Mrs. Virginia Parra



    Human beings are meaning makers. We constantly try to find the meaning and make sense of the world around us. History offers a tool that can be used to better understand and improve the world in which we live. Think of history as a story, an amazing story of heroes, villains, and role-models. It tells the story of overcoming challenges and obstacles, and can inspire us to do better and be more than we could imagine. Additionally, history teaches lessons that can be used to improve the lives of all. However, the first step consists of learning our shared history, the history which binds us together and shapes our nation. This will be your job this year and my privilege to serve as your guide. Let the adventure begin!


    My best advice to students is to keep up with your assignments.

    • The greatest learning tool ever invented is the notebook. When your mind is full and weary, you can always go to your notes in your binder. I expect you to keep the U.S. History section of your binder organized and neat. Your notes will indicate what you are expected to know and master. Study your notes in preparation for quizzes and tests. Keep up with reading and practice assignments to master the content.
    • Use my website through the Osceola website. My website will contain many tools to help students be successful: essential questions, summaries of daily topics, reading assignments, homework directions and rubrics, study guides, as well as educational links to other websites. Please form the habit of viewing my website on Monday as a heads up on the week’s schedule.


    Grading structure:

    • Homework                                                                                                      10%

    The majority of homework consists of reading the textbook.  Nonfiction reading requires students to think while they read.  Make sure you check your comprehension by asking why an event happened and be sure you can explain causes and effects! The goal is not to read quickly, but to understand and remember what you read.  You will notice a huge emphasis this year on close reading of complex text. The goal is to challenge you to read and reread complex text to promote increased comprehension and deeper analysis of the text. Persevere! Florida Standards focuses on academic progress and better preparing students for college and career!

    • Class work, Quizzes (review of notes & textbook reading) & DBQs             40%

    Class work reviews important concepts and skills as well as assists students with organizing concepts so that they can better understand how the concepts are related and connected. Use the Essential Questions to help you focus on key concepts and ideas. Keeping good notes is the key to being academically successful. Students are therefore expected to make-up missing notes when absent by asking me or another student so that they can make a copy. A quiz serves as an opportunity for the student to reinforce concepts and to determine content mastery. If you miss something on a quiz, you need to go back to the textbook or your notes to review the information. Some quizzes will be posted ahead of time but students should expect pop quizzes as well.

    • Tests/Performance Assessments                                                                   50%

     Tests and performance assessments are cumulative in nature. That means that students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of content by their ability to analyze and synthesize information. In other words students should be able to explain how and why our nation has remained flexible enough to meet and overcome new challenges and obstacles over time. Furthermore, I encourage students to explore how past events continue to impact our lives today. I want students not only to demonstrate mastery of content but to make meaningful sense of U.S. History and their role as citizens in shaping our future Therefore, students will be given an extend period of time, usually including a weekend, in which to investigate, create, and design a “finished” product representing their best effort. Rubrics will be available to guide the students through the process.

    • Posted Grades: District required writing assessments such as DBQs and essays require time to grade and provide feedback. Please expect two weeks before grades are posted. Otherwise, grades are usually posted within a week. The grade portal is another means for students and parents to monitor mastery of content and progress. It can also serve as a flag for missing work.


    Missing Work Due to AbsencesOsceola allows students 2 days for each absence to make up missed work including missed tests. Missing Tests, Quizzes, Classwork and Homework due to absences will receive a zero grade, until made up, with a footnote of “Missing.”  IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT to utilize either my website, ask a reliable student, email me to keep up with assignments and make arrangements to take missed tests or quizzes.  Preferable makeup times are after school in order to avoid further out-of-classroom time.  I expect you to take responsibility for your education and to make up all assessments and assignments.


    Osceola takes plagiarism seriously. Plagiarism (i.e. failure to write information or ideas in your own words, copying another student’s work, allowing another student to copy your work, etc.) is cheating and dishonorable. I want to know what you think and how you respond to a question; do not pirate someone else’s words or ideas. The minimum consequences include a discipline referral and an automatic zero grade.


    This is 8th grade and by this time you know the basic rules. I want you to be successful and I expect you to take an active role in this process by taking responsibility for your education. Students are here to learn and that happens in an environment where everyone commits to creating a cooperative, caring classroom. I neither appreciate nor tolerate those who consistently disrupt the educational process and opportunity for others to learn. I don’t expect anyone to be perfect, but I expect you to take responsibility for your choices and actions. I am here to help you be successful and am willing to work with you and provide whatever assistance I can. All I ask is that if you make a mistake, make an honest effort to correct the situation.


    Classroom rules:

    • Be a positive role model (know that you can be successful)
    • Be responsible (this is your education – make the most of it!)
    • Be respectful ( of yourself, to others, and the property of others)
    • Be prepared (on time and with necessary supplies)



    Note to Parents:


                I look forward to working with you and your student to experience an exceptional school year.  Please feel free to contact me with your concerns or any questions that you may have at any time during my planning period of 2:05– 3:00 P.M. You may contact me by phone or email.


                                                                Yours truly,



                                                                Virginia Parra



                I have read and understand what is expected for a successful year in Mrs. Parra’s U.S. Historyclass.





                I have read the attached syllabus for 8th grade U.S. History.