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Lone Peak High School
Chemistry 2017-2018
Instructor: Mark Berrett
Room: 222
Phone: (801) 610-8810
Email: mberrett@alpinedistrict.org
Web: http://www.mrberrett.com

Dear Student and Family,

Welcome to Chemistry. I look forward to an enjoyable, educational year. Below you will find important information regarding this class.

Course Description: In this course, you will learn about the physical world around you. Substances can be described by their chemical structure or properties. Substances can be made of molecules and these molecules are made of atoms. When parts come together, the whole often has properties that are very different from its parts. The formation of compounds results in a great diversity of matter from a limited number of elements. When matter combines, energy is absorbed or released and matter is rearranged to make new substances with new properties.

Intermediate Algebra is prerequisite to this course, and we will be using Algebra as a tool to help us analyze and understand the world around us. The text we will use in class is Modern Chemistry, by Davis. You may also use the USOE OER chemistry text (free pdf version, or purchase a hard copy for $4.85).

What You Will LearnChemistry is organized around major concepts of matter, structure, energy, and change. Students will be taught how to think scientifically as they conduct experiments and analyze data. Students will learn the content of the Utah Core Curriculum for Chemistry. The core may be viewed at:  http://www.usoe.k12.ut.us/

How You Will Show What You LearnedStudents will demonstrate their understanding of Chemistry through their lab reports, assignments, projects, quizzes, and unit tests. If you miss class, you need to make it up the work within one week of the date it was assigned or by the unit Late-Work Deadline listed on the online calendar (whichever comes first). After the late-work deadline you may not make missing assignments up for full credit. Any work completed after the unit late deadline will lose 15%. If your absence is unexcused, you will receive a zero for the work you missed.

What To Do If You Don’t Learn ItIf you begin to feel overwhelmed, or if you think you may need some help, please come see your teacher as soon as possible!!! (Before school/after school.) The sooner you come in for help, the better off you will be. You may also visit the class website for additional help or to download copies of notes, assignments, etc. Chemistry can be a lot of fun, but if you start to get behind, it is easy to feel lost–and it will quickly get worse if you don’t take action immediately. Make it a priority to stay caught up in this class and to come in for help when you need it.

For the 2017-18 school year, advisory time is incorporated as part of our regular class periods. Please take advantage of the intervention opportunities provided during this time! In some units your teacher may stop to quickly reteach prior concepts during every lesson. In other units there may be one specific day on which your teacher offers the opportunity to improve an assignment score or a day when I provides a mini-lesson on a study or review skill or strategy we think will help you. Please make it your priority to focus and get the maximum benefit from these opportunities.

Lab Experiments: You will be working in lab teams of 2 or 3 students for most experiments, but each student is responsible for completing and turning in his/her own lab report/assignment. For some experiments you are expected to write a formal report in a format you will soon receive. If your teacher notices that one member of a lab team seems to be doing most of the work, the report grade for all team members will be lowered. While some elements of the lab report may be the same for all members of a lab team (such as data and graphs), we expect each individual to write his or her own report. Students and parents must read and sign the Lab Safety Rules & Contract. A student found violating any of the rules may receive a failing grade for the lab and/or term.

Dry Lab: In some cases, students who miss lab activities will be given “dry lab” data with which to complete their lab report. This is due to the difficulty & inconvenience of recreating the lab setup after the original lab days have been completed.

Quizzes: We may have a quiz as class begins every day. Students who are tardy (for whatever reason) may not be allowed to take the quiz during class, but may be allowed to take the quiz before or after school. The quiz will usually consist of questions from the previous lesson. Except for rare circumstances—e.g., element memorization quizzes—these bell-quizzes are open note. (Students may NOT share notes on quizzes.) Be IN YOUR ASSIGNED SEAT ready for the quiz when the bell rings to avoid tardies/zeroes. Students talking during the quiz will receive zero (regardless of what they are talking about). “Helping” a classmate on a quiz is the definition of cheating and may result in a zero that is ineligible for makeup.

A prior absence will NOT grant you any extension on a quiz. This means that if you are absent on Day 2, you will still have to take the quiz at the beginning of class on Day 3. It is your responsibility to get the notes (which are available on this site) for the day you missed. You should always do this BEFORE your next day of class in order to avoid a poor quiz score.

Unit TestsWe will take an average of four unit exams each term.  Please bring a pencil on test day. You may use a calculator on tests.  Bring your own– sharing calculators will not be permitted.  The use of your mobile phone as a calculator is not permitted.  On most unit tests you may also use one-side of a 3”x5” note card with any information on it you would like, provided that (1) you prepare it yourself, and (2) it is handwritten. Students must complete all tests given to be eligible to pass a given term. 

Each unit will be relatively short, and the exams will not take the entire class period for most students.  There will always be an assignment to be completed after the exam on test days.  Those students who use most of the class period working on the test should expect to do the after-exam assignments as homework.  Everyone is expected to stay SILENT while working on post-test assignments so that others can complete their tests.  Students talking during this time will have their test scores docked and may receive a zero on the test if talking continues after a warning.  Phones and music players are prohibited (as always) during these times.  Those using any electronic device other than a calculator on test day will receive a zero even if the test has already been submitted.

There are always multiple test versions.  Students who do not record the appropriate test version ID will not receive scores.  No-name bubble sheets are automatic zeroes.  These issues result in a forced retake which will only be allowed to earn partial credit.

Test Remediation: 

  • See the Test Remediation page for full details.
  • Retakes for a given unit test  are only available until the unit late-work-deadline.  This means that students who wait until the day of the deadline to take a test will not be eligible to remediate.
  • The last unit test of each term may not have a test retake option, or will have a very short window, due to the end of term.
  • It is the student's responsibility to make time for the three-step remediation process before the unit late-work-deadline.  If you want the chance for a retake you need to make it a priority!
  • There is a 90% ceiling on retakes.
  • Your retake score will replace your original score even if it is lower.  If you are going to do a retake, you need to STUDY first.
  • The same tools (Periodic table, pencil, calculator, 3x5 card, etc) are allowed as with a regular exam.  The same rules (no talking, no phones, no calculator-sharing, write name, period & test ID) apply as with a regular exam.

Term Grades will be given on a total points basis using the following grade scale:

A:  100-93%

A-:   92-90%

B+:  89-87%

B:    86-83%

B-:   82-80%

C+:  79-77%

C:    76-73%

C-:   72-70%

D+:  69-67%

D:    66-63%

D-:   62-60%

F:     59- 0

Grading In Class: From time to time we may grade assignments or quizzes in class. Students may be required to grade or review the work of others, and have their work graded or reviewed by other students. I also use student aides to grade some work. Any student found purposefully mis-grading assignments will have his/her grade docked and may be referred to the administration for further consequences.

Progress Reports: You may check your grades on the Skyward website. It is the student's responsibility to notify me of any errors (including zeroes which may be the result of no-name-papers). This is also the case for term grades. Check it early, check it often.

In addition to Skyward, this course will use the Canvas Learning Management System.  Every student will need internet access to complete the course.  Parents/Guardians should update their acceptance of the Alpine District Acceptable Use Policy at the beginning of the school year so that students can access necessary materials throughout the year.  (This is done via the Parent Skyward login.) Students who do not already have a Canvas account will be given instructions for creating an account during the first week of class. Parents/Guardians will be given instructions for creating Canvas Observer accounts.  Students must have Skyward and Canvas accounts for this course.

Contact Information: The best way to communicate with me is through email. I may send emails to the entire class with important announcements or reminders. I may also send individual emails regarding grades and assignments. Check your Skyward account now and make certain that both the student and guardian email addresses listed are valid. Don't risk missing opportunities because messages were delivered to an address that has not been used in several years. 

MaterialsYou will need the following with you each class period: A 3-ring binder or folder, lined paper, a pen, AND pencil, and a scientific calculator. A good scientific calculator that does trig functions and exponential (scientific) notation can be purchased for about $10. A graphing calculator is not required in this course, but may be used if you have one. (Most Math courses at LPHS require a graphing calculator-- check with your teacher.) A cell phone may NOT be used as a calculator. I have some calculators for use in class, but once they are gone, they are gone. YOU CANNOT SHARE CALCULATORS.

Attendance Policy SummaryYou are expected to be on time, and come to class every day. Lone Peak High School has established an attendance policy to promote increased opportunities for learning and reduction in classroom interruptions. Below is a summary of student attendance expectations. Should a student go over established limits, he/she will lose credit in the class until the issue is resolved by attending Attendance School or a successful appeal to the administration. When students are absent, parents should contact the attendance office (763-7064) to verify the absence within 2 weeks. This is the only way to excuse an absence.

  • Students are allowed three (3) tardies per class each term.
  • Students are allowed four (4) excused absences per class each term.
  • Students are not allowed any (0) un-excused absences or truancies each term.

When attendance is taken, I can choose from only four options:

  • No mark = the student was present in class, and on time.
  • T = the student was tardy (not seated in the classroom before the bell)
  • V = the student was very tardy (more than 20 minutes, but less than 1/2 the class period)
  • X = the student was absent (and unexcused) or arrived when less than half of the class period remained

All other marks (excused absence, school excused absence, check-in, check-out) are made through the attendance office and are outside my control. The change of a letter grade to an NC is computer-automated and based on the attendance record. Excusing students via check-in and check-out must be handled through the attendance office on the day of the occurrence. If there is an error with a teacher-generated attendance mark (T, V, or X) the student is responsible to inform me in writing (or via email) within one week of the occurrence in order to have the mark changed.

Tardy Marks: Students who are not in their seat when the bell rings may be required to either (1) go to the attendance office to check in with a Tardy mark or (2) sign in on a clipboard by the door. Students failing to take the appropriate action will be left with an Absent mark. Students arriving late with a note from a teacher or parent must check in through the attendance office for the note to be taken into account.

Extra CreditI do not provide extra credit.

Homework Policy: Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Some assignments will be corrected in class, some corrected by me. Most assignments will be completed online through skyward (paper copies can be requested if that is preferred). If the Skyward assignment is not completed by the assignment close date, then a paper copy will need to be completed. Paper copies turned in after the close date of the Skyward assignment will lose 2 points minimum or 10% whichever is greater. Skyward assignments that are counted as bonus points cannot be turned in late. I will not notify students of which assignments are bonus and which are not.

Absent/Late Work PolicyAn absence on the day the assignment is given results in ONE additional class period to turn it in. An absence on the day the assignment is due results in ONE additional class period to turn it in. If the assignment is online (Skyward), absence on the due date DOES NOT grant any additional time. (In the case of extended absence, it is the responsibility of the student to speak to me on the day the student returns to class to arrange a case-specific deadline for missed work.) 

Final Exam: We will have a comprehensive state end-of-level test fourth term. Questions for the comprehensive exam may be taken from anything topic covered during the entire year. It is strongly encouraged that you keep your notes organized so that you can use them to review for this exam at the end of the year.

ParticipationWe expect you to follow the Knight Code of Conduct:

  • Treat fellow students with respect and consideration. 
  • Treat school staff members with respect. 
  • Attend school regularly. 
  • Be honest. 
  • Keep illegal substances away from the school. 
  • Be ON TIME to class. 
  • Take care of equipment & school property (do not write on desks, etc.) 
  • Horseplay in the lab area is forbidden, as is playing with any equipment set up in the room. Do not touch lab equipment without permission. 
  • The word stupid, re**ded, or idiot (and any other demeaning word) are not accepted in class. 
  • Leave class only when dismissed (or by permission). Leaving class early will result in being marked truant (even if it is “only one minute early”). 
  • If I suspect students of cheating or other dishonest behavior on any assignment (homework/lab/quiz/test) the student may be required to complete a second (alternate) version to verify the ability to do the assignment on his/her own. In most cases this will mean that “fill in the blank” questions will replace multiple choice questions.

Cell phones and music players: School is about understanding the appropriateness of your actions and the time to perform certain activities.  If you need to make/take a call go into the hall on a hall pass (one per class). If you need to quickly text someone, make it quick. If you use your phone, don’t be surprised if I ask you to put it away. If I ask you to put it away, put it away quickly. Continued distraction by your phone may result in a loss of participation points, or a referral to the student’s assigned administrator for discussion.

School Dress Code is enforced. Sleeves must have a cap. Shorts must end closer to the knee than the bend of the hip. Leggings are NOT pants. They must be covered by a shirt or skirt that ends closer to the knee than the bend of the hip. If I feel that your apparel is in violation of the dress code, you will be sent to the office. This is not a matter for discussion with me. When a note or comment from me requests that the student go to the main office for dress code reasons, the student is expected to immediately go to the main office, not to dispute the request. If the office notifies me that the student in question did not arrive, the student will be referred to the attendance office as a truancy in addition to being reported to administration as a dress code violation.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Regards,

Mr. Berrett
Lone Peak High School

Originally Updated: 8/21/2017 @ 6:50pm