• 7th Grade Social Studies

    Mrs. Meara Verna

    Sossaman Middle School / 2019-2020 School Year



    Contact Information:

    Email: meara.verna@husd.org

    Phone: 480-279-8500 School Hours: M - F 8:30 am - 4:20 pm Room: 208

    Tutoring Hours: Tuesday morning’s 8:25- 8:50 & Thursday afternoon’s- 3:50-4:20

                *Please note these times maybe subject to change during the year.


    • Conferences are available by appointment.
    • The best way for parents to reach me is by email.


    Social Studies Course Description:


    This is a Global History Course; students will be studying the relationships and interactions between societies and cultures in both Eastern and Western Hemispheres from the Modern Era onward. Topics include the Scientific Revolution, The American & French Revolution, The American Civil War, Industrialization, global imperialism and migration of peoples, global depressions, World War I and II, Decolonization throughout the world, The Cold War through today’s modern era. Topics of Civics include government and economic systems including monarchies, dictatorships, constitutional republics, and communism. Geography, research, and critical thinking skills will be utilized throughout the class.


    Course Goals:


    The goal of the course is to build content knowledge while enhancing reading and writing skills. Students will analyze documents and conduct expository writing tasks based on the Arizona Department of Education Academic Standards and Arizona’s College and Career Readiness Standards (AZCCRS).


    Social Studies Textbook:

    The textbook used in Social Studies classrooms is Holt McDougal’s United States History. Students may check out a hard copy of the textbook from the Sossaman Media Center.



    Student grades will be based on 80% assessments and 20% class work and at home practice assignments. The 80% assessments include: 60% Social Studies Assessments, 10% HUSD Semester DBQ Final Assessment and 10% HUSD Semester Multiple-Choice Final Assessment.

    Class work and practice assignments may include but is not limited to bell work, class discussion, formative assessments, note taking, reading assignments, preparation, prewriting, etc. There is no busy work in Social Studies. Everything we do will be done to prepare for the future, whether it is an upcoming lesson, quiz, assessment, final exam or a necessary skill for high school and beyond.




    Online Grade Book:

    The Higley Unified School District uses an online grading system. Parents and students can gain 24-hour access to grades using ParentVue and StudentVue. If you are new to the Higley Unified School District you will need to contact the front office to gain access to the online grading system. Additionally, Smartphone users can download the ParentVue app in order to monitor student grades. In monitoring student grades, you may see comment codes and/or comments in addition to the grade for each assessment, assignment or project.

    Online Grade Book Comment Codes:

    Missing – The assignment is missing. Students will have until the conclusion of the unit of study or two weeks after the original due date to complete the “missing” assignment for credit.

    Late – The assignment was turned after it was due. There will be a standard deduction of points based on the assignment, and the number of days late.

    50% Floor:

    Sossaman Middle School utilizes a modified 50% minimum grading policy.  Any assignment submitted by a student that is accepted by a teacher will receive a minimum grade of a 50%. A teacher has the discretion to accept or to not accept assignments from students that do not meet minimum standards of quality academic workmanship and completion.  On all assessments given by a teacher, there is no minimum grading policy.  Students will receive the score they earned on the assessment. Any assignment that has not been submitted or that remains incomplete at the end of the unit of study or two weeks after the original due date will be entered as or remain a as a “0” in the grade book. 

    Grading Scale:

    90% -100% = A

    80% - 89% = B

    70% - 79% = C

    60% - 69% = D

    59% or below = F


    Unit Assessments:

    Each Social Studies unit will conclude with a unit assessment, which is designed to assess student learning based on the HUSD 7th Grade Social Studies Standards. Prior to each unit assessment a unit study guide will be provided to students that will guide and assist students to prepare for each unit assessment. Students will be required to fully complete a study guide prior to taking a unit assessment. Students that do not fully complete a study guide will not be permitted to complete the assessment, will receive a “Missing - 0% Penalty” and will have to schedule a time before or after school with the teacher to complete the assessment.

    Document Based Question (DBQ) Grading Scale:

    DBQ’s will be graded on a 4-point proficiency scale as follows:

    4 = 100%                        2 = 80%

    3 = 90%                          1 = 60%





    Assessment Retakes:

    Sossaman Middle School encourages students to retake assessments on which they performed below their desired level of mastery. In order to be eligible to schedule a retake time with a teacher a student must complete the following tasks:

    • ALL retakes/redo’s need to be completed in a 2-week window from the date that the assessment was originally given.
    • ALL retakes/redo’s will be in written short answer, or essay format (different version than original).
    • If a student should choose to retake/redo, they will need to fill out the SMS retake form, have teacher specify the mastery activity, have parents sign off and return to teacher. 
    • The Social Studies Department states that in order to be eligible to schedule a retake ALL work for the unit must be complete including the study guide.  Then if an additional mastery activity is needed it may be assigned.


    Academic Dishonesty:

    Per the code of conduct academic dishonesty is defined as intentionally using information from or property of another without permission to obtain an unfair advantage or receive a grade or score that was not legitimately earned. This includes cheating and plagiarism and will not be tolerated. Any instance of academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade and parent contact. Further incidents will be addressed per the code of conduct.

    Classroom Expectations and Management Plan:


    All HUSD policies outlined in the Code of Conduct will be honored and enforced. Parents and students are strongly encouraged to review the conduct thoroughly and together. The Code of Conduct can be accessed at http://www.husd.org/cms/lib08/AZ01001450/Centricity/Domain/740/CodeofConduct.pdf.  Students are also expected to meet the class “Standard” each day. A failure to meet these expectations and standards will result in the following classroom management plan procedures. Students that do not have their cell phone stored in their backpack will have the phone confiscated until the end of the school day. 



    Class Expectations


    When the late bell rings student will be in their seats, with all materials out for the day, completing the bell work. Students will be responsible by completing assignments and tasks on time and if absent speaking with the teacher to get missing work. Students will be respectful when classmates share their thoughts and ideas and use kind words when communicating. Students will be engaged in class discussions, activities and ask for help when needed. Students will only be allowed water in the classroom, there is no food or gum allowed.



    Class Rules

    District Policies are followed as outlined in the school wide Student Code of Conduct.

    Our classroom practices are based on a foundation of Respect.

    -Respect your School

    -Respect your Teacher

    -Respect your Classmates

    -Respect Yourself



    Behavior Procedure

    1. Verbal warning
    2. Time out in another class/hallway/office
    3. Parent conference/Office referral
    4. Call home for conference.


    Violation Form:

    Students that violate a HUSD Code of Conduct, a Sossaman Middle School policy, or a classroom Standard will be asked to document the violation using the Social Studies Violation Form.

    After School Detention (ASD):

    Sossaman Middle School staff and administration believe in the value and importance of teaching our students responsibility and accountability.  As a result, students may be assigned After School Detention (ASD).  ASD will be held three days a week.  Students who are assigned ASD will serve on the next scheduled ASD day. Students will not serve on the day it is assigned in order to allow parents the opportunity to make arrangements to pick up their child.  District transportation cannot be provided for ASD.  Students will need to be picked up no later than 4:30PM. ASD may be assigned by a teacher for the following reasons:

    1. Tardy to Class.
    2. Unprepared for Class (missing materials, etc…).
    3. Failure to submit an assignment by the assigned due date.

    The ASD program is not primarily meant to address behavior issues in the classroom.  However, a teacher may utilize lunch detention, after school detention and hold student/parent conferences in order to address inappropriate behaviors in the classroom.  These consequences are not related to the ASD program and will be accompanied by communication from the classroom teacher.




    Student absences, both planned and unplanned may occur throughout the school year. In the event of an absence, students will be given the same number of days he/she missed in order to make up any missed assignments. It is the student’s responsibility to check StudentVue and Canvass to inquire about any missed content, assignments, assessments, etc. due to an absence before school, after school, during lunch, or via email or Canvass.





    The following materials will be used consistently in Social Studies:

    • Pencils
    • Spiral Notebook (1 subject – 8 ½ x 11)- per a semester
    • Highlighters (at least 4 colors)
    • College Ruled Notebook Paper (loose leaf)



    Restroom Pass/Drink Pass:

    Students have a 4-minute passing period between each class and a 30-minute lunch period in order to use the restroom, get a drink and fill a water bottle. Students will not receive permission to use the restroom, get a drink or fill up a water bottle during instructional time or during the first and last 10 minutes of the class hour. Students will be provided a Semester 1 and a Semester 2 “Restroom/Drink Pass” that will allow students to use the restroom or get a drink 5 time each semester.


    Mrs. Verna’s Social Studies Course Syllabus

    Please return by Friday, July 26th, 2019.             


    Print Student’s Name: __________________________________________________ Period_______


    My student and I have read and understand the rules, policies, and expectations as they apply to this social studies course. By signing this we agree to abide by and uphold the rules set forth.


    _______________________________________________________________________ __________

    Student Signature/Date


    _______________________________________________________________________ __________

    Parent Signature/Date


    Contact information (Please print legibly):


    Parent/Guardian Name: ________________________________________________________________


    Home Phone: ________________________________ Cell Phone #: _____________________________


    E-mail Address: __________________________________________________________


    Additional contact if desired.


    Name: ____________________________________________ Relationship: _______________________


    Home Phone: _________________________________ Cell Phone #: ____________________________


    E-mail Address: _____________________________________________________________


    This class will use internet resources frequently. Students who do not have access to internet at home will be expected to visit the school or community library.


    Does your student have access to a computer with internet at home? Yes     No


    Does your student have access to a printer at home? Yes      No


    Please write information that you may want to share to help your child be successful in this class.