• U.S. and VA Government Syllabus

    Mrs. Dorn


    Course Description

    This course examines the structures of government and the economy in the United States.  The balance and separation of power within U.S. government and the powers inherent to each branch and level of democratic values, and responsible participation in the community are stressed throughout the course.  The United States’ political and economic roles in the global community are also analyzed. Basic principles inherent in the Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of Virginia, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the Virginia Statue of Religious Freedom are examined and related to everyday life. 

    Main Topics:

    • What is Government?
    • Foundations of the American political system and the US Constitution
    • The US Constitution
    • Federalism
    • Citizenship and Civil Liberties:  Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities
    • The Election Process
    • Influencing Government
    • Organization of Powers of the National Government
    • State and Local Government
    • Comparative Governments and Economics
    • Practical Citizenship
    • The three branches of US Government: Legislative, Executive, Judicial

     Course Textbook

    Virginia and United States Government, Richard C. Remy, Ph.D., Donald A. Richie, Ph. D., Columbus, Ohio, McGraw-Hill 2018.


           100% of the grade will come from a minimum of 5 summative assessments per quarter (summative tests or summative projects).

    • The maximum for one assessment will be 20% of a quarterly grade.

     Students grades will be posted in the online grade book on PARENTVUEGrades are numeric not a letter grade. Therefore, if a 30 question assessment is given and the student answers 27 correctly, the grade will be 27. The online grade book assigns a numeric and letter cumulative grade based on all assessments that are recorded and posts them in the grade book. There are, however, some letter grades which can be posted. They are as follows:

    - X indicates the student is exempt from the assessment

    - Z indicates the work is missing or not turned in or the test or quiz has not been taken. The grade is therefore a 0.

    - S indicates the student was absent on the due date

    - L indicates the work was turned in late.

    - R indicates the absolute lowest grade that can be assigned which is a 50.


    Honor Code

    Each member of the class is expected to follow a code of conduct and the BWHS Honor Code that reflects a respect for the worth and dignity of all.  Absolutely no cheating or academic dishonesty will be tolerated.  Any student involved in a cheating incident will be referred to the administration.

    Class Policies:

    1. Mutual Respect
    2. Be on time
    3. Be prepared - bring a pencil, pen a 3-ring binder or paper
    4. No PHONES!!!
    5. You are responsible for all assignments when absent. Assignments will be posted on my Google classroom.

    Missing School Days, Make Up Classwork, and Late Assessments:

    If you do miss a day of school you need to be responsible for yourself and make up missed assignments. All missing classwork will be marked with a Z or 0 in the gradebook until it is completed. Use my Google classroom to keep track of where we are in the class.  Missing assessments will result in a 0 or Z grade in the gradebook until it is taken. Send me an email, call a friend or go to Google classroom to find out what is going on and how to catch back up. 

           6. NO PHONES!!

           7All work must be the student’s own. Downloaded or copied work will result in a zero. The Briar Woods Honor Code will be followed and the administration will be notified of any cheating.

    1. When in doubt about behavior or class rules follow the BWHS student handbook.
    2. Food and Drink are permitted in the classroom as long as students are discreet and maintain a clean classroom.  Do not abuse the privilege.

     If you are late to class you must sign the BWHS Tardy Report.  If you are late 3 times you must attend Friday School.  No passes signed the first 20 minutes or the last 20 minutes of class.


    Assessment Retakes:

    • Students who earn an 80% or lower on an assessment may retake that assessment one time for a maximum score of 80% (a different version of the assessment content will be given)
      • Student must make arrangements with Mrs. Dorn in advance to retake the assessment.
      • Students will be required to submit a portfolio of ALL classwork materials related to that assessment – FULLY COMPLETED – in order to be eligible for a retake.

     Contact Info

    The best way to reach me is through the school email which is susan.dorn@lcps.org. I will respond as soon as I am able. You can also call the school at 703-957-4400. When prior arrangements are made, I am available to meet with students at the beginning of the school day and during the school day. I am in Room 301 on A and B days.