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Social Studies Department 

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Social Studies Department Chairperson
Mr. Henry Perez, (512) 841-9034
Social Studies Instructional Coach
Ms. Hannah Howard, (512) 841-9855
Social Studies Dept. Supervising Administrator
Mrs. Jennifer Dawson, (512) 841-9938
9th Grade
9th grade students have an option of taking PRE-AP WORLD GEOGRAPHY

Geography is much more than being able to read maps and memorize countries, although these skills will be important to our learning.  Pre-Ap World Geography focuses on the relationships among people, places, and environments that result in geographic patterns on Earth. Students use methods of geography to analyze how Landforms, climates, and resources have influenced history, patterns of settlement, and the cultural, economic, and political characteristics of world regions. Rather than memorizing places on a map, we will study the world through big ideas.


10th Grade (Melissa Conreras, Lead World History), (Sharon~Kay Fayad, Lead Pre-AP World History)

World History focuses on the development of human society from prehistoric to modern times. Emphasis is placed on past and current events, world leaders, economic and political institutions, technical innovations, and the philosophical and religious beliefs that have guided human behavior and shaped the modern world. Students will use a variety of rich primary and secondary sources including speeches, art, literature, music, and film to learn about events, individuals, and diverse ethnic groups that have shaped world history. The students will also hone their research and writing skills as they respond to several teacher-assigned essays and projects.


11th Grade


The AP U.S. History is a college level course and the students will experience high rigor instruction with high expectations. Our studies will take us on a journey through our country’s history dating from pre-Columbia to the present.  We will uncover mysteries, inquiry on events and investigate evidence to reveal the events that took place and the people involved.

This course will also provide the student with academic lessons that will prepare them for the AP exams that are held in the spring and the End of Course exam (E.O.C.) required by the state of Texas.




This class will survey American history from the colonial era through the present, with attention toward why certain facts, stories, events and people are key to understanding our past. It draws on two well-regarded American history books that offer complementary, sometimes conflicting, interpretations of the American story to illuminate the rich textures of the nation’s history as well as the particular challenges faced in its writing. Using these authorities as a starting point, students will work collaboratively to expand their understanding of American history and to engage in the type of thinking required to “do” history. 

As required by the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee, with the guidance of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, this course fulfills the Coordinating Board’s Exemplary Educational Objectives and Core Objectives, Core Component 60 for U.S. History. Following the Core Objectives, this course examines past events and ideas relative to the United States. This course analyzes the interaction among individuals, communities, states, the nation, and the world, considering how these interactions have contributed to the development of the United States and its global role. Lectures, readings, written assignments, and discussions in this course will address four Core Objectives: Critical Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Personal Responsibility, and Social Responsibility. 



This course covers US History 1877 to the Present and in May the students will take an EOC. We'll cover American political, economic, and cultural trends and analyze major historical trends such as:  industrialization, progressive political movements, growth of economic influence, social and cultural development, and America’s role around the globe. The course strives to help students develop critical thinking skills through the analysis of challenges faced by the U.S. in both foreign and domestic policies. 


12th Grade (Henry Perez, Lead Economics), (Braxton Rasmussen, Lead Government)
ELECTIVES: Psychology, AP Psychology & Sociology
  In United States Government, our focus is on the principles and beliefs upon which the United States was founded and on the structure, functions, and powers of government at all levels: federal, state and local, as well as different forms of government throughout history. A major focus of the course is on the U.S. Constitution-it's ideas and how it sets up the structure of our current government. Furthermore, students will also learn about the impact of individuals, political parties and interest groups on the United States government. The final focus of the course is on the three branches of government: their powers, their structure and how they balance each other. 

The AP U.S. Government is a college level course and the students will experience high rigor instruction with high expectations. In this course, students will develop their understanding of how our government operates. By applying multiple project based assignments, students will also become familiar on ways they can be an active participant in the formation of our government policies, Supreme Court decisions and legislative acts.

This course will provide the student with academic lessons that will prepare them for the AP exam that is held in the spring. Preparation for and passage of this exams will earn the student college credit so it is imperative to learn the various skills and information throughout the semester in order to be successful on the exam.


Economics is a one semester, senior-level course that provides students with the opportunity to understand economics at the micro and macro levels; the emphasis being on the micro economic side. This course is incredibly valuable in helping students understand the economic world win which they exist, and which they are preparing to play a role in as an adult upon graduation. This course teaches basic, foundational economic principles, compares economic systems, analyzes the American economic system, and explores how economic issues impact you directly. There is a great deal of emphasis as well on having students deeply consider why our society makes the economic decisions that it does, and to consider problems that exist in our society related to economics. The latter part of the course deals primarily with personal finance to prepare and equip students for the many economic issues that will impact them as an adult, to help them make informed and responsible decisions regarding their financial future.


AP Macroeconomics

is a college level, College Board approved course which introduces students to the study of economics at a national and international level. It is a rigorous course which requires dedication, the ability to quickly develop vocabulary, and the ability to make cause and effect connections across several areas of the macro economy at a time. The course looks at the foundations of economic thinking, explores the ways we measure the economy, and considers the arguments on both sides as to the proper role and function of the government and the Federal Reserve in influencing the economy. This course is extremely useful in illuminating many of the economic and political debates that are affecting our nation and the world at a time of some real crisis in economic terms.


In Psychology, an elective course, students study the science of human behavior and mental processes. We examine the science of psychology including the historical framework, methodologies, human development, motivation, emotion, sensation, perception, personality development, cognition, learning, intelligence, biological foundations, mental health, and social psychology.



Sociology, an elective course, is an introductory study in social behavior and organization of human society. We will be identifying methods and strategies of research leading to an understanding of how the individual relates to society and the ever-changing world. Students will also learn the importance and role of culture, social structure, socialization, and social change in today's society.


Other Social Studies Courses:
Ethnic Studies (New Course) 


"The purpose of this course is to educate students to be politically, socially, and economically conscious about their personal connections to local and national history. Ethnic Studies focuses on themes of social justice, social responsibility, and social change. The course spans from past to present, from politics to social reform, allowing students to identify similar social patterns and universal qualities present in other societies, including their own. This course will focus on the experiences of African American, Asian Americans, Latino American, and Indigenous Peoples."


AP Human Geography, World Geography Pre-AP Dual Language, AUSTIN CORP: Linda O'Neal

AP Human Geography is a semester course designed to experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory human geography courses. The course purpose is to introduce students to the logical study of processes and causes and effect relationships of human populations. Emphasis throughout the course is on the spatial distribution, differences in scale and cultural determinants influenced by global interaction and integration. Major themes that transcend the course of study at multiple levels of scale include globalization, diffusion, assimilation, acculturation and interaction.


Geografia del Mundo Pre-AP Dual Language

La meta en la clase de Geografía del Mundo es mostrarle a los estudiantes como las experiencias humanas han cambiado a través del tiempo en diferentes regiones. Los conceptos principales que se estudian en geografía pueden agruparse en temas como población, agricultura, culturas, geografía política, urbanizacion, economía, migración y geografía social. En esta clase los estudiantes comprenderán cómo el pasado ha moldeado las experiencias humanas, así como las situaciones actuales mundialmente.

Los estudiantes desarrollaran las destrezas de analizar e interpretar recursos primarios, mapas y otras evidencias gráficas para apoyar su posición y buscar soluciones a problemas comunes.

La investigación y las destrezas de escritura son componentes importantes de esta clase asi como tambien las presentaciones orales.



The City of Austin and AISD partner for Austin Corps, a civic education and leadership development program for Austin high school students. Austin Corps combines classroom curriculum on local government with a hands-on experience at City Hall.

Austin Corps combines classroom curriculum on local government with a hands-on experience at City Hall.

In the fall semester, students meet twice weekly with city policymakers and administrators to become familiar with city government. In the spring, students complete a mentored internship with the city and work in small groups to plan and execute a community project.