• The Social Studies department of James S. Rickards High School offers a wide scope of learning opportunities to enable students to develop both academically and as knowlegable and participating citizens. World History, US History, US Government and Economics are required subjects, while African American History, Psychology, Human Geography, Philosophy and European History are offered as academic electives. 

    Additionally, we offer Advanced Placement, Pre-IB (International Baccalaureate) and IB History programs to further enhance student development. Our SS courses are all designed with strong reading, analysis, and writing components. We also offer extra-curricular opportunities through our Historical Society, African American History Brain Bowl, Model United Nations, Kids Voting, book clubs, and various field trips to explore our local government functions. 



    All AP and US government students took their literacy exam on Tuesday of this week. In IB Psychology, students took on the role of the CDC and used their knowledge of neuroscience to examine how a fake virus was influencing the brain to create a fake zombie apocalypse. After their investigation they provided a press briefing to their fellow classmates about the fake virus. International relations students are investigating migration patterns around the world by researching net migration in specific countries across various regions of the world. AP US History classes are concluding Periods 1 and 2 which consist of Chapters 1-6 a time frame from 33,000 B.C.E.-1783 C.E. This week they are finishing their focus on The American Revolution and Confederation, 1774-1787 and  leading into Period 3 The Constitution and The New Republic, 1787-1800.

    Black History Brain Bowl

    If you are interested in Black History Brain Bowl, please see co-sponsors Mr. or Dr. Thompson -


    As we begin the second quarter, our AP Human Geography class has been learning about how all sorts of factors like sanitation, food stability, and access to education for girls affect demographic statistics. First-year IB Social and Cultural Anthropology recently finished the chapter on Japanese preschools in our first ethnography, and really enjoyed getting to understand the Japanese idea of groupism, which does not require that you necessarily all work on the same task, but rather that you form smaller groups in proximity with one another, and can fluidly move from group to group. In second-year IB Social and Cultural Anthropology, everyone has now presented their Internal Assessment (IA) Research Proposal to the class. With the wonderful feedback each presenter gathered from their peers, our seniors will soon be refining their research plans and then conducting their fieldwork by the end of December before writing up their own ethnographic report as part of their overall score for this course. In IB Theory of Knowledge 1, we successfully wrapped up our first, college-level, practice research-paper, and using what we learned from that experience, we have already dived into our second paper with more confidence and know-how.


    This week has been a great week in the social studies department! IB Contemporary History is learning about the time period immediately after World War I, International Relations is learning about and simulating international voluntary trade, and the Economics classes are learning about credit and how it will impact their financial success.


    Social studies classes are covering a wide variety of topics this week! AP US History classes are covering 33,000 B.C.E – 1763 and focusing on American life in the 17th century. African American History classes are talking about the Jim Crow Era, the Progressive Movement, African Americans move west and black achievements after reconstruction. US Government classes are focused on the structure and principles of the constitution, the three branches of governments, amendments and the state constitutions and local charters. Additionally, economics classes are talking about financial institutions and business organizations and your money, as well as personal money decisions.

    9/19 - 23/22

    We enjoyed meeting all of our families at open house on Monday evening! We had some social studies teachers out sick, so if you were not able to meet your teacher please reach out to them via email. This week we continued to work our way through our curriculums. AP U.S. History courses and IB Psychology courses continue to work on writing essays every week to refine their skills and our World History classes have been learning about feudal Japan .


    The social studies department is continuing through our curriculum. Our Honors American History classes are discussing the Latinos and Asians that were affected by the Civil War, Theory of Knowledge seniors are discussing censorship, World History classes are taking their first unit test and International Relations has been learning why the United Nations exists!   All of our social studies courses are engaging in meaningful discussion about the past and the present. 


    This week we have administered benchmark pretests for our subject areas so we can cater our lessons to our students' needs.  During this first full week of school students have already begun learning about a variety of things including the Roman Empire, psychological research methods, and the founding of the New World!