AP Seminar 20-21

AP Seminar 20-21


Mr. Dietz - 919-406-3975 x292; johndietz@fcschools.net (preferred)

Room 118


Students are expected to attend class every day at the designated time for both Synchronous and Asynchronous Instruction.

Students will be counted absent if they do not come to the Google Meet via internet OR via phone, OR turn-in work, OR log-in to Canvas at least once during the day (12 AM - 11:59 PM). Students that miss more than 3 days or 3 assignments will get a call home and their counselors and administrators will be notified.

Grades will be calculated as follows:

  • Homework/Classwork - 40%
  • Quizzes - 20%
  • Tests - 40%

Late Work will be assessed as follows:

  • Up to 2 days late - 10%
  • 3-5 days late - 20%
  • 5 or more days late - 30%



Welcome to AP Seminar! I am excited for you to be here and that you are willing to challenge yourself at the college level. You already deserve a round of applause. AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Students learn to investigate a problem or issue, analyze arguments, compare different perspectives, synthesize information from multiple sources, and work alone and in a group to communicate their ideas. This course will also prepare you to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May. Successfully passing the exam can earn you college credit. Credit will vary from college to college (some will accept 3’s while others want only 5’s) but generally, you can earn credit for one or two lower division courses by passing the exam. The reason colleges give credit for passing the exam is that they are satisfied that the course was equivalent to a college course. Consider this class to be a college course. That means this class will be difficult, but I will make sure that it is still “doable.” I expect nothing but your best this year and I will give you nothing less than my best in return. Good luck and welcome again!


Basic Class Rules


  1. Respect yourself and those around you

 Students are expected to follow all rules in the Student Code of Conduct, and are also expected to behave as adults. There will be no toleration for behavior, speech, activity or conduct that is disrespectful or hateful. Be civil and courteous to your teacher and classmates. TAUNTING, BULLYING, HORSEPLAY, and FIGHTING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED AND WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE REFERRAL TO THE OFFICE.


  1. Be prepared for class

Come to class everyday with all required materials (textbooks, paper, pencil, etc.) for this class. You should also come to class  having read any assigned readings or completed homework due that day and prepared to discuss the topics listed on the syllabus or which have been posted on Google Classroom. Being unprepared will make you look foolish when called upon, and is a waste of your time as well as mine. At the AP level, coming to class unprepared is completely unacceptable.


  1. Follow all instructions in an orderly manner

Students are expected to listen to their teacher and follow all directions given in class. If you have a question or need an instruction clarified, please raise your hand and wait to be called on. This includes clarifying directions on work as well as classroom procedures.


  1. Do not distract or interfere with your classmates’ learning

The classroom is a place for learning. You are NOT here for socializing, texting, grooming, sleeping, playing, eating, or any other sort of behavior that disrupts the learning or teaching process. THERE IS TO BE ABSOLUTELY NO CELL PHONE USE OF ANY SORT IN CLASS. Any cell phones seen in by the teacher will be confiscated. When students engage in these (or other) distracting activities, they are not only hindering their own learning, but also the learning of their fellow students. Students are expected to remain focused on the task at hand at all times.


  1. Be HONEST

Dishonesty WILL NOT be tolerated. Forms of dishonesty may include, but are not limited to: using another student’s work as one‘s own, sneaking answers or using “cheat sheets,” using a cell phone to look up answers, communicating answers to other students, plagiarism, or any other dishonest attempt to obtain information or answers to ANY ASSIGNMENT.  Anyone caught being dishonest will receive a grade of “0” on that assignment, have their parents contacted, and will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action, as outlined in the Code of Conduct. There is no exception to this.


  1. Food in the classroom

There is no eating during class. Clear plastic bottles of water are allowed. You must clean any spills immediately. If there is excessive spilling due to lack of care, all drinks may be banned from the classroom (except in cases of medical requirements, of course)



See your BHS student handbook for appropriate possible consequences for violation of class and/or school rules.


Class Procedures

  • Enter the classroom quietly and sit in your assigned seats
  • Review the Daily Announcement in Canvas
  • Raise your hand and wait to be recognized to speak.
  • Remain in your seat unless told otherwise.
  • Remain focused on the task assigned.


Tardy Policy

The following is our new SCHOOL WIDE POLICY: Students are expected to be in the classroom (passed the door frame) when the bell begins to ring. There are ZERO EXCEPTIONS to this. Consequences for being tardy are outlined in the BHS Student Code of Conduct.


Materials Needed for Class

  • Charged Chromebook / Supplemental Readings - Bring these everyday
  • Headphones
  • A Folder in your Google Drive with the following subfolders (I will show you how to set this up.):


Quizzes and Tests

Reference Work


  • Composition Notebook (COLLEGE RULED  ONLY)


*Note that I will not check your Folder. I have merely made a suggestion on how to organize it. I have listed these sections based on what I have personally seen as being successful for other students. If this format does not work you, then that is ok. Please keep your folder organized as you see fit - I may ask for or refer to other work at any time. 



Because we are on PLAN C, grading may be different than listed below. See the top of this page for more information.

Skill-based Assessments for this course can include, but may not be limited to:

  • Timed in-class writing samples for argument evaluation, analysis, and synthesis
  • Written Reflections
  • Team Projects and presentations
  • Practice End of Course Exams
  • Skills-based activities
  • Team-based activities


  • Tests - 60%
  • Classwork / Homework - 20%
  • Quizzes - 20%


90-100: A

80-89: B

70-79: C

60-69: D

0-59:: F


Attendance Policy

The BHS Attendance Policy requires all students to miss no more than 5 (five) class meetings per course. 


Make-Up Work / Late Work

It is the student’s responsibility to turn in all the work that was missed due to an absence as well as to schedule time to make up any missed quizzes or tests. It is a school rule that students have two (2) days to make-up any missed work per one (1) day of absence. Late work is not accepted without an excused and legal absence document. A list of legal absences can be found in your Student Handbook. Unexcused late work will be penalized as follows: 1 day - 10%, 2 days - 30%, 3 or more days - no higher than 60%. Before you ask, no, there are no exceptions to this rule. All work is considered late if not submitted when asked for.   

Extra Credit

None. Additional work is not a substitute for learning. If your grade is low, see me for ways to improve your study skills. 



Any student should feel free to ask me for help. Not asking for help when you do not understand something is the easiest way to fall behind in this course. If there are questions about a topic discussed in class, an assignment, or reading, please ask. Also, check Canvas for information and updates about our class. If you wish to contact me directly, my e-mail address is johndietz@fcschools.net and students may follow me on Twitter & Instagram @itsmrdietz 

Expectations and Final Thoughts

As you may have already figured out from the syllabus, there is a lot to do in this class. We must learn how to (QUEST) Question and Explore, Understand and Analyze, Evaluate Multiple Perspectives, Synthesize Ideas, and Team/Transform/Transit researched findings to our peers. This sounds like a lot but the various assignments you will complete throughout the semester do all of the above to prepare you for the AP Exam in May. In-class work will focus on developing these skills so students will be able to complete Performance Tasks 1 and 2, as well as the AP Exam.


DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! If you do, you will likely rush through the assignments and miss information that could be vital on the exam. Take your time and do a little of the work each night to keep everything manageable. Supplemental reading is handed out throughout the semester and you may have only one night to read a particular primary source. You may also have worksheets that are associated with a particular reading, topic, or lens that are given for homework. 

An AP course, by design, requires the same workload that would be given at the college level. It is a time-intensive but rewarding experience. I do not contact guardians to update them on your progress in this course - that is YOUR responsibility. You must learn personal accountability and an AP course is an excellent opportunity for this. If your guardians have specific questions regarding missing work, low test scores, etc… email is the fastest way to get a hold of me. I will gladly help you with study, organization, and/or time management skills if you need them. Do not be discouraged by initial failures. Many students struggle at first with workload, quizzes, exams, and lower-than-usual scores are to be expected. You should be concerned with overall progress and growth, not grades.


Course Summary:

Date Details