CHS Course Options that You May Not Have Heard Of: Social Studies

CHS Course Options that You May Not Have Heard Of: Social Studies

CHS registration for the 2022-2023 school year is fast approaching, leading students to make difficult choices regarding how they will spend their days at school. Students are constantly told about rigorous courses, mainly centered on core subjects like English, mathematics, science and social studies, and often miss out of some of the less known and more interesting classes that are offered.  

CHS has many great, but often unexplored, courses to offer, many of which have increased in class size since their inception. Some of these courses, listed below, are great opportunities to gain new perspectives on society, the country, or the globe.  


Sports and Society  

Sports and Society is a course that studies the influence of sports on global society. This class dives deep into the issues of race, class, education, coaching, and gender within the multi-billion-dollar professional sports industry. Students taking this course explore how these aspects have affected, and have been affected by, sports on both large and small scales. Aspects of sociology, psychology, and history are included, as well as in-depth studies using guest speakers, videos, and articles. This is a half-year course offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  

“The best thing about this class is that we can discuss current topics with the sports world,” said Ms. Deanna Cwalina, who teaches this course. “I think that can open their eyes to so many issues within the sports world.  We talked about cheating scandals, violence, drug addiction, gender and racial justice, and so many more issues. We take a much deeper look at sports athletes and stars to uncover the more complex issues with the sports world.”  

African American Studies 

African American Studies is a class that explores the causes, character, consequences, and influences on the African American experience in the United States, and the world. This class provides an overview of these experiences, beginning with a historical understanding, and moving on to geographical, social, political, cultural, and economic perspective of the African continent, as well as in other countries on the globe.  

2022 is the first year that this class has run, for one period of the day during the second semester. This is a half-year course open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. As important as it is, history specific to the African American perspective is often glossed over, or not covered in history textbooks. This course takes the time to investigate and discover important people and events, and their impacts that are often overlooked. 

“Many times, African American history is glossed over and not included in other history classes.  Taking this class allows students to learn about Black people in society allows them to gain an understanding of their experience,” said Cwalina, who also teaches this course. “Hopefully, the result is empathy and understanding of what minorities have experienced.” 

AP Human Geography 

Advanced Placement Human Geography is a class that explores how humans use and change the surface of the earth over time. Students use data and geographic analysis to learn more about migration, culture, agriculture, and urban development. Human Geography has the opportunity to discover new cultures and places around the world in order to develop skills to be an educated global citizen. This includes a balance of notes and hands-on activities, as well as skill application and occasional field trips (when applicable). 

This class is well suited for first-time AP students, especially if there is an interest in social studies. There is a high pass rate on the AP exam but does not have an overwhelming workload to accompany it. This class is offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and can pair great with AP World, AP European History and Environmental Science. The information provided on this course is unique and will give an insight into the world from a new perspective. 

“Human Geography challenges the students to look past their life in Calvert County,” said the teacher of the course, Ms. Erin Wilkenson. “We explore how where you are from, or the culture you are born in helps shape who you become as a person. Much of that development includes many aspects of geography.” 


There are many course options for underclassmen who are selecting classes to fill their schedules, some of which are intended to be interesting and more focused to students’ interests. As students are filling out their registration forms, they should consider taking new classes that interest them or could introduce a new perspective. All course descriptions are listed in the course booklet that was distributed during the first high school registration and see guidance with any further questions.