• Ms. Tracey Brody
    Hillcrest Middle School
    8th Grade Social Studies
    (623) 376-3344
    Team 8-1

    My name is Tracey Brody, and I am excited to be your student’s Social Studies teacher for the 2023-2024 school year. I know this will be a positive year for all students as we continue to build our skills and embark on our new discoveries in middle school.

    Suggested Supplies per individual student

    1. Fully charged school issued Chromebook and charger

    2. A book to read in class everyday

    3. Pencils, pens, colored pencils (prefer Twistables), highlighters

    4. Two Pocket Folder

    5. Two packs of 100 index cards

    *Classroom Requests: Tissues, Hand Sanitizer, Clorox Wipes

    Arizona law requires that public schools provide supplies required for academic success. This list represents optional, supplementary items, which you may supply, at your discretion. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school.

    Course Objectives from the Arizona State Standards:

    The 8th grade Social Studies program focuses on Citizenship and Civic Engagement in today’s society. The content focus will be viewed through civic and economic lenses.

    1st Quarter

    2nd Quarter

    3rd Quarter

    4th Quarter

    Foundations of Government, Road to Revolution, British Policies, Declaration of Independence

    Articles of Confederation, The US Constitution, The US Bill of Rights

    State Required Civics Test, Civil Rights, Women's Rights, Human's Rights

    Global Issues Project, WWII - Overview,Cold War - Overview, Holocaust/Genocide, Economics

    Arizona State Standards can be referenced at https://www.azed.gov/standards-practices/k-12standards/standards-social-studies

    In Social Studies, we support the Arizona English Language Arts Standards by focusing on analysis of primary source documents and supporting analysis with text-dependent written answers.


    Grading Scale and Percentage Weights of Assignments

    Practice: 0% Practice assignments do not count towards a student's overall score, but they provide necessary scaffolding for students to ensure they are successful when their learning is assessed. 

    Coursework:  20% To fully succeed in class, each student must be an active participant. This requires that they utilize class time efficiently and to the best of their academic ability. Time in class is expected to be used appropriately.  

    Assessments: 80% Assessments include quizzes, unit or chapter tests, projects, and district assessments. Projects consist of any assignment that progresses over a period of 3 or more days and is made up of multiple components. Students will be notified if projects will have an assessment component grade.


    Grading Scale: 

    Deer Valley Unified School District will employ two grade scales to calculate grades using a traditional averaging calculation method.  One grade scale will be used to mark student proficiency of the standards. One grade scale will be used to calculate the overall course grade. 

    • Traditional Grading -  100-90%=A     89-80%=B    79-70%=C    69-60%=D     Below 60%=F

    • Standards Proficiency Grading - Students will also receive marks for their proficiency toward grade level standards using the following scale:

      • 4 = Highly Proficient

      • 3 = Proficient

      • 2 = Partially Proficient

      • 1 = Minimally Proficient

      • NE = No Evidence

    Late Work

    If a student meets the criteria, he/she will be issued full credit for the work submitted (no added penalties or caps on the grade that can be earned).  The teacher will mark the student’s assignment with the “Late” special code. If the assignment is an assessment, the proficiency level of the standards attached will be entered.

    In order for Late Work to be accepted, students must meet the following parameters:

    • Assignment is not due within the class period

    • Assignment is not a timed activity (such as a Quick-Write Essay)

    • Assignment is not a Long-Term assignment (over multiple weeks)

    • Assignment is turned in within the following time frame within 5 school days after the end of the instructional unit

    Extra Credit

    Extra credit renders an academic grade less accurate since it is not based upon performance of the standards, but rather on compliant behaviors. Per District policy, no extra credit will be awarded


    ALL lessons and content will be accessed through our online learning program-Canvas/DV Online Learning Program. 

    Each Unit of Study is set up in MODULES. 

    Assignments are open for the length of the unit plus an additional 5 days*, however due dates are usually within the same week. This allows for students who have been absent or need more time to show mastery of the standards within the unit to complete an assignment.

    Parents/guardians-please become a Canvas “Observer” by following the directions 



    Students’ grades are updated weekly on PowerSchool (ps.dvusd.org) and are synced daily at midnight through Canvas, so changes may not be reflected immediately. Parents may contact the registrar clerk if a parent log-in is needed. 

    Statement on Artificial Intelligence

    After careful consideration and in alignment with the developmental needs of our students and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), DVUSD has determined that the use of Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT,  are not suitable for students in grades K-8 (under 13 years of age) and will not be utilized or endorsed in academic contexts.


    SS Classroom Behavior Expectations: 

    All students are expected to be good citizens, respectful and caring of each other, staff and materials.  Students are also expected to put forth their very best efforts by being responsible. Students should also feel free to express their ideas within socially acceptable norms. Our combined goal is to prepare students for a successful school experience.

    MTSS BEHAVIOR Program (The HMS School-Wide Prevention Program)

    Our progressive discipline is based on the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) 

    Students are expected to conduct themselves in a proper manner at all times. Specific guidelines are outlined in the DVUSD Student Rights and Responsibility (SR & R) Handbook. The school rules apply coming to school, going home from school, and at all school-sponsored events. General misbehavior is handled by the classroom teacher in the following manner:

     PROGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTIONS (teacher keeps record of minors)

    Step 1: Universal Interventions (Warning/Redirection)

    Step 2: 1st Minor Incident Report with Interventions

    Step 3: 2nd Minor Incident Report with Interventions and Parent Email

    Step 4: 3rd Minor Incident Report with Interventions and Parent Phone Call

    Step 5: Major Behavior Referral

    Consequences for inappropriate behavior will be given according to the DVUSD discipline guidelines as outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibility (SR & R) Handbook.



    I will often communicate general announcements through “announcements” in Canvas and send reminders about missing or incomplete assignments through Canvas Messenger to students and parent observers.

    The best way to contact me is through Remind or through e-mail (Tracey.Brody@dvusd.org). Please allow 24 hours for me to respond.