Social Studies

For Updated Class Descriptions, please visit the SHS Guidance page here

"Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft"
                                                                     - Winston Churchill

Our department staff members include:
Mr. Abe                      Mrs. Chen (Dept Chair)             Mrs. Daly 
Mr. Davey Mr. Dwyer                                       Mr. Ellis       
Mrs. Morelle               Mr. Torrens                                 Mr. Sheehy 
Ms. Hesselgrave   

Welcome to the Saratoga Social Studies Webpage! Our department is filled with experienced, dynamic, and caring teachers. We are able to connect with every grade level at Saratoga High School.

Our current course offerings include:
9th: World Geography
10th: World History
11th: US/APUS History
12th: Economics/American Government (AP)
History Through Film
AP European History

In the past we have offered Modern European History and 1968: Year of Revolution Year of Change.  We have also developed two new electives: Modern Asian History and the Cold War.  With enough sign-ups we would offer any of these courses again.

Our department offers challenging outside activities such as: speaker series, History Day, and the MAP program for World and US/APUS History and American Government and Economics as well as local history walking tours and field trips.

  1. The Concord Review is the only quarterly journal that publishes research papers for secondary students.  
  2. Cash prizes for research papers from The Churchill Center.  
  3. Phi Alpha Theta is the National History Honor Society.  They offer several scholarships and prizes for undergraduates in college but some allow high school papers.

  1. College of William and Mary Early American History Program (NIAHD)  Attend one of two classes for three weeks (American History from Jamestown through the American Revolution or American History from the American Revolution through the Civil War.)  Email [email protected]  Application deadline is mid April or visit the website.
  2. My Vote Our Future Campaign is a voter outreach sponsored by De Anza College for immigrant groups in Santa Clara County.  Email [email protected] or Nadine at [email protected]
  3. Georgetown University summer programs in history and other subjects.  Deadline is mid-April

  1. Louise Cooper Memorial Award.  The Saratoga History Museum will award a $250 prize to a high school student with an outstanding history project that focuses on Saratoga history.  The student does not need to be a resident of Saratoga to participate.  Deadline is in May.  See the Saratoga History website for information.
  2. California Pioneers of Silicon Valley Essay will award $250 prize to "a high school student with any person, place, or event concerning Santa Clara County from its beginning to the recent past."  Essay needs to be from 3,000 to 10,000 words.  See the California Pioneers Silicon Valley website for information.
  3. Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley Essay Contest.  Topic is "a principle underlying the US Constitution that made this country great."  Two $1000 prizes.  Open to all students in Santa Clara County.  1000 word limit.  questions email [email protected]  No website.
  4. The Quill and Compass Scholarship is a significant scholarship for students attending a college in Maryland or Virginia. 


  1. Common Core Overview from the California State Department of Education.  With links and FAQ.
  2. Common Core Outline for 9-10 classes
  3. Common Core Outline for 11-12 classes