APEH Course Policies 2011-2012

AP European History
Peter Sillin
Course Policies and Expectations
Room 109
Course Overview, 2011-2012
The purpose of this course, naturally, is to prepare for the Advanced Placement European History
exam in May. We will progress toward this end along two tracks. First, the class will primarily
serve to introduce students to the contours and progression of Western Civilization from the
Renaissance to the present day. Students will be responsible for learning a base of specific facts,
but more emphasis will be placed upon themes and concepts (such as the development of nationstates, the expansion of the economy, and Western interactions with non-Western cultures).
The second track of the course will be to develop important skills such as reading comprehension,
organized writing, critical analysis, note taking, and research skills. Each of these skills will be
practiced in a variety of contexts and assignments. You will need both a thorough knowledge of
the material and the skills to convey your knowledge in order to succeed on the exam.
Textbook and Materials
The Western Heritage by Kagan, Ozment, et.al., (Pearson Prentice Hall), 9th edition.
Students will also be expected to have the usual class equipment: pens, pencils, a notebook (for
this class alone), and a three-ring binder to hold various handouts. Colored pencils can be
Your work in the course will be evaluated according the following criteria:
Quizzes may occur very frequently. You could have one every class. They will vary in length,
format, and weight. Sometimes I will grade them; other times they will simply give us both an
idea of how well you retained the reading.
Tests will occur at the end of every chapter and will never be a surprise.
Essay assignments will very nearly always take place in class. I will assign essays regularly, both
to deepen students’ knowledge of the material and to improve writing skills.
Homework is incredibly important in this course. You simply must keep up with it and the more
thought and care you put in to it on a daily basis, the better off you will be. I have certain
procedures for homework (mentioned below) which I will explain in more detail in class.
You should know that quiz grades, tests, and essays will largely determine your grade in this
Student Expectations
AP European History is a demanding course, requiring daily reading, near daily written
homework, and quite a bit of writing. IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY THAT
this course, and each topic will build on the last. Students MUST NOT wait until shortly
before the test to do their reading and homework questions. Not only will this jeopardize
the homework / quiz / work habits grade, but it is unlikely that anyone will master the
quantity of material necessary to perform well on the test if he or she procrastinates.
Taken in small, daily bites, this course is a delicious sample of the delights of European
history. Trying to digest it a full chapter at a time will certainly result in stomachaches.
I encourage students to work together on homework and in preparing for tests, but “working together” does
not mean “copying from.” Talk to your friends about the class, but write your own answers. If your
homework is brilliant, but you cannot explain your thinking on the tests or in class, then you leave your
work open to question. If work has been copied or shared among students, the grade will be divided evenly
among all those involved. If you cheat on a test or plagiarize a paper, you will earn a zero for the
assignment and I will notify your parents.
Make Up and Late Work
Assignments are due at the beginning of class! A late assignment will be penalized according
to the student handbook as follows:
Late work will receive a 1/3 grade deduction (B to B- for example) for each day late. Late work
will be accepted for a period of 3 days. After 3 days, late work may be given an F or a 0 at my
If you are absent the day an assignment is due, you are to turn it in the next school day (even if you
don’t have class that day). If you do not turn it in by 3:00 that day, you will be subject to the grade
reductions listed above.
If you are absent on the day of a test or quiz, you are expected to make it up within 2 days of your return
to school. In general, you will be expected to arrange a time (outside of classtime!) before or after school,
or during a study hall, to make it up. After a week, you will not be able to make it up for credit. You will
receive a zero for the grade.
For work that is assigned while you are absent, you will have a day for each day missed as an excused
absence. After that time, you will be subject to the regular grade reductions.
Extensions on assignment due dates may occasionally be granted. If you feel you have a legitimate reason
for getting extra time to complete assignments, you MUST approach me beforehand. I generally find last
minute requests risible.
Exceptional situations, such as an extended illness, will be treated on a case-by-case basis.
I post the homework assignments on the class page so that you will always know the homework, even if
you are absent because of illness or a game. I usually require you to email homework to the class email
account, so you can do that even if you aren’t in class the day it is due.