• Mr. Stephen Mathes | Room #CC314

    United States History



    Course Description:


    This course is aligned with Arizona College and Career Ready Standards and/or national content standards and supports school-wide efforts to increase student achievement. Using inquiry in history, high school students explore a variety of peoples, events, and movements in United States history with a focus on inquiry into the evolution of American democratic principles, changes in society, economic and geographical development, and the emergence of the United States as a global power. A United States history course can be organized in a variety of ways including thematic, chronological, regional, or through case studies. Special attention should be paid to how Arizona and its diverse cultures and individuals contribute to United States history. It is expected that students in elementary and middle school will have analyzed events, documents, movements, and people in Arizona and United States history from the colonial period through contemporary U.S. History. It is recommended that this course maximize time in a manner to allow for depth of content and connection to current issues and events. The course should include but is not limited to content from the following historical eras:


    Revolution and a New Nation including but not limited to causes of the American Revolution, reasons for American victory, impact of the Revolution on politics, economy, and society, and the creation of the American political system looking at origins, and key political and social figures,


    Nation Building and Sectionalism including but not limited to territorial expansion and its impacts on external powers and Native Americans, regional tensions due to industrialism, immigration, and the expansion of slavery, changes in the political democracy after 1800, and cultural, religious, and reform movements in the Antebellum period

    Civil War and Reconstruction including but not limited to causes, course, and impact of the Civil War on various groups in the United States, the impacts of different reconstruction plans, and the emergence of Jim Crow and segregation


    Emergence of Modern America including but not limited to industrialization, immigration and migration, progressivism, Federal Indian Policy, suffrage movements, racial, religious and class conflict, the growth of the United States as a global power and World War I and its aftermath


    Great Depression and World War II including but not limited to social, political, and economic changes during the 1920’s, the role of government, impact of the depression on diverse groups of Americans, the New Deal, and the cause and course of World War II, the character of the war at home, and the impacts of the war on the United States

    Postwar United States including the economic boom and social transformation of the United States, the Cold War, the impact of conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, domestic and international policies, and the struggle for civil rights and equality


    Contemporary United States including but not limited to domestic politics and policies, economic, social and cultural developments, growing international conflict and tension, 9-11 and responses to terrorism, environmental issues, poverty, globalization, nuclear proliferation, and human rights

    For additional information on state standards, go to azed.gov


    Course Objectives:

    By the time the student completes this course of study, the student will know or be able to:

    • use chronological reasoning and understand processes of change and continuity over time, which means assessing similarities and differences between historical periods and between the past and present
    • think within the discipline, involving the ability to identify, compare, and evaluate multiple perspectives about a given event to draw conclusions about that event since there are multiple points of view about events and issues
    • gather, interpret, and use evidence to develop claims and answer historical, economic, geographical, and political questions and communicate their conclusions
    • think within the discipline, involving the ability to analyze relationships among causes and effects and to create and support arguments using relevant evidence

    Classroom Rules and Consequences:

    In order to maintain an excellent learning environment, students will be expected to adhere to the following:


    Respect Others | “Others include fellow students, the teacher, substitutes, guests, and everyone. Respect them in your attitude, language, and interaction.


    Be Prepared | Students will come to class on time and have all the required materials including their I-pad, pens/pencils, paper, and completed homework.


    Respect the Classroom |  No food, drinks, or gum is allowed in the classroom. Water is acceptable. Pick up your area before leaving the classroom. This includes disposing of trash.


    Follow School Rules | All rules as laid out in the handbook will be enforced. This includes no cell phones in class.


    Use Appropriate Language and Behavior | Cussing, bullying, and obscene gestures are unacceptable.


    Be Polite  | Raising your hand to speak or to get out of your seat.


    Consequences | for not following the above guidelines may include any and all of the following:


    1. A warning
    2. Being sent to a buddy teacher
    3. Parental contact
    4. Detention before or after school

    Immediate removal from the classroom*

    1. Referral to the office


    *With the exception of extreme behaviors that warrant immediate response, it is my policy to warn students first and discuss their behavior before assigning consequences.




    The work students will do is divided into two categories and two weightings.  

    Below shows the categories and the percentage weight assigned to each in calculating the semester grade;


    1. Assessments = 70%

    This includes all culminating projects, oral presentations, unit exams, quizzes, and essays.  


    1. Coursework = 30%


    All assignments will align with unit objectives. 


    Mountain Ridge students have within the current unit of study to turn in assigned work for full credit. However, students will have a minimum of a week to turn in assignments from the assigned due date even if the unit is completed. The unit of study is established by the teacher and the department on campus.  


    Social Studies Retake Policy:

    Students will have the opportunity to either retake or complete test corrections and summative assessments. In order to qualify for a retake opportunity, students must complete all assignments for the assessed unit to a level of mastery (80%) before retaking or remediating the unit assessment.


    Extra credit is not offered as per Mountain Ridge policy. 


    Report Cards:

    In an effort to conserve resources and harness the capacity of our electronic grade reporting program (PowerSchool) district schools will no longer print hard copies of report cards unless requested by individual parents. To request a hard copy of your student’s report card, please contact the front office at 623-376-3000.  To receive your PowerSchool login, please stop into the office with a valid photo ID. 

    Power School Online Access:

    Grades and attendance may be accessed 24 hours a day online with your PowerSchool access code.  Access codes are available in the Counseling Office or Front Desk Monday – Friday 7:00 AM– 3:30 PM. You may check student progress regularly on the PowerSchool site using the same login for one or more students.  For Mountain Ridge parents/guardians without home computer access, a computer with guest log-in capability is available in the Counseling Conference Room.


    Academic Assistance/Office Hours:

    In addition to the Academic Prep times built into our schedule each week, additional assistance/tutoring is provided on a weekly basis both by MRHS and individually by instructors. These office hours will be posted in my classroom, website, and/or Canvas at the start of each week. I will demonstrate to the students how to find my availability each week. 


    Absences/Make-up Policy:

    After an absence, a student has one school day for each day missed to make up work/tests, regardless of the number of days absent. If many days were missed, please schedule an appointment with me to formulate a plan for the completion of make-up work. Make-up work for extended absences (over 3 days) may be requested through the Counseling Office and picked up there.  


    Daily Device Use (iPads):

    Students should come to school with their iPads charged and ready to use in each class every day. Devices (including those not issued by the school) may not be used to record or take photos of other people without their consent.  Consequences for classroom disruptions and misuse of devices will follow a progressive discipline model, beginning with a phone call home and progressing to administrative referrals for repeated or more serious offenses. Please reference the MRHS Student Handbook for more specific descriptions of infractions and consequences.


    Recommended Supplies for this Course: 

    • Two Pocket Folder or 1 inch binder to use exclusively in American/AZ History with lined paper
    • Pencils, mechanical or wooden
    • Stylus
    • Headphones, earbuds, air pods, etc. 



    McGraw Hill, United States History and Geography- Student's Edition Grades 9-12 2015


    Secondary Readings:

    Various primary and academic secondary sources will be used to supplement the textbook.