Physical Science Syllabus

Physical Science

Mrs. Fidler’s, Mrs. Keskitalo’s, and Mrs. Butterfield’s Class Expectations



Course Description:  A study of the essential concepts of chemistry and physics. This course is an introduction to chemistry and physics and will provide the background for other science courses students will take.


Classroom Rules:  The following rules and procedures are in cooperation and in addition to the rules and procedures already in place by the school.

  1. Respect others and property at all times
  2. Do your own work
  3. Be responsible, prepared, and ready to work


Textbook:  Each student will be provided with a copy of the textbook for this course within the first week of school.  Textbooks are becoming increasingly more expensive and we are only able to replace them every 11-13 years.  We need to insure that students are taking proper care of their textbooks.  The science department is therefore requiring that students use a book cover on their textbooks.  A brown paper grocery bag works well.  Students are not to use their textbook to hold papers.


Students will also be responsible for noting any damage to their assigned textbook when it was assigned.  At the end of the course, the student will be responsible for any charges as a result of additional damages that have occurred and were not specifically noted at the beginning of the course.  If a student damages his/her textbook, the following charges will be assessed when the book is turned in:

  • A rebind fee (minimum $8) will be assessed for excessive damage to the cover – front or back cover torn, ripped spine, etc.
  • A fee of 10-20% of the cost of the book will be assessed if there is unwarranted damage to the interior of the book, but it is still useable – writing on pages, spills are evident, torn pages, etc.
  • The replacement cost of the book ($82.35) will be assessed if the student turns in a book with such severe damage that it cannot be reissued (or a student does not return his/her textbook).  (This includes water/liquid damage that has resulted in the growth of mold on the pages, tears or writing on the pages that obliterates text, etc.)


Grading:  All of your grades in this class will be worth a specific amount of points, which will vary depending on the assignment, quiz, test, etc.  Grades will be determined using the following grading scale:

93 to 100%  -  A               87 to 89% -  B+             77 to 79% -  C+             67 to 69% -  D+

90 to 92%    -  A-              83 to 86% -  B               73 to 76% -  C               63 to 66% -  D

                                       80 to 82% -  B-              70 to 72% -  C-              60 to 62% -  D-


Final Trimester grades will be determined using the following percentages:

Classwork Trimester Grade                     -           80%

Exam/Common Assessment Grade                       -           20%


Grades will be calculated using the following weighted scale:

Assignments and Daily Work                   20%    

Tests/Projects/Essays                             35%    

Labs/Activities                                       25%

Quizzes                                                 20%                            


Grades will be updated regularly.  If you have any questions or notice any discrepancies, please notify your teacher immediately.  Parents who do not have access to the internet may request paper copies of progress reports from the teacher.


Attendance and Tardies:  When you are absent, it is your responsibility to get the work you missed and turn in any missed assignments.  I will not always be able to remind you of the work.  Students that are absent will NOT be given an unlimited amount of time to make up missed work – it must be turned in within a reasonable amount of time given the number of days absent.  For example, a student that misses one day will have one day to turn in work missed from the day absent.  All work assigned prior to the absence will be due the day the student returns to class.  When a student misses a test or quiz due to an absence, it is expected that that will be made up on the student’s own time (before school, after school, etc.).  There will be an absent-work notebook where all students will be able to check for work they have missed and pick up any handouts they have not received. 


If a student misses a test due to an absence, they will be required to take the test in class the following day, except under circumstances of an extended absence.


Teachers can be available for help outside the classroom when needed (for absences or otherwise) before and/or after school.  Please be sure to check with your teacher first to make sure she doesn’t have another obligation.


Attendance will be taken using a seating chart.  If a student is not in his/her assigned seat when attendance is taken, they risk being marked absent or tardy.  When the bell rings, all students are expected to be in their assigned seats and working or ready to work.  The school attendance policy will be enforced.


Notebooks:  All students will be required to keep a folder or binder to keep organized.  ALL work completed for class is to be kept in your folder.  All work should be kept in chronological order and organized.  The first item in your binder should always be these class expectations in the event you need to access them later.  You should always bring your binder to class with you, along with your textbook, lined paper, and a pencil or pen.  Notebooks may be checked randomly and on some quizzes, students may be allowed to use their notebooks. 


Calculators: In this class, we will be doing a variety of math calculations.  Students are allowed to use a calculator to do these problems, but one will not be provided for them.  The math in these problems CAN be done by hand as they will include nothing more complicated than multiplication and division, but many students will find the use of a calculator more efficient and accurate.  An inexpensive calculator with the basic functions will be more than sufficient.  Students will not be allowed to use cell phones and mp3 devices for calculators, and they will not be allowed to share calculators with a classmate on tests or quizzes.  If a student has a calculator and wants to use it in class, they should bring it on a daily basis.


Assignments/Homework:  Homework and Assignments will be an important component of this course.  Work will be assigned for a specific due date.  Unless otherwise told, it should be assumed that the work is due at the beginning of the next class period. 


When assignments are not completed on time, there will be consequences.  Students will be given warnings for the first two missing assignments.  Once a student has three missing assignments and greater, the teacher will contact parents, assign detention(s), and/or refer the student to the administration.  Students in detention for this reason are expected to complete missing work.


Many assignments will be graded on a credit/no credit effort-only basis.  Students can earn points based on effort of what is completed when due, and they are responsible for correcting their mistakes in class.  Students will receive full credit for a completed assignment where reasonable best effort is displayed. 


Tests and Quizzes:  All tests will be announced and some sort of review will be given.  Quizzes may be announced or unannounced.  Some quizzes will be Notebook Quizzes in which students will be allowed to use their notebook to complete the quiz. 


Safety:              Safety is always important in a science class.  Food and drinks are not allowed in the classroom (other than water).  Safety procedures and rules MUST be followed.  Anyone who does not follow safe practices (including messing around in the lab) will not be allowed to participate in the current activity and possibly further consequence.


Discipline:  When rules and procedures are not adhered to consequences will follow.  The following is the discipline policy for this class and may be adjusted depending on circumstances. 

1st offense:        Verbal Warning

2nd offense:        Teacher/Student Conference

3rd offense:        30 minute classroom detention before or after school and/or contact parent/guardian

4th offense:        Referral to Administration


When the teacher cannot be in the classroom, it is expected that students will behave appropriately.  If a substitute is in the classroom and leaves a poor report regarding specific students, a minimum of a half-hour classroom detention will be assigned.


Retake Policy: Students will have the opportunity on some assessments to retake the assessment.  Students will have the opportunity to retake most quizzes.  Retakes must be completed outside of class time, and students will not be allowed to use notes on retakes.  The grade on the retake will replace the grade of the original assignment in the gradebook.  Students will be allowed to do test corrections in class for most tests in order to earn back partial credit on that test, therefore most tests will not have the opportunity for retakes.


Other Procedures:  Students will be allowed to use the restroom/drinking fountain and/or go to their locker only twice during the trimester for this class.  Students will have to sign out and sign in each time they leave the room.  Students should be aware that they will only be allowed to leave the room twice, so they should reserve these privileges for emergencies only.  Students should ask to use passes at appropriate times.


Cheating will NOT be tolerated.  Any student who is caught cheating will be given a zero for that work and will not be allowed to make up the work on which he/she was caught cheating.  Any student who is caught with another student's work in this class or in any other teachers' classroom will receive a zero for that work.  The other student will also be given a zero for that work. Allowing someone else to copy your work is the same as cheating.