Social Studies


Armes, Cory
 
VA/US History, AP US History


Beard, Robert
 
VA/US History


Foster, Robert
 
Economics, Psychology/Sociology


Jester, Scott
 
Pre-AP World History I, Word History/World Geography II

 
Lester, Debbie
 
VA/US Government, Economics

 
Scott, Aaron
 
VA/US Government, AP Government

 
Staley, Leslie
 
World History/World Geography II, AP World History

 
Washburn, Dayn  
 
World History/World Geography I, Pre-AP World History I



Department Chair: Leslie Staley

Course Offerings

World History/World Geography I

Course Description:

This course explores the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times until 1500 A. D., in terms of the impact on Western civilization. All high school students are required to take this course, which focuses on historical understanding, engaging students in historical comprehension, analysis, and interpretation. Continual review of content will prepare students for the end-of-course SOL test. Students must pass both the course and SOL test to earn a verified credit.

Pre-AP World History/World Geography I

Course Description

Pre-AP World History and Geography to 1500 A.D. (C.E.) is an advanced course in world history from pre-history to 1500 A.D. (C.E.) Students will explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times until 1500 A.D. (C.E.) in terms of the impact on Western Civilization. Students will review and strengthen map and globe skills, strengthen skills in interpreting and using information, and strengthen historical thinking skills. This class will delve deeper into content, introduce AP World History themes, introduce comparative essay writing, and develop document-based essays reflecting points of view. Techniques for technical essay writing and use of document-based questions are a focus in this challenging course. The intent is to introduce prerequisite skills necessary to be successful in an AP World History course.

World History/World Geography II

Course Description:

This course explores history and geography from 1500 A. D. to the present, with emphasis on Western Europe. Geographic influences on history continue to be explored, but increasing attention is given to political boundaries that developed with the evolution of nations. Significant attention will be given to the ways in which scientific and technological revolutions created new economic conditions that in turn produced social and political changes. Noteworthy people and events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will be emphasized for their strong connections to contemporary issues. This course is not required for graduation but will help to satisfy a history requirement for an advanced diploma. Continual review of content will prepare students for the end-of-course SOL test. Students must pass both the course and SOL test to earn a verified credit.

AP World History

Course Description

The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop a greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts in different types of human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in global frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. It emphasizes relevant factual knowledge, leading interpretive issues, and skills in analyzing types of historical evidence. Periodization, explicitly discussed, forms an organizing principle to address change and continuity throughout the course. Specific themes provide further organization to the course, along with consistent attention to contacts among societies that form the core of world history as a field of study. An integral part of this course is the preparation for the Advanced Placement test given at the end of the second semester. The students can opt to take the SOL test in World History Part II or can use the score on the AP exam to earn a verified credit. Students are required to complete summer assignment(s). 


Students receive weighted credit for participating in AP classes, they receive college credit only by achieving a high score on the College Board’s Advanced Placement Tests. There are fees for each test, which students will be responsible for paying. Colleges have different criteria for awarding credit for scores on AP tests, and it will be the responsibility of students to contact colleges to ascertain their policies regarding Advanced Placement scores.

Virginia and US History

Course Description:

This high school credit course traces the historical development of American ideas and institutions from the Age of Exploration to the present. While focusing on the political and economic history, the course provides students with a basic knowledge of American culture through a chronological survey of major issues, movements, people, and events in United States and Virginia history. Students will use historical and geographical analysis skills to explore in depth the events, people, and ideas that fostered our national identity and led to our country’s prominence in world affairs. All high school students are required to earn credit for Virginia and United States History, or an equivalent course such as Advanced Placement United States History, to graduate. Continual review of content will prepare students for the end-of-course SOL test. Students must pass both the course and SOL test to earn a verified credit.

AP US History

Course Description

AP United States History is a course designed to provide advanced social studies students an opportunity to earn college credit. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. The curriculum focuses on teaching students the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with materials related to United States history. Students should learn to assess historical materials – their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance – and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. An AP United States History course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in an essay format. An integral part of this course is the preparation for the Advanced Placement test given at the end of second semester. The students can opt to take the SOL test in U. S. History or can use their score on the AP exam to earn a verified credit. Students are required to complete summer assignment(s). 


Students receive weighted credit for participating in AP classes, they receive college credit only by achieving a high score on the College Board’s Advanced Placement Tests. There are fees for each test, which students will be responsible for paying. Colleges have different criteria for awarding credit for scores on AP tests, and it will be the responsibility of students to contact colleges to ascertain their policies regarding Advanced Placement scores.

Virginia and US Government

Course Description:

This course defines the knowledge that enables citizens to participate effectively in civic life. Students examine fundamental constitutional principles, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, the political culture, the policy-making process at each level of government, and the operation of the United States market economy, and personal finance. Personal character traits are identified that facilitate thoughtful and effective participation in the civic life of an increasingly diverse democratic society. All high school students are required to pass this course, or an equivalent course, such as Advanced Placement Government, to graduate. There is no SOL test for this course.

AP Comparative Government

Course Description

AP Government / AP Comparative Government is a two-semester course designed to provide advanced social studies students an opportunity to earn college credit. The first semester provides an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality. The second semester provides students with the conceptual tools necessary to develop an understanding of some of the world's diverse political structures and practices. The course encompasses the study of both specific countries and their governments and general concepts used to interpret the political relationships and institutions found in virtually all national politics. Preparation for the Advanced Placement test is an integral part of this curriculum. Students are required to complete summer assignment(s). 


Students receive weighted credit for participating in AP classes, they receive college credit only by achieving a high score on the College Board’s Advanced Placement Tests. There are fees for each test, which students will be responsible for paying. Colleges have different criteria for awarding credit for scores on AP tests, and it will be the responsibility of students to contact colleges to ascertain their policies regarding Advanced Placement scores.

Economics and Personal Finance

Course Description

This course will present economic concepts that help students interpret the daily news, understand how interdependent the world’s economies are, and anticipate how events will impact their lives. On a personal level, students will learn that their own human capital (knowledge and skills) is their most valuable resource and that investing in education and training improves the likelihood of their future economic success. Students learn how to navigate the financial decisions they must face and to make informed decisions related to career exploration, budgeting, banking, credit, insurance, spending, taxes, saving, investing, and living independently. Development of financial literacy skills and an understanding of economic principles will provide the basis for responsible citizenship and future financial career success.


At the completion of the course, students will take the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Exam. This course counts towards graduation requirements for an advanced or standard diploma. Students who pass the W!SE test will be certified as Financially Literate. Students achieving a standard diploma can use the w!se exam for their workplace readiness diploma requirement.