Responsibility and Participation:

Science and learning are very active; therefore, participation is extremely important for success. Students are expected to be responsible and participate positively in all classroom activities, discussions, labs, work time and lectures. This means staying on task, following directions, respecting and working cooperatively with others and actively seeking additional help as needed. Actively participating in class has the added benefit of reducing the amount of homework a student would need to complete. Active participation is imperative for our class community; therefore, engaging in activities that detract from this process, including, but not limited to, doing work for other classes, using cell phones/iPods/other electronic media, engaging in non-class related internet activities, deliberately distracting others from the course goal, etc., will not be tolerated.

Formative Course Work:

Formative work and effort on assignments are essential for success. Class work, homework, lab questions, and readings are used to reinforce what has been taught in class. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Any assignment that is electronic in nature will be embargoed the day the teacher indicates it is due. When an assignment is embargoed online, it means the student can no longer go into the assignment and it will be graded at the level of completion the student achieved by the due date. Selected answer keys are available in the room (7:30 am – 4:00pm).

Summative Course Work:

Students will demonstrate their level of understanding of the material through a combination of process inquiry activities, long-term projects and unit exams. Some class time will be provided to complete this work, but students must also be prepared to complete portions outside of class time. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on their due date. Projects submitted after the due date will be accepted and scored, however, the recorded score will be the minimum score for that grade range. For example, if the late work earned a B+, it will be marked as a B-.

Minimal Proficiency of Unit Exams:

Unit exams are not designed to solely measure a student’s ability to restate facts, but rather are designed for students to consider connections among concepts and engage in problem solving. Students who score below 60% on any exam will have to go through the reassessment procedure listed below. Each exam has one retake opportunity.

Reassessment procedure:

Summative Exams:

Students who fail to demonstrate minimal proficiency on their first attempt (or any student who wishes to attempt to raise their score) will follow the reassessment procedure outlined in class.

For students who completed the formative (daily) work on time (provided that a good faith effort was evident on those items), the most recent exam score will be the score recorded: a higher score on the reassessment will result in the higher score being recorded; a lower score on the reassessment will result in the lower score being recorded.

For students who did not complete all formative (daily) work on time, had missing formative work, or did not complete using good faith effort, the maximum score that can be earned on the retake is 75%.

Minimal Proficiency of Summative Projects and Inquiry Activities:

Due to the nature of projects and inquiry work, students will NOT be allowed to retake these assessments.

Behavioral Expectations & Attendance:

The format of this course requires that all students are engaged and focused in class. This means that all students are in attendance, are prompt, and participate in the daily learning environment, including their role as presenters and collaborators. Such participation allows me to check often for individual understanding of concepts.

Classroom discourse allows the class to negotiate the meaning of science concepts and to understand the concepts being learned. Everyone is learning from everyone else. My role as teacher is to facilitate and steer discussions in such a way that students can make valid judgments of the science concepts we study and to bring closure to discussions as needed.

District policy dictates that we will be assessing students' learning skills in the following areas:

    • timely and consistent homework completion,
    • cooperation with students and staff, and
    • active engagement in classroom learning.

Learning skills grades and Responsibility Pass ratings will be based on these areas as dictated by district and school policy.