape our public policies. It is also to prepare students for the Common Assessments in preparation for the Keystone Exam.

Grading System

The grading system for this course is based on a point system. Each assignment is worth a number of points based on its length and difficulty. All graded assignments will have a point value assigned to them.  The total number of points you earned on your graded assignments are divided into the total number of possible points reflecting your grade in a percentage. You can check your grades at any time by logging into Powerschool.

Tests and Quizzes

Chapter tests will usually be worth 100 points. Chapter quizzes will vary from 25 to 50 points and may be announced or UNANNOUNCED!

There will also be Common Assessments that ALL Civics students in all classes will be taking at the end of each marking period. The Common Assessments will help prepare students for the Keystone Exam. 


It is strongly recommended that you keep a notebook (or folder or binder) which will greatly assist you in achieving satisfactory grades. Notebooks will NOT be collected or graded and are YOUR responsibility to keep organized and bring to class. Your notebook should contain lecture notes, quizzes, tests and assignments, which will help you when participating in class activities, preparing for tests or the final exam.

Late Work

Late assignments will be accepted BUT only ONE school day late. Late points will be deducted from all assignments handed in late (usually 25% reduction).  No late points will be deducted from work missed due to EXCUSED absences.

Missed Work

 It is YOUR responsibility to make up any class work or homework missed while you were absent. When you return to class, always check with me to see what you missed. I will provide you with any handouts or other assignments completed while you were absent, but it is your responsibility to get any notes that were presented from someone else in the class. You will have the number of days you were absent to make up all work and after that will receive a 0. 


Very little homework is assigned in Mrs. Berger’s Social Studies classes. This will continue AS LONG AS you participate in class and follow all rules. On the occasion that homework is assigned, it is expected to be completed! You will always have some class time to begin assignments. Come to class, participate, follow the rules and give me 42 good minutes in class and the homework will be kept to a minimum.


The form of cheating that is defined as: the false assumption of authorship or the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind. To use another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source is PLAGIARISM. Plagiarism will result in an automatic ZERO on the first offense and a ZERO plus a discipline referral on any additional violations.

Classroom Rules


If you forget your notebook, pencil or assignment and have to retrieve it from your locker or I have to provide it for you, you will make up the missed class time after school, during consultation time. BRING YOUR STUFF TO CLASS! I do not have an unlimited supply of pencils, etc.

PLEASE make me aware of any trips you are taking where 1 or more days of school will be missed. I will make sure you have all assignments before your trip, to make it easier when you return to school. This is ESPECIALLY important when we are in the middle of group projects and activities!

Tentative schedule for the year:

1.    Principles and Foundations of Government

2.    The Constitution

3.    Federalism


4.    Legislative Branch

5.    Executive Branch


6.    Judicial Branch

7.    Civil Rights & Citizenship


8.    Political Parties

9.    State and Local Government



McClenaghan, William A. American Government. Prentice Hall, 2006.