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Course Expectations and Overview for

Project Lead The Way

Gateway to Technology 

7th and 8th Grade


PLEASE READ the following.  You will have to scroll to the end of the page.


~~You are responsible for the information in this letter for the duration of the course.~~


Purpose of this course:


  • To give students a beginning knowledge of pre-engineering skills and the engineering design process

  • To develop scientific reasoning, inquiry, and realistic problem-solving skills

  • To promote communication by requiring individual students to take part in the learning process, and

  • To continue to develop personal responsibility as a student.


The PLTW Method (from



Historically, science and math have been taught in isolation. The project-based aspects of the Project Lead The Way curriculum give students a chance to apply what they know, identify a problem, find unique solutions, and lead their learning, rather than be passive recipients of information in a question-and-answer, right-or-wrong learning environment. When students understand how their education is relevant to their lives and future careers, they get excited, and that is why PLTW students are successful.


 We develop all PLTW programs using the following approach and guiding tenets:

  • Collaboration: We seek ongoing input and feedback from students, teachers, administrators, and subject matter experts. Our work is also informed by current research and experts in academics and industry.

  • Research/Evidence-Based: We follow Wiggins and McTighe’s approach, Understanding by Design® to develop a cohesive and coherent instructional path for students.

  • Problem-Based: We design activity-, project-, problem-based experiences to prepare students to solve problems. This approach creates scaffolding for student learning and provides the rigor and relevance that engages and empowers our students.


PLTW courses are aligned with Common Core State Standards in math and English Language Arts, Next Generation Science Standards, and other national and state standards. Yet, our programs are flexible and customizable so that schools can meet their local curricular and community needs. Courses are designed to complement math and science courses offered by a school and in some instances are used as the core curriculum.


Grading Policy and Extra Credit

All grading in PLTW Gateway will be based on a point system.  Extra credit projects are offered at the discretion of the teacher. Extra credit projects or assignments will not be offered to students who are missing assignments.


Homework will be posted on OnCourse and in class every day.


Working in the Gateway Workshop

Safety procedures should be followed at all times.


  • Gateway to Technology (GTT) is a hands-on, minds-on experience.
  • Each person is responsible for having his/her own data and completing his/her own activities, projects, and problems.
  • Photocopied data is never acceptable.
  • Assignments should represent your best thinking as well as your best writing.
  • Correct spelling and use of grammar will be expected.
  • You and your partner(s) will complete most projects and problems as a team.  
  • Each of you will be responsible for maintaining an independent engineering notebook to be periodically graded.
  • Most projects will require detailed, labeled sketches.   If you are unable to type an assignment, project, or problem, you will neatly handwrite on looseleaf paper.  Illegible assignments will not be accepted.  Please use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Tahoma, or Arial.  Use no larger than a 12 font or smaller than a 10 font.
  • Points will be deducted (10% per day up to 2 days; later than that a zero will be issued) for ANY work handed in late.
  • You must check OnCourse for missing assignments. You may not receive reminders from the teacher.
  • Late assignments will be penalized 10% per day.  Email your teacher if you are submitting an assignment late into OnCourse.   
  • Late work is not accepted the last week of the marking period.  
  • Assignments 5 points or less are not accepted late.  The grade will be zero.  
  • DO YOUR BEST ON ALL ASSIGNMENTS.  Assignments will be graded once they are submitted.  Assignments will not be re-graded.  


Collaborative Partners


  • Activities, projects, and problems will be completed by groups of students unless otherwise directed. Partners and teams will be changed throughout the year and will be assigned by the teacher.
  • It is expected that you will work cooperatively and fairly with these people. This group of peers can and should be an essential resource for you. Your peers will be the people you “go-to” when looking for information missed during an absence.  A good working relationship with your peers should be developed.



Expectations will be reviewed in class, but you are responsible for reading these expectations completely!


What you can expect from me:

Equal respect for all students, to be prepared, and to demonstrate fair grading practices.


What is expected of you?

 Your class will contribute and create team norms early in the course.  It is also expected that you follow all school rules and policies.  



  • Arrive to class on time.  Class times are posted in your assignment book.  If you arrive late, your attendance on OnCourse will be reflected as ‘tardy.'  
  • Unacceptable behavior:  Consequences for unacceptable behavior proceed in the following manner:  in-class visual or verbal reminder, phone call home to parents.  Hopefully, there will not be a need for an office referral.    



You are responsible for completing your own work.  

1. Homework: 

  • Homework submitted via OnCourse.  Due dates and times are always posted.  It is the responsibility of the students to double-check due dates!.  Homework that is physically collected in class is due during the designated class period.  CHECK ONCOURSE FOR DUE DATES AND TIMES.
  • Do not mark assignments in OnCourse as "Done" until you have completed the assignment.  
  • It is important that you complete your homework thoroughly and thoughtfully.  
  • Most homework will not be collected, but all will be checked for completeness and reviewed in class.
  • Quizzes may follow homework assignments.  
  • If you have not completed your homework, you may not be able to participate in activities that accompany homework assignments.  
  • Try your best to complete your homework.  Ask your teacher or another student if you need help understanding a problem. Don’t just ask for an answer.  You may help your classmates with homework as well.  Helping a classmate is not just giving them an answer.
  • Homework assignments that are collected and graded that are turned in late will be deducted 10% per day up to 2 days on lengthier assignments and 50% on other assignments.


Homework will be posted on OnCourse.  Please do not rely on teachers to be able to reply to your questions regarding homework via email after school hours though I will make an effort to reply when I can.  Don’t forget the mantra: ASK THREE BEFORE ME!


  • You must check OnCourse for missing assignments. You may not receive reminders from the teacher.
  • Late assignments will be rejected in OnCourse.  You will print out and hand in late assignments to the teacher for late credit. 
  • Late work is not accepted the last week of the marking period.  
  • Assignments 5 points or less are not accepted late.  The grade will be zero.  



2. Getting Help:   Please ask for a FLEX period pass BEFORE FLEX.  If you are having difficulty, please, please, please ask for assistance!!!!  Feel free to email me! 


3. Missing Class:

  • If you miss class due to an excused absence (illness):  If you’re feeling up to it, check OnCourse and “ask three before me.” If you are absent on the day of a quiz, test, or other major assignments due date, you will be expected to take the test or quiz on the day you return, and any major assignment will be due upon your return to class.  If you have had an extended absence due to illness, you will see me to set up an appointment to discuss an appropriate timeline for making up your work.  


  • If you miss a class due to an instrumental or choral lesson/rehearsal, Senior Citizen’s Lunch, Peer Leaders, or any other extra-curricular activity or trips:  See OnCourse and “ask three before me”  for notes.  I would strongly recommend re-scheduling an instrumental or choral lesson if it falls on the period of a test or lab.  Assignments are due the day they are due, regardless of lesson or rehearsal schedules.  Please hand in any homework assignments that are due that day during homeroom (I am in Room A-204 for homeroom).  You will also pick up any homework for that day during FLEX.  If homework or any other assignment that was due the period of your lesson is received after a lesson, it will be considered late, and a point deduction will be taken from the assignment. I will do my best to work with you, but ultimately you are responsible for class/homework you miss due to lessons, extra-curricular activities, and trips.


  • Never hand in any assignments to a substitute teacher or place anything on a teacher’s desk. Ever.  Please write the date you are turning in the assignment and place in the teacher's mailbox in the main office.  



  • Check your OnCourse and your school email on a regular basis.  

  • Eating and drinking are NOT allowed during class EVER!

  • Absolutely NO GUM.

  • NO USING ELECTRONIC DEVICES, unless required for the class.


We do not allow cell phone usage during the school day in classrooms nor the cafeteria.  Students are on a three-strike system:


  1. First violation--issue warning and ask students to turn it off and to put it away.

  2. Second violation--ask for the cell phone and give it to the main office secretary. The cell phone will be returned at the end of the day.  Follow up with a write-up in OnCourse.

  3. Third violation--ask for the cell phone and give it to the main office secretary. A parent will have to pick up the phone.  Follow up with a write-up in OnCourse.


And finally…


Character and Academic Honesty: It is expected by all of your teachers at Timberlane that the work you turn in for credit is entirely your own.  Cheating, copying, or plagiarism is not acceptable under any circumstances. The following actions are considered cheating:  Copying other students' work or allowing your own work to be copied, cutting and pasting from the Internet or another source, using unauthorized notes or sources when taking tests or quizzes, and stealing or otherwise obtaining quiz/test materials before quizzes/tests.


Please refer to Board Policy 5701.



~~You are responsible for the information in this letter for the duration of the course.~~