CLASS: Honors Civics

    E-Mail : jbertrand@stcharles.k12.la.us

    Web-Site: https://www.stcharles.k12.la.us/Page/6343                                                                                                                                                                                          

    Welcome to the Spring of 2021 at Destrehan High. This semester I will be teaching the Honors Civics course offered here at DHS, and I look forward to a wonderful experience with all of my students and their parents. We continue facing some interesting challenges with the modified schedule from 2020 still in place to face the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2021, but we will continue to weather this storm together with cooperation, diligence, and fortitude. The curriculum for Civics and American History have gone through some quite dramatic changes in the last two years as teachers in St. Charles Parish have been directed to adopt the new State Scope and Sequence for those classes. You can find this new scope and sequence for Civics linked here and below on the Louisiana Department of Education’s website.



    Teachers and school board administrators are in the second year navigating through this new curriculum and are meeting periodically to organize the best strategies for implementation. The Civics Scope and Sequence is quite a read at over 350 pages long, but if you have any questions or concerns about this policy, please direct them to the Destrehan administration or your school board member. Even with the challenge of a new curriculum and new directives concerning technology and grade policies, whether you are a student or a parent, my primary purpose is in seeing that you have a very rewarding and successful experience with my class and our school. I will work hard, and do my best to insure these outcomes. Throughout this document you can find the basic class rules, procedures, grading scales and requirements for class.

    All of this information and more is available on my school website, but you can find every detail of student work within each student’s St. Charles Parish Google Classroom account, and specific class. It is the third year in my class for daily use of Chromebooks and Google Classroom, so I am still learning, but it is quite a useful tool, and I have really learned a great deal with the Covid restrictions and during the 2020 quarantine. With these new technologies, access to student work, assignments, homework, study guides, class activities, and teacher feedback are just a click away for both students and parents to examine. I look forward to an awesome semester and I hope you find your time with me to be productive, successful, and enjoyable.

    Please check my DHS website and Google Classroom each week. Throughout the year, you will be able to find weekly updated details about what events are going on in class during the current week and what homework has been assigned. Due dates for tasks are also included on these sites, as well as dates for upcoming summative assessments. You can also find links to important resources for class such as websites with our extra reading assignments and documents of significance such as our class syllabus, parent letters, study guides.

    I will be contacting parents through the School Status platform, a new app that we are using in St. Charles Parish Schools to make contact with parents much more streamlined, easy and effective. You will receive texts, emails or phone calls from all teachers this year to keep you updated on your child throughout the year, and you can contact the teachers anytime by using the number provided to you through school status as a personal teacher contact number. It’s really a wonderful app that I think we will all find useful.

    Please make sure you have access to your grades through Powerschools parent and student portals. If you do not have your password and id, please check with the front office for the proper forms. Students may access their grades on Powerschools by checking with the counselling department for their password.


    Classroom Code of Conduct:  

    RESPECT EVERYONE: Respect yourself, your classmates, your teacher and the learning environment by adhering to rules concerning when to speak or not speak, throwing away trash properly, refraining from eating prohibited foods in class, staying seated, and treating others with dignity.

    OPTIMIZE LEARNING- ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE: Focus on your learning, do not eat in class except for permitted items at permitted times, stay off your cell phone, and no earbuds, or Beats in your ears. Give your best effort, keep your head up, don’t sleep, and be aware of our purpose in class.

    ATTENDANCE AND TIMELINESS ARE ESSENTIAL: Come to school, be in your seat before the tardy bell, and complete class assignments and homework on time. 

    RESPONSIBILITY-BE PREPARED EVERY DAY: Bring your materials to class, have your work ready, have a highlighter, pencil/pen on hand, and study for your summative assessments.

    SUCCESS- DRESS FOR IT: Wear the proper uniform, keep your shirt tucked in, keep your ID on and your pants pulled up with a belt on. No hoodies in class.


    Class Management / Class Discipline Approach

    At Destrehan High School we take a Restorative Approach to discipline.  Our primary focus, in conjunction with teaching and learning, is to build positive and working relationships.  My discipline management plan will be consistent with the following restorative action steps:

    1. Remind – students will be reminded of rule(s) or directions
    2. Redirect – students will be specifically redirected to the task at hand
    3. Relocate – students will be relocated to either reflect upon (mis) behavior, calm down, or removed from a potentially disruptive situation (If necessary)
    4. Reflect – students will be guided to reflect upon what happened, what could have prevented the situation, and how to make amends to the appropriate parties (If necessary)
    5. Conversation-student and teacher will discuss the behavior issue, and a plan for future actions will be created.
    6. Conference-student, teacher, parent, and administration will meet to make decisions for current and future actions.

    *Further or more severe consequences may be assigned if disruptive behavior continues or for more serious incidents/offenses

    *These steps will be bypassed and a referral will be automatically written for administrative consequences for serious violations such as fighting, cursing, bullying, harassment and disrespect to the teacher.


    In a normal year, 80% of the final grade is from class grades and 20% of the final grade is from Midterm and Final Exams, but of course, this is not a normal year, as we know. All Midterms and Final Exams were deleted from our schedule, so the grading formula is quite simplified this year.

    This year’s grading formula is (Quarter 1+Quarter 2 +Quarter 3+Quarter 4)/4

    Pretty simple indeed.


    All class assignments are divided into two categories. Each category of grades is weighted differently in accordance with St. Charles Parish Schools policy.

    Summative Assessments-- 60% of class grade (16 Summative Assessments in my Honors Civics Class which are normally around 20 to 25 questions, and are multiple choice and short answer writing in structure, but may be a longer writing response periodically). In a change of policy from the past, and by directive of school board administrators, all summative assessments in this class will be administered using Illuminate software and the classroom Chromebooks.

    Formative Assessments—40% of class grade (Includes class assignments such as bell ringers, cooperative assignments, individual class reading and annotations, Socratic Seminars, homework reading selections, and class writings)

    HONORS BONUS: For each quarter an honors bonus will be added to a student’s grade based on the following criteria: A=+7, B=+5, C=+3. The maximum grade which can be attained in this class will be a 107%.



    Students will need the following in order to take part in class.

    1. The school Chromebook provided by the district
    2. Something to write with of the student’s choice (pen, pencil)
    3. Something to write on of the student’s choice (paper, notebook, etc.)

    ***There is no textbook, and no handouts, and nothing to physically turn in

    Weekly Homework

    Homework will be assigned on the first day of school each week. The assignment will be posted on the board in class, in Google Classroom, and on my website. Students will be provided with a homework agenda for the semester, but this schedule may change if the need arises. With the Covid Garnet/Grey schedule, homework reviews on Friday will be a bit modified, as students present in class take part in a Socratic Seminar for review, while student’s at home are graded based on their annotations only. 

    Homework will be in the form of a reading assignment from selected chapters of a variety of Great Books within the study of government and economics throughout human history. You can find these selections on my website and there is a pdf document that can be downloaded with all of them. I will post these specific text selections on a weekly basis in google classroom. I assign the homework on the first day of each week, and we use the work in class during the next first day of the following week. Students will annotate these reading selections in preparation for Socratic Seminars. Of course the seminar reviews will be different this year based on the schedule, as I mentioned before.

    Example: Homework will be issued on Monday, January 11th. This assignment will be due on Tuesday January 19th since that’s our first day back at school in the next week, with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday the 18th.