Syllabus for Honors and Academic Chemistry
Ms. Maria Fotakis
Ms. Shobha Puri
Mrs. AnnMarie Moraca
Ms. Felicitas Ross
Room 133, 105, 104
Mr. Bradley Bailey
Mr. Joe Kuppler
Ms. Melanie Springer
Mr. Alex Skalski
Room 422, 421
Welcome to Chemistry! This year you will be learning about matter and energy and the way in which matter undergoes changes using energy.
Chemistry will use inquiry methods and Socratic questioning, small group discussion, and modeling to enhance student achievement in science. Students will learn materials, chemical reactions, thermodynamics and mathematical and analytical techniques. The honors and academic chemistry courses are similar in content, however the honors courses will be more rigorous and move at a more rapid pace than the academic classes. Students who complete chemistry will be prepared to take honors or academic biology, AP chemistry or AP physics in the following year as deemed appropriate by their performance.
Topics include, but are not limited to: structure of the atom, periodic trends, reactivity, chemical equations, stoichiometry, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, chemistry of life, nuclear chemistry, and chemistry of sustainability.
You will be expected to adhere to all rules stated in the Kingsway Student Handbook (available on the Kingsway website). In addition, please keep these expectations in mind:
- Come to class prepared to learn. Remember a notebook, notes, a pen/pencil, your calculator and all work. You will not be permitted to go back to your locker to get items you forgot.
- Treat all students with the same (if not more) respect than you expect for yourself. Insults and disparaging language will never be tolerated.
60% Formative Assessments: Formative assessments are meant to gauge student progress. The intent is that we learn from these assessments and adjust or re-learn topics as necessary. These assignments can be retaken or redone.
30% Summative Assessments: Summative assessments are meant to test the student’s ability or mastery of content. They are not to be retaken or redone.
10% Supportive Work: These are assignments that are meant to assist you as you work to master the content and skills of the course.
Formative assessments will be graded based on your attainment of two categories: science content and science application. Each question on a formative assessment will be tagged either SC or SA, indicating which category contains the points for that question. The two categories (SC and SA) are equally weighted in the formative category. Science content refers to the student’s ability to retain and express scientific information, patterns, and facts. Science application questions will require students to use their science knowledge to solve problems in which they must: predict outcomes, evaluate options, revise models, etc.
Points Chemistry is graded on a points scale. This means that the scale of assignments changes based on the size of the assignment. This is only considered in each grading category. Many consider this to be a fairer method of grading student performance.
Scale 100-92: A 91-83: B 82-74: C 73-65: D 64-0: F
Because the formative assessment portion of the grade is so significant, students will have the opportunity to retake assessments. There will be one retake offered per assessment and the second grade will supersede the original grade whether it is higher or lower. For example, if Student A scores a 60 on Assessment 6 and retakes this assessment and scores an 80, the new score will be an 80. Student B originally scored an 80 on Assessment 6, retakes the assessment and scored a 70, this student’s new score is a 70.
Standard scheduling policy for retakes is as follows: The retake must be taken within two weeks of the original assessment and no grades will be changed through a retake once semester grades have been finalized. Retakes will be held during C days during the SMART Lunch period. Failure to sign up for a retake with your teacher (according to his or her specific instructions) prior to the retake will result in non-admittance for that day: there are no walk-ins. (This may be modified at a teacher’s discretion throughout the year. Students will be notified of any changes to the scheduling policy.)
Summative assessments cannot be retaken as they are meant to showcase a student’s mastery of content.
Under no circumstances will a retake be allowed for the benchmark assessments. These are school-wide assessments, and students are advised that we will adhere to the school policy on these assessments.
Teacher Websites/Google Classroom
All teachers maintain websites that are accessible through the Kingsway homepage. Each website will differ, but you may access resources like class presentations, worksheets, additional practice, answer keys, study guides, lab report templates, and links to helpful websites on these websites. Additionally, teachers may maintain a Google classroom to organize classroom activities and announcements. Students will be expected to enroll in the classroom at the teacher’s direction and directions will be given in class.
Electronic devices are not allowed in the chemistry classroom as they serve as a distraction for students during discussion sessions and can promote violations of academic integrity. Therefore, students who are seen to use cell phones or other electronic devices in an unauthorized fashion during class will find themselves subject to disciplinary action by their teachers, not limited to: verbal warnings, phone calls home, teacher detentions, etc. Please keep electronic devices away and refrain from texting during class.
Of course, we do recognize that texting is a predominant form of communication outside the classroom. Remind is a program used by teachers to mass message their students in a one-sided fashion. Chemistry teachers use this service to warn students about upcoming exams or assignments, to dress for labs, or other important messages. Parents can sign up to receive Remind messages, as well. Remind is a free service, however since it is a text messaging service, texting rates will apply based on your phone plan. If this is a problem, you may also sign up to receive these updates by e-mail instead of by text. Instructions for how to sign up for Remind will be provided by the classroom teacher.
Lab safety is the utmost concern of the science teachers at Kingsway. Students who are not dressed appropriately for lab (goggles, long, non-dangling sleeves and long pants, closed toed shoes and tied back hair) or who are deemed by the lab instructor as behaving in an unsafe fashion will be removed from lab immediately. There is ZERO TOLERANCE for inappropriate lab behavior. Students removed from lab will receive a zero for the lab and any assignments associated with the lab and will have a report sent home to a parent. On a second offense, students will additionally receive a detention and further disciplinary action will follow. Repeated failure to wear goggles over your eyes results in immediate ejection from lab.
Breaking Lab Equipment
Mistakes happen, but mistakes cost money. Students may be fined for broken lab equipment exceeding $5.00 total by the end of the year as a school obligation. Breaking lab equipment or mishandling lab equipment can result in additional disciplinary action. Exercise caution and awareness in the lab at all times. There will be an additional lab safety contract that will need to be signed before students are permitted to work in the lab.
Food and Drink
For safety reasons, no food or drink are permitted in the lab. Often, food or drink will also be restricted from the classroom.
All instances of cheating (directly copying another student’s work) or attempts at cheating (requesting answers from another student) will be reported to parents, guidance counselors and the appropriate vice principal as well as resulting in a ZERO for all participants on the assignment or assessment (any zero received on an assessment due to cheating will not be able to be made up or retaken).
Extra help can be obtained on C days during the SMART Lunch period or by appointment with the teacher. Keep in mind, that there are several chemistry teachers who will be teaching the same material—please feel free to use any of the teachers listed for help or advice.
Use of Media Centers
Students should utilize the media centers to print materials, including replacement packets and lab reports. Students SHOULD NOT come to class with a lab report on a flash drive or email account and ask the teacher to print it. If you do not have a paper copy when you enter the classroom, your work is late.
Read the entire syllabus, sign this page, tear it off, and return it to your teacher.
By signing below, you agree that you have read the course description and understand all of the requirements and expectations of Chemistry outlined on the previous four pages.
I give my student permission to use Remind. I understand that my student’s phone number will remain private and that all charges that may incur are my responsibility.
I cannot ensure that my child will have access to the internet or be able to print out materials used in chemistry, or I would prefer that other arrangements are made.
Parent/Guardian Signature Parent/Guardian E-mail
Parent/Guardian Name Printed Relationship to Student
Student Signature Student KRSD E-mail