Social Studies

Social Studies

Social Studies Department Philosophy

The ongoing history of humanity, its triumphs and failures continues to be written by successive generations of peoples whose existence have left indelible imprints on the pages of time. It is for the true historian to capture the essence of what has transpired in the past, review it thoroughly, interpret it accurately, record it painstakingly, and transmit it honestly to those who will follow. The Social Studies Department at Bishop Kelly High School accepts its responsibility for conveying an honest and complete rendition of history’s chronicles to its students.

Bishop Kelly High School social studies instructors and students will jointly probe the subject matter before them not only with a view to learning what has taken place in the past but, also, with a desire of understanding how those events can best be interpreted so as to learn from them and be positioned to apply this knowledge to future events.

In this light, the department, in all its course offerings – history, economics, government, and psychology – will endeavor to expose and explore the positive contributions which the Catholic Church has made to humanity over the past 2000 years. Nowhere will this be made more evident than in the study of American history where the work of the early missionaries, the presence of a vast educational system, the impact of countless hospitals and orphanages, and the labors of numerous social agencies have assisted uncountable people of all races, creeds, and colors to live more rewarding lives. Likewise, the Catholic Church’s long-standing and unwavering position on social justice – both in the workplace and society as a whole – will be a visible and integral part of the study of American and international governments.

Grade Level: 9 (required),
First Semester 40021 (S1); Second Semester 40022 (S2)

Global Studies / Civics is a semester course designed to expose students to important world themes from cultural, historical, geographic, and political lenses.  The goal of the course is to help students develop a global perspective and awareness of issues that impact their lives and teach them how to effectively locate and evaluate information from a variety of media sources.

Grade Level: 10
First Semester 40000A (S1) AND Second Semester 40000B (S2)
Two Semester Required (FY)

United States History I is the first of a two-year study of United States history. U.S. History I examines the American experience prior to the twentieth century. The first semester is a study of European exploration, English colonial expansion, American Revolution, and the Constitution. There will be an emphasis on comparing Spanish, French, and English exploration, conquering, and colonizing of the New World. There will also be an examination of the causes and results of the American Revolution. Finally, there will be an in depth look at Confederation and the creation of the Constitution. The second semester begins with a look at the new Republic, the Jacksonian era, Civil War and Reconstruction. The emphasis is on examining the new Republic through the presidential administrations of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. There will be an in depth look at the United States as it evolves through the Nationalist Era as well as an examination of the impact of Jacksonian Democracy. Second semester also includes a study of political and economic expansion, reform movements, sectional divisions, the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Grade Level: 11
First Semester 40010A (S1) AND Second Semester 40010B (S2)
Two Semester Required (FY)

United States History II, a required course for Juniors, will survey the history of our nation beginning with the post civil war industrialization and continuing to contemporary times. It will cover a wide range of topics and issues, which combined to play roles in the growth and development of the United States. The curriculum will address the social problems that have plagued American society through the years; in addition, the impact that business, industry and politics, national and international, have played on our country’s growth. Attention will be directed to our nation’s international relationships with others in a global world. The course will emphasize critical analysis and research and will integrate computer skills and the Internet.

Grade Level: 11
Prerequisite: Application / Teacher Approval Required
First Semester 40320A (S1) AND Second Semester 40320B (S2)
Two Semester Required (FY)

Hybrid US-History II is a two semester, full year, course, that fulfills the second of your two-year United States history requirement for graduation. Students will cover curriculum content in eight units of study beginning with the post Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, and ending with the close of the 20th century. As a hybrid course, students will complete the course online through the Bishop Kelly’s Learning Management System (LMS), Schoology. Students will meet with their BK instructor one day per week for face-to-face time. The instructor will also be available during scheduled office hours to meet the face-to-face needs of the course.

Required Application Form »

Grade Level: 11
Prerequisite: A or B in U.S. History I and English 10
First Semester 40220A (S1) AND Second Semester 40220B (S2)
Two Semester Required (FY)

AP United States History is available to those students who are interested in a more in-depth course in the historical development of America from Colonial times to the present. Students will work with more complex materials and at a quicker pace than in a standard high school class. Course work will be geared toward developing and practicing skills that are required at the college level. Students will learn to locate relevant and trustworthy sources and how to organize evidence to support their arguments. Focus will be placed on cause and effect relationships as well as the climate in which opinions were formed and decisions made as historical events and issues are explored. Both primary and secondary sources will be used.

Grade Level: 12
First Semester 40031 (S1) or Second Semester 40032 (S2)

American Government focuses on the three branches of American government: executive, legislative and judicial. This course also deals with the United States Constitution and the political system which exists in our nation. Attention will be directed to the roles the United States plays as a world power and its relationships with governments around the globe. A range of contemporary international issues will be addressed from the perspective of their impact on American society, particularly the economic stability of the nation. An analysis will be made of the similarities and differences between state and federal governmental structures/powers. An in-depth study of the Idaho state system of government will be made and field trips will be taken to view the legislature in session. Attention will be directed toward those economic, social and geographic issues which impact the operation of the Idaho state government.

Grade Level: 12
Prerequisite: A or B in U.S. History or AP U.S. History
First Semester 40200A (S1) AND Second Semester 40200B (S2)
Two Semester Required (FY)

AP United States Government and Politics introduces students to key political ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the political culture of the United States. The course examines politically significant concepts and themes, through which students learn to apply disciplinary reasoning assess causes and consequences of political events, and interpret data to develop evidence-based arguments. It is recommended that students take the AP exam.

Grade Level: 11, 12
First Semester 40121 (S1) or Second Semester 40122 (S2)

This courses examines the basic theories, structures, and operations of economics with special focus on the American free enterprise system. Students will learn the fundamental economic concepts, appreciate how the principal concepts of economics relate to each other and understand the structure of economic systems. Students will use economic concepts in a reasoned, careful manner in dealing with personal, community, national and global economic issues. Students will evaluate, analyze and interpret relevant economic data.

Grade Level: 11, 12
First Semester 40231 (S1)
Dual Credit: BSU ECON 202

Students have the option to take this course as an AP class or as a concurrent enrollment/dual credit course. Students will define economics, explore the underlying fundamentals common to all economic systems, and develop and examine a basic framework for analysis of the economic interactions that take place in our economy. Students will examine the problems caused by scarcity, study differing market structures that operate in our economy, and develop an understanding of fundamental theoretical tools. Students will then focus upon: regulation and antitrust, supply and demand for the factors of production, wage determination, international trade, and the economic problems faced by specific industries. Concurrent enrollment available through Boise State University.

Grade Level: 11, 12
Second Semester 40232 (S2)
Dual Credit: BSU ECON 201

Students have the option to take this course as an AP class or as a concurrent enrollment/dual credit course. This course will explore economic systems and societal implications. Students will examine how prices in our economy act effectively to allocate scarce resources. Students will explore the measurement of aggregate economic activity, unemployment, and price level. Students will learn the role that money plays in our economy, the importance of the banking system, and the role that the Federal Reserve has in maintaining economic stability and growth. Areas of current macroeconomic interest such as the Federal Budget deficit/surplus, monetary and fiscal policies, economic growth, and international trade will also be discussed.Concurrent enrollment available through Boise State University.

Grade Level: 10, 11
Prerequisite::A or B in previous social studies courses

First Semester 40240A (S1); Second Semester 40240B (S2)
Two Semesters Required (FY)

AP World History-Modern is an introductory college-level modern world history survey course. Students cultivate their understanding of world history from 1200 CE to the present through analyzing historical sources and learning to make connections and craft historical arguments as they explore concepts like humans and the environment, cultural developments and interactions, governance, economic systems, social interactions and organizations, and technology and innovation. 

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: A or B in previous social studies courses
First Semester 40210A (S1) AND Second Semester 40210B (S2)
Two Semester Required (FY)
Dual Credit: U of I GEOG 165

The AP Human Geography course is equivalent to an introductory college-level course in Human Geography. The course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine socio economic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications. The curriculum reflects the goals of the National Geography Standards and may be used as a world history course for some colleges. Concurrent enrollment available through the University of Idaho.

Grade Level: 12
Prerequisite: A or B in History and English
First Semester 40230A (S1) AND Second Semester 40230B (S2)
Two Semester Required (FY)

AP European History is an introductory college-level European history course. Students cultivate their understanding of European history through analyzing historical sources and learning to make connections and craft historical arguments as they explore concepts like interaction of Europe and the world; economic and commercial developments; cultural and intellectual developments; states and other institutions of power; social organization and development; national and European identity; and technological and scientific innovation.

Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Parental permission due to sensitive material. A permission slip will be distributed to all students along with the course syllabus.

The Social Studies Seminar courses are a series of classes offered by members of the Social Studies Department. These courses are offered as semester classes; completing both semesters may meet college world history requirements. Students will sign up for a full year of the seminar and change topics at semester.

First Semester 40311 (S1)
Second Semester 40312 (S2)

This course will help students gain a comprehensive understanding of the American soldier in World War II. Students will secure an in-depth understanding of America’s military involvement in World War II. Patriotism, courage, sacrifice, integrity and honor will be the lens through which students understand the American experience of World War II.


First Semester 40321 (S1)
Second Semester 40322 (S2)

Students in this course will learn about the origins of Antisemitism and analyze the development of the Holocaust and its effects through the Spiral of Injustice.  The course requires in-depth critical analysis, challenging introspective responses, group collaboration, evaluation of primary documents, and the use of multiple modes of technology.

Watch this Video about the BK Holocaust & Human Rights Class

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Through education and personal experience, we build upon that foundation to prepare each graduate for a lifetime quest to reach excellence.