Our understandings of ourselves, of who we are as a community and as a nation in the world, are all dependent on our greater understanding of the historical forces of which we are a part. As William Faulkner said, “The past is not dead. It is not even past.” Martin Luther King added that “the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.” History offers the context for that thinking, as well as a relevant framework within which to build the world of the new century. The purpose of the history classes is to provide a solid base of knowledge upon which students may begin their explorations of their world. The essential question each student must ask is how he or she can best take part in the world community.
South Hadley High School requires that each student must take three years of History and Social Sciences courses and must pass a United States History course. Students must have the previous teacher’s recommendation before taking accelerated courses. Students electing Advanced Placement courses must have performed at least B work in the accelerated level United States History course and have the approval of the teacher. All students taking Advanced Placement courses are expected to take the Advanced Placement test. Students must take at least one elective in their junior or senior year to meet graduation requirements.