Course Description, Grading Policy, Expectations, and Supplies



    August 24, 2018

    Dear Parents/Guardians:
    It is my pleasure to be your child’s 8th grade US History teacher for the 2018-2019 school year.  The year ahead will be exciting, challenging, and ultimately rewarding as your child becomes more familiar with not only the history of the United States, but current events as well.  I am sure that by working together and always keeping the well-being of your child at the center of our efforts, s/he will achieve success and take a giant leap toward fulfilling his/her goals.  Please know that I am available to communicate with you in person, via email, or telephone to address any questions, concerns, or comments you have.  Please call the school to set up an appointment ahead of time.  I can be reached in the following ways:


     School Telephone:      415-389-7711



    Email:                          klisker@mvschools.org

    (Using email is an excellent way for us to communicate.)


    This letter provides a general description of the topics we will be covering this year in U.S. History, states the expectations I have of all my students, and explains my grading procedure.  Additionally, you will find a list of supplies that I expect your child to have.


    Please do not hesitate to contact me.


    Wishing you and your child a successful year,


    Kane Lisker



    Description of the Course and Topics Covered


    The major topics covered in this course are:


    Ø  The first English colonies the Declaration of Independence, and The American Revolution

    Ø  The creation of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights

    Ø  Manifest Destiny and life in the American West

    Ø  The Civil War

    Ø  Reconstruction

    Ø  Social Movements and the Progressive Era

    Ø  The Industrial Revolution


    The resources used to cover these topics will be various primary sources, the History Alive textbook, an on-line textbook that is different from History Alive, additional photocopies of articles from various magazines, and excerpts of books will be used on occasion.



    Ø  Be respectful at all times towards each other and the teacher

    Ø  Complete all assignments on time

    Ø  Come to class prepared with all necessary materials

    Ø  Arrive on time

    Ø  Ask for help when it is needed

    Ø  Participate in class discussions

    Ø  Help other students

    Ø  Bring a positive attitude and willingness to learn

    Ø  Ask questions

    Ø  Follow all directions

    Ø  Try your best and don’t give up

    Ø  Listen attentively to the teacher and classmates

    Ø  Accept responsibility for mistakes


    Failure to meet these expectations will result in low grades and poor citizenship marks.  Students who continuously misbehave will receive a “U” on progress reports and report cards.


    Grading Policy

    Grades will be determined according to the following scale:

    Ø  A    95 - 100                A-  90 - 94

    Ø  B+  87 - 89                  B    84 - 86                  B-  80 – 83

    Ø  C+  77 – 79                 C   74 – 76                  C-  70 – 73

    Ø  D+  67 – 69                 D   64 – 66                  D-  60 – 63

    Ø  F     0 - 59

      Percentages:  TOTAL POINTS EARNED                         _______________________              =          % EARNED                           TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE  

    Example:         Ashley earns 578 points out of 650 total possible



                            650      =          0.889


                            Ashley will receive an 89%, which is a “B+.”


    Late work will be accepted, but not given full credit.

    Extra credit will be accepted, but all missing assignments must be turned in first.



    Homework will be given every once in a while, perhaps 2 times per week.  Most of the time homework will only be assigned if the class needs to complete an assignment that began in class.  If there is a long-term project assigned it is expected that students spend time working on it at home in order to meet the due date.



    Each student will be issued 10 iPad points at the start of the trimester.  Each time they misuse, abuse, or take advantage of the privilege of using an iPad, 1 points will be deducted from their grade.  This is one way to ensure they use the iPad responsibly.



    All students are expected to bring to class everyday:

    Ø  iPad fully charged

    College ruled spiral notebook to be used as a history journal and note-taking book

    Ø  Paper, pencils, pens, highlighter

    Ø  Notebook paper

    Ø  Binder or folder to keep history work in (not necessary to bring everyday)


    All students are encouraged to have at home art supplies such as markers, crayons, glue, tape, scissors, etc.



    Students will maintain a student portfolio that will remain in the classroom.  This portfolio will contain written assignments, tests, quizzes, and other assignments that demonstrate their progress.  These portfolios will be viewed during parent conferences.  They may be taken home at the request of parents.