High School Electives

High School Electives

At the high school level, the Social Studies department offers many elective courses to capture the interests of our students. Below is a list and description of our High School electives.

AP Psychology

This one year course covers the behavior and mental processes of human beings. Students will study the following topics: neuroscience and biology, personality and psychological disorders. Research will be a very important component of this class and students will learn how psychologists use the scientific method to study behavior and mental processes. Acceptance in this course is based on several criteria: academic achievement and a strong work ethic which includes an 85 average or above in social studies honor classes or a 93 average or above in regular social studies classes. In addition, teacher recommendation is very important. Students are expected to register for and take the AP exam in May. Enrollment is open to 10-12th grade students.

New York State of Mind

We have lived all our lives on Long Island and yet we know little about the place we call home. Why for example does the north shore look different from the south shore? Do Native Americans still live on Long Island? Did you know that George Washington fought the British on Long Island? Why is Mitchell Field considered an important landmark for aviation? How has Hicksville changed in the last 100 years? If you want to know the answers to these questions and many more then take New York State of Mind social studies elective. Enrollment: 9-12th students.

Youth & the Law

Do your rights end at the schoolhouse door? Why do teens join gangs? Should minors be considered for the death penalty? MDMA,PCP,THC- What do these mean to you? If you want to know the answers to these questions then Youth & the Law is the right social studies elective for you! You will learn about gangs, students' rights, different and dangerous drugs, drug laws and many other issues that affect teens today. Enrollment:10-12th students.


Psychology helps us to understand why we do the things we do. Have you even wondered about the meaning of your dreams? Are those strangers in your dreams really strangers? Why are anxiety and depression the most common mental issues? What are you most afraid of and why? How come men and women have trouble communicating? Explore the answers to these questions and many more. Learn about gender differences, consciousness, personality theories and behavior disorders. Take psychology and learn about yourself. Enrollment: 10-12th students.

Roots of Oppression

This course is designed to introduce students to various forms of oppression and assist them in discovering their ability to create positive change in their own world. Students will critically analyze various social movements related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Students will also explore and discuss how these concepts influence human understanding, relationships, and behavior for centuries. This course will encourage students to think critically and expansively about the social world and the conditions of humanity. This course will provide a foundation for students to explore social justice concepts, issues, and remedies, thereby developing the necessary analytical tools and information to see inequality and injustice and address historical and contemporary issues relevant to students’ present day lives

Historical Research

Would you like to participate in National History Day? Do you enjoy writing about various topics in history, psychology, economics and politics? Are you self-motivated? This class is for you. With guidance from your teacher, you will participate in many different contest opportunities. You can work alone or in groups and pursue the many topics that interests you. Enrollment:9-12th students

Criminal Law

This is a course for students interested in learning about the American judicial system. Crime, police work, trial proceedings and penalties are investigated. Students conduct debates and hear presentations by criminal law experts. Current controversial issues are investigated and a field trip to a Suffolk County jail is scheduled each term.

International Law

Are you interested in world politics and debating issues such as the war on terrorism and improving human rights? Then this elective is for you. You will learn about the birth of the United Nations and debate issues heard by the International Court of Justice. You will also be represent the interest of a particular country to participate in a mock United Nations. The class will help you to understand the world from the many different perspectives of world citizens. Enrollment: 11th-12th grade students.

Lessons for Life: Moral Dilemmas at the Movies

Have you ever watched a movie and been moved by the experience? Movies have the power to transport us to a different place and time. Movies can help us understand or confront our own ideas and beliefs. In the movie, Remember the Titans, viewers feel the tension between black and white players on the team, as well as between black and white members of the coaching staff. In the case of the Titans, can differences be put aside and friendships forged? How would you react in a similar situation? In this class, students will explore these and other moral dilemmas or choices that test their values. Remember the Titans, Apollo 13, Fat Man and Little Boy, and Mr. Holland’s Opus are just a few of the films that show characters facing moral choices.  This class is open to 9th - 12th grade students.