Social Studies Elective Courses
NOTE: not all courses are offered each year
please check with the social studies department
or with your guidance counselor
Advanced Placement World History
This course takes the students on an in-depth study of world history from Pre-history to current issues plaguing the contemporary world. Some topics of particular focus are the rise of primary innovative civilizations, the rise and fall of great empires through the classical, post-classical and early modern eras, the dawn of the Industrial Age and the 20th century through today. Eligible students are selected and registered for this course in lieu of Global Studies II. Students participating in the class are required to take the Advance Placement World History exam in May, which can lead to college credit.
Advanced Placement United States History
This is a one year course of study that asks the students to analyze historical documents and materials covering early American history through current times. Topics covered include the colonial era, foundations of the nations, the Civil War, industrialization and immigration, reform movements, foreign policy and the expansion of rights. Eligible students are selected and registered for this course in lieu of American History. Students enrolled in the course are required to take the Advanced Placement American History exam, which can lead to college credit.
Advanced Placement United States Government
This course is designed to help students learn about the philosophical and practical foundations of the Constitution and how the government functions today. Students examine the changes that have occurred in government power and structure over the course of US History, and analyze and assess contemporary issues. Eligible students are selected and registered for this course in lieu of Participation in Government. Students enrolled in the course are required to take the Advanced Placement American Government exam, which can lead to college credit.
Advanced Placement Psychology
This college level elective course examines the biological and environmental causes of human behavior. Students participating in the class are required to take the Advance Placement Psychology exam in May, which can lead to college credit.
Advanced Placement Macroeconomics
Students in Advanced Placement Macroeconomics will study the role of inflation and unemployment on growth and GDP. Students will develop and use their logic and analytical skills throughout the course. Special attention is given to economic policy. Students enrolled in the course are required to take the Advanced Placement Macroeconomics exam, which can lead to college credit.
Introduction to Law
This course is designed to help students develop a basic foundation in law. The student will gain a greater knowledge the different types of laws and an understanding of both the Federal and State court systems.
This course continues the study of law. It is designed to impart a greater, more practical, knowledge of the legal system. They will obtain this greater knowledge through case studies. Students do not need Introduction to Law as a prerequisite. The students expand on the knowledge of law and the court system by beginning to work on mock trials.
This is a comprehensive course in Constitutional law. This course is designed to develop critical thinking skills through the study of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The student will develop a greater understanding of the U.S. Bill of Rights and how the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution through case law. The students will work on Moot Court cases to develop a greater understanding of the impact of these decisions on American society.
Critical Issues in Law
This course addresses important legal issues of the day. The students develop their legal research skills by dissecting and arguing issues that are currently under debate throughout the United States, on local state and federal levels. Students compete in both the New York City Moot Court competition, as well as the New York State Mock Trial Competition. These competitions give the students the ability to demonstrate their expertise in law, public speaking and critical thinking.
In this course, students will engage in a study of Criminology, Law Enforcement, Crime and the Justice system, examining the rules and values that shape our society. Students will meet several guest speakers, including representatives from the NYPD, Emergency Service Officers, Court Officers and Fire Marshalls, among others, and will go on trips in conjunction with their studies.
Facing History and Ourselves uses the Holocaust as a case study to discuss issues such as tolerance, racism and responsibility. In this class we use many forms of technology such as videos, internet research, literature, poetry, and art for students to portray the issues we discuss in class. The students ask tough questions of themselves and society. Students learn to be open minded and willing to express their views with their classmates
Issues in Public Policy
This course is part of the Academy of Public Service and is the culminating elective in the sequence. Students study public policy, how it is developed and how to evaluate program success and make necessary changes. As part of the course, students work on Social Science research papers, which are submitted to the WISE Quality of Life research competition. The students must become experts in a quality of life problem, completing thorough secondary and primary research in order to build a case for change. They must design, implement and analyze their own field study of the problem and develop a unique, feasible solution. Students are challenged to think critically and debate and discuss issues of the day.
Psychology through Film
This course allows students to explore the complex world of psychology through the lens of film. Using films as case studies, they explore different concepts of memory and human behavior.
Council for Unity
The mission of this course is to empower students with the skills necessary to promote unity achievement and safety in schools. This gives the students a chance to be part of a group with a meaningful purpose that they themselves help to define.
History of New York City
This course will trace four and a half centuries of colorful personalities and dramatic events that helped define New York City. Students will complete projects including neighborhood interviews and analysis of communities. Field trips, like a visit to Ellis Island, are part of the course.
Visualizing Global History
This specialized course is designed to assist students who did not pass the Global Regents. They will be provided with the support and instruction in content and skills they need to be successful on this required state exam.
Students in this course will study what it means to be human. They will examine human development, focusing mainly on human culture and the ways we behave. Students will look at the different ways people around the world view marriage, clothing, gender roles, taboos, etc. This course is great for those who want to travel to other parts of the world and see life through someone else’s eyes.
American Pop Culture in the 20th Century
This course will focus on this incredibly rich century. Students will examine the social, political and economic history of the United States and will engage in an exploration of the art, music, literature of the day, discovering the culture of the nation.
Russian History and Culture
This course will highlight developments in Russian history, geography and culture from its medieval foundations to the nation as it exists today. Students will study the rulers who have shaped, and who continue to shape, this nation, as well as the music, food, architecture and literature that demonstrate the culture. Trips are planned in conjunction with the curriculum.
Social Studies Elective Extracurricular Activities