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Rules / Consequences / Materials / Textbook / Written work / Retakes / Notes / Assignments /Computers / Hall Passes / Attendance / Late Work / Homework / Grading 

Rules, activities and assignments in this class are based on the belief that we should all enjoy a few basic rights during our time together:

Student Rights

You have the right to--

  • a classroom that is well-ordered, peaceful, safe, non-threatening, and conducive to learning;
  • choose how to conduct yourself, with a full understanding of the consequences of your choices;
  • a caring, thoughtful, well-prepared teacher.

Teacher Rights

I have the right to--

  • teach in ways that meet the learning needs of all students in the class;
  • expect behavior from students that contributes to their growth as individuals and as part of a larger community;
  • teach in a climate free from disruptions.

The rules, policies, and procedures of this class are intended to help each of us make the best possible choices, so we can all enjoy these rights.

Class Rules

While in this class you are expected to follow these basic rules:

  1. Be in your seat, ready to work, when the class bell rings.
  2. Bring all required materials to class each day.
  3. Follow instructions the first time they are given.
  4. Participate responsibly in classroom activities and discussions
  5. Remember a few simple no's: No food or drink, no hats, no grooming activities, and no cell-phones. Please put all these things away for the duration of class. NOTE: Mp3 / CD players are allowed at some times, but ask first.

Basically, if you treat others with respect and make productive use of your class time you'll be living in the spirit of these rules.


Students who choose to violate class rules will receive one or more of the following consequences.

  1. Warning/reminder (May include classtime confiscation of item for Rule #5)
  2. Detention after class
  3. After school/Lunch detention; parent/guardian conference
  4. Behavior contract
  5. Office referral; possible removal from class

Though these are generally progressive steps, the nature and frequency of the violation may require moving more quickly to a later step.

Required Materials

Plan to bring the following materials to class daily:

  1. BOTH a blue or black pen, a pencil AND a highlighter
  2. 3-Ring binder, with 5 labeled dividers and at least 5 sheets of lined paper
  3. Student planner / personal calendar
  4. Assignments due that period, if any

From time to time you'll also need:

  1. 3 x 5 index cards for research activities (if you buy a pack of 100 now, and keep them in your locker, you'll have them when needed)
  2. Colored pencils (World History only)


You will be issued a copy of the class textbook to take and keep at home, while a class set will be available in the classroom for daily use at school. This approach accomplishes several things:

  • You will always have a copy of the textbook at home, to complete assignments
  • You won’t have to carry the textbook in your backpack daily
  • You won’t forget to bring it to class (it will already be there for you)
  • The textbooks will last longer, with less wear and tear

Many resources associated with your textbook are available online. Check the class website for links to those resources throughout the course.

Written Work

Class assignments often involve answering questions from texts, videos, group discussions, or from other study materials. When completing written work, you should show that you understand your answers by completely rephrasing ideas in your own words. Even if the answers are a result of group discussion, you need to put your own spin on the material to make it your own.Answers copied from the text, another student, or another source are not acceptable. A first offense may result in loss of credit for the assignment. A second offense may result in loss of credit for the course.

Retakes & Rewrites

You are always welcome, and encouraged, even expected to retake tests & quizzes, or to resubmit assignments to improve your understanding. Before resubmitting work, however, you'll need to show that you've done something to learn more about the original material. Working lunches, one-on-one tutoring, Wednesday study tables, or individual research can all serve as a way to do this. Be sure you understand HOW to improve on the original before undertaking a new version. If you have questions, please ask.

Computer Use
This is a technology-rich classroom, and students have access to computers almost daily to complete required assignments. 
 Students must have an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) on file before using computers in class. Students without an AUP, or who lose access privileges due to behavior in this class or elsewhere, may find it difficult to complete class assignments during assigned class time and may need to complete them on their own, outside of school. Students are expected to follow class procedures for maintaining the computer resources of the class.

Hall Passes

Students are expected to bring all required materials to class and to take care of bathroom needs before class starts. However, students may choose to use up to four (4) hall passes per semester without penalty. After the four, students may use a hall pass in exchange for 15 minutes of lunch detention. Hall passes may ONLY be used to visit the C-Court bathroom, C-Court water fountain, or the student’s own locker. If you feel a need to visit any other destinations or use a pass for any other purposes, ask for specific permission to do so.  

Attendance & Tardies

Timeliness and consistent attendance are important elements of success in any class, job, or other endeavor. Students who miss class, arrive late, or leave early may not earn all the possible points available for class activities on those days. In addition to the natural consequences of missed class time and opportunities to learn, students who accumulate more than 4 unexcused tardies or absences will receive additional disciplinary consequences in the form of office referrals.

Although students are not graded strictly on "participation" in class, many graded activities are based on activities that cannot be recreated for students who are absent at the time they take place in class. Students with excused absences may need to complete alternate assignments to make up for missed classroom activities.

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Late Work

Students should make every effort to complete work on time. Timely completion of work allows all students to be prepared for the day's activities, and it instills a valuable work habit. However, unforeseen circumstances can get in the way of even the best intentions. For this reason, late work will be accepted, but it will be recorded as late. Those who develop a habit of turning in late work will be assigned attendance at working lunches. 

PLEASE NOTE that an absence due to a school-sponsored event is considered excused BUT if you are at school even part of the day an assignment is due, you are still responsible for turning that assignment in on time, or it will be considered late.

Homework Policy
Homework in this class is intended to practice skills already introduced in class, to prepare students for the next day's class, to elaborate on ideas introduced in class, or to review material so students have information at hand for tests, quizzes or other activities. A detailed homework policy explains many of the details of my homework philosophy; however, a few details here should be noted:

  1. Homework assigned in this class is usually intended to take around 15-20 minutes for the average student to complete. If you find it regularly taking much more than that, please let me know. 
  2. To help you make use of your work as the course progresses, you are expected to keep all assignments until the end of the course.
  3. Students should make every effort to complete homework on time. Keep in mind that the better prepared you are for class every day, the more likely you are to succeed every day.
  4. Homework assignments, unless they are part of a graded, summative assessment, do not have a direct effect on your course grade. However, the practice, information, or reinforcement you gain from such activities will help you understand the concepts and show your mastery of standards. 

Grading Policy
Work in this course is graded using Standards Based Grading (SBG). This may be very different than any other grading system you've been exposed to, and it can take awhile to understand why we use it, and how it shows what a student has really learned and what a student can really do. To learn more, take a look at the Grading Policy page. 

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Subpages (1): Working lunch
Peter Knowles,
Aug 31, 2011, 5:23 AM