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Academic Curriculum

History & Social Studies

History & Social Studies courses are offered to students in grades 7-12. The curriculum provides students with a strong foundation of historical knowledge and helps student develop analytical and critical thinking skills. Students apply their understanding through a variety of projects and hands-on interpretation. They showcase critical thinking skills in debates, persuasive presentations, and research.

Core History & Social Studies classes cover global cultures & history, U.S. history, European history, and art history. Honors and AP® course options are abundant throughout the curriculum.

The History & Social Studies Department also offers an exciting variety of elective classes, including courses in psychology, gender studies, and philosophy, plus AP® economics courses.

Courses

List of 11 items.

  • Social Studies 7 & Honors Social Studies 7: The Western World

    This 7th grade core course is an examination of the countries of the Western Hemisphere and Europe using geography, history and culture. This course also has an Honors class with a prerequisite of a grade of 80 or better in previous honors courses, or 90 or better in another History course.
  • Social Studies 8 & Honors Social Studies 8: The Eastern World

    This 8th grade core course explores the physical geography and diverse cultures of Asia, Africa and Oceania. There is a strong emphasis on learning classroom skills, study skills, research basics, geographic literacy and cultural tolerance. The course is available with Honors prerequisites of a grade of 80 or higher in previous honors courses or 90 or higher in other History courses and/or teacher recommendation.
  • World History & Honors World History - Grade: 9 or 10

    This 9th grade core course is a survey of world history from the dawn of humanity to the end of the European Middle Ages, ca. 1500 AD. There is a strong emphasis on learning classroom skills, study skills, geographic literacy, research and reporting. Honors prerequisites are a grade of 80 or higher in subsequent honors courses or 90 or higher in other History courses and/or teacher recommendation.
  • U.S. History & Honors U.S. History - Grade: 10 or 11

    This core course is a survey of American History from colonial times through the 20th century. Honors prerequisites are a grade of 80 or higher in previous honors courses or 90 or higher in other History courses and/or teacher recommendation.
  • AP® U.S. History - Grade: 10-12

    This 10th – 12th grade course is a chronological survey of American history from pre-Columbian times to present times using textbook, video/movies, literature, original documents, and group discussion. There is a heavy emphasis on writing exercises. All students are expected to take the AP® US History Exam in May.
  • Honors Art History - Grade: 10-12

    This course is designed to help students develop an understanding and knowledge of architecture, sculpture, painting, and other art forms within diverse historical and cultural contexts. Students will examine major forms of artistic expression from the ancient world to the present day from a variety of cultures and will learn to look at works of art critically, with intelligence and sensitivity. Students will learn strategies of analysis, develop a firm understanding of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, and become fluent in the use of fundamental art historical terminology. Finally, although emphasis is placed on Western European art, artistic traditions beyond the Western tradition will be fully integrated in the curriculum.
  • European History - Grade: 11

    This course is a survey of the key events of the Western Experience, from Antiquity to the 20th century.
  • Honors European History - Grade: 11

    This course is an overview of European history from the Late Middle Ages to the present. Emphasis is on economic, political and social themes. Students practice skills such as the analysis of historical materials, the writing of document-based and free response essays, and multiple choice testing. It is designed to challenge honors-level students. Prerequisites for this course are a grade of 80 or higher in previous honors courses or 90 or higher in other History courses and/or teacher recommendation.
  • AP® European History - Grade: 11

    The curriculum of this course traces the history of Europe from the Renaissance of the 14th century to the modern age. Students practice skills such as the analysis of historical materials, the writing of document-based and free response essays, and multiple choice testing. Students are required to take the AP® exam in May. Prerequisites are a grade of 80 or higher in previous honors courses or 90 or higher in other History courses and/or teacher recommendation.
  • AP® Art History - Grade: 11 or 12

    This course is designed to meet the requirements outlined for an introductory college course in Art History. It helps students to develop an understanding and knowledge of architecture, sculpture, painting, and other art forms within diverse historical and  cultural contexts. Students will examine major forms of artistic expression from the  ancient world to the present day from a variety of cultures and will learn to look at works of art critically, with intelligence and sensitivity . Students will learn strategies of analysis, develop a firm understanding of the Elements of Art and Principles of  Design, and become fluent in the use of fundamental art historical terminology.  Finally, although emphasis is placed on Western European art, artistic traditions  beyond the Western tradition will be fully integrated in the curriculum. Students are required to take the AP® Art History exam in May.
  • AP® Human Geography - Grade: 12

    AP® Human Geography is a college-level survey course for 12th grade. Students will explore how humans have understood, used, and changed the surface of Earth. Students will use the tools and thinking processes of geographers to examine patterns of human population, migration, socioeconomic organization, and land use. There is an emphasis on geographic place in the modern world. Students will be required to take the AP® Exam in May. Prerequisites: Final average of 80% or higher in previous honors courses or 90% or higher in previous History courses and/or teacher recommendation.

Electives

List of 6 items.

  • Introduction to Psychology - Grade: 10-12

    Psychology is a dynamic discipline that is constantly seeking new ways to apply knowledge gained through research. Introduction to Psychology offers students an opportunity to learn about the following topics of psychology: history of psychology, biology, human development, gender and sexuality, sensation and perception, learning, memory, intelligence, motivation and emotion, stress and human health, personality, abnormal psychology, therapy, and social psychology. Prerequisites: Anatomy/Physiology, or Biology or Chemistry
  • AP® Microeconomics - Grade: 10-12

    Prerequisites: Algebra II (with a grade of 80 or better).

    This 10th -12th elective course analyzes the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system as we try to answer a central economic concern: how do we make choices in the face of scarcity – unlimited wants and limited resources. Topics of study include but are not limited to: economic reasoning, supply and demand, consumer behavior, firm behavior, public welfare, market structures, economic inequity, and government regulation. Students will be required to take the AP® Exam in May.
  • Gender Studies - Grade: 11 or 12

  • Philosophy - Grade: 11 or 12

  • AP® Psychology - Grade: 11 or 12

    The AP® Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental process of human beings and other organisms. Students are exposed to psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students also learn about the ethics and research methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Students are required to take the AP® exam in May. Prerequisites: Biology, Anatomy, or Chemistry, Intro to Psychology or Abnormal Psychology.
  • Abnormal Psychology - Grade: 12

    This course studies unusual patterns of behavior, emotion, and thought. Examining empirical evidence and case studies, we will cover many topics of abnormal psych including stress, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, sexual/gender identity disorders, psychosis, personality disorders, age-related mental disorders, and more.

Faculty

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Keri Salyards

    Keri Salyards 

    History Department Chair
    Bio
  • Photo of Chad Llewellyn

    Chad Llewellyn 

    Teacher
    Bio
  • Photo of Steven Packnick

    Steven Packnick 

    Teacher
    Bio
  • Photo of Amy Patalune

    Amy Patalune 

    Teacher
  • Photo of Brianna Rivello

    Brianna Rivello 

    Teacher
  • Photo of Samuel Salyards

    Samuel Salyards 

    College Advisor
    Teacher
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Grier School

2522 Grier School Rd. | P.O. Box 308; Birmingham, PA 16686-0308
Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177