Updated syllabus for 2019-2020. Please replace any previous versions.
AP Environmental Science
Instructor: BeLinda / Lawrence County High School
COURSE DESCRIPTION: AP Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on geography, ecological processes, human impacts on the Earth, and how to resolve or prevent natural and human-made environmental problems. Emphasis is placed upon preparing students for success on the AP exam in May. A passing score on the exam can result in college credit, but most importantly it indicates college readiness. A detailed description of the topics explored in APES can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/y425mzeo . Occasionally, we will venture outdoors to collect data or make observations. If you have any physical differences or allergies that could inhibit your participation, please discuss these with your teacher at the beginning of the term.
The expectations, rules, procedures and consequences of my classroom are intended to keep the classroom environment safe, orderly, and productive. Please respect the rules so that we can maximize learning time together. The rules are not hard to follow, nor are any of them “out of the ordinary.” They are simply expected behaviors for high school students in this classroom. If you have any questions about any of these rules, or why they are in place, you have the right to find out – please ask me as soon as possible. There should never be a rule that does not have a purpose! Thank you for your cooperation!
- Behave in a respectful manner to your classmates and your teacher.
- At all times, use proper language, keep out of others’ personal space, follow the dress code, etc.
- Do not handle others’ property. Never damage or write on anything that does not belong
to you (group members’ things, classroom tables, textbooks, teacher’s belongings, walls, board, etc).
- Pick-up after yourself. Check your area for cleanliness before leaving, and put your chair under the
before you exit the classroom.
- Put forth your best effort at all times.
- Always do your own best work.
- Put quality ahead of just getting it done.
- Be prepared for class each day by bringing all necessary and/or required materials.
- Follow directions when given.
When directions are given, do your best to follow them the first time. If you are confused or have questions...
ask! I would rather have you stop class to clarify than for you to be off task while everyone else is working.
Claiming you “didn’t know what to do” is an elementary excuse and will not be accepted.
- Pay attention, participate, and ask questions.
Engage in what is going on in the classroom. If you have a question, ask it! If you have a relevant comment
that can add to the class discussion, speak up. Avoid silly, unrelated comments that can derail the lesson.
Such comments are a sign of attention-seeking immaturity and have no place in high school.
- Preserve a positive learning environment.
- Student actions that interfere with teaching or learning in the classroom will NOT be tolerated.
- Use class time to learn science. Please do not spend your time grooming, sleeping, talking,
sneaking around with your cell phone, or doing work for other classes.
- Minimize classroom interruptions by arriving to class on time and not leaving during a lesson.
- Use the restroom at break, lunch, and between classes. You will receive VERY limited bathroom
privileges during class time. YES, emergencies happen..but they are not frequent.
- Never line up at the door before dismissal.
Please remain in your seat until I have dismissed you. Never line up at the door before dismissal.
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- If you are confronted about a rule infraction, own up to it. Don’t deny it, lie about it, or blame someone
Else. YOU are the only person responsible for your choices.
- Take responsibility for missed assignments and the penalties that result.
- All handbook rules will be enforced. Students that choose to break these rules also choose to face the
- TAKE THE EXAM! You are putting a great deal of effort into an AP course...it just makes sense that you would
attempt the exam. We have experienced a good pass rate in previous years, and you should try to achieve the
credit you are working for. Some students must pay full price ($90+), but others will only pay $8!
- USE OF CELL PHONES is NOT permitted in my classroom.
Cell phones should be invisible during the class period. If I see or hear your phone, it will be taken away, and
proper punishment procedures will be followed. You will not receive a “warning”...THIS is your warning. Refusal
to turn over the cell phone will be treated as insubordinate behavior resulting in immediate referral for
administrative disciplinary action. Cell phone possession and/or use of any kind during any assignment
(including tests or quizzes) can be considered CHEATING and can automatically result in a grade of ZERO for
- No food or drink, except water, will be permitted.
You may drink bottled water in a clear container in the classroom. If a spill occurs, please clean it up
immediately with as little distraction as possible.
- Arrive to class on time.
Be “physically” and “mentally” present in the classroom. If you are not inside the classroom (across the
threshold INSIDE room #46), then you are tardy and the tardy will be automatically entered in the computer.
Bring me any written excuse for tardiness immediately (BEFORE I enter it into the computer) to avoid this
penalty. I will not stop what I am doing to ASK you if you why you are late an/or if you have an excuse. Also,
do not ask to go get a note to explain your tardiness AFTER you have already arrived at my class. Do this
beforehand. Your tardiness is your responsibility, as is dealing with getting it excused.
- Do not cheat, plagiarize, or copy work.
Cheating is completely unacceptable. If I see you cheating on any assignment… even for another class… I will
give you a zero and report the incident to the other teacher.
- Use polite and appropriate language.
- Offensive, derogatory, and profane terms are not tolerated. In order to have a safe classroom environment
where all students feel comfortable, no put downs, swear words, or slang words with demeaning connotations
will be accepted. Remember, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all!
- Use all materials for their proper purpose and in the manner for which they are intended.
This covers all behaviors such as throwing paper; drumming with pens/pencils; damaging tabletops with pens,
erasers, or sharp edges; leaning back/rocking in chairs, damaging any laboratory supplies, etc. This is a high
school classroom, and your behavior should not be childish.
- Turn in assignments to the proper bin.
Bins are labeled by class period and located by the door. Make sure your FULL NAME, PERIOD, and DATE
are on every assignment, as well as an ASSIGNMENT TITLE of some sort.
- Check Google classroom to learn about make-up work. Always ask a classmate, as well.
If your questions are not sufficiently answered after doing BOTH those things, then...and ONLY then...should
you ask me. *SEE MAKE-UP POLICY in the next section.
- If I give you permission to leave the classroom, SIGN OUT every single time.
Missing ANY amount of class time will affect your learning readiness, and therefore passes out of the room will
be extremely limited and closely monitored. Students who ask to leave too frequently will be counseled and
appropriate restrictions will be put in place.
- Pick up after yourself before you leave.
Take all of your belongings, pick up any scrap papers around you, and put your chair back under the table
before you leave each day. If you have been asked to return a chromebook to the cart, ensure that it is
PLUGGED IN and placed in the correctly numbered slot.
Obviously, missing class time is detrimental to your learning and can negatively affect your grade. Therefore, be present whenever possible! If, however, you are unavoidably absent, always make up missed work as quickly as possible. Missed grades will always be entered in INOW as zeroes until they are made-up and graded.
DAILY ASSIGNMENTS (such as reading, worksheets, video questions, etc) must be turned in within three calendar days of your absence. Check the make-up work file for physical copies of your work, but also always look at Google classroom in case the work was published there. By checking Google classroom FIRST, you will know what you are looking for in the make-up work file.
LAB WORK is difficult to make up. Procedures for making up missed labs or hands-on activities can vary, so you should consult Google classroom for instructions. As always, this work is due within three calendar days of your absence.
TESTS OR QUIZZES that are announced BEFORE your absence must be made up on the day you return to class if you did not miss any NEW instruction during your absence. If you missed any new instruction (not including review), then you will be allowed a minimum of three calendar days to make up the test or quiz. Make arrangements to take quizzes and tests by filling out the “Test/Quiz Make-Up Request” form located in the file at the front of the classroom. It is your responsibility to make these arrangements; I will not and cannot track you down or issue reminders. DO NOT miss your appointment to take the make-up test/quiz. In some cases, no second chance will be available.
CONSEQUENCES for violating class rules or policies:
- Verbal warning (*Exception: There will be no verbal warning for cell phone violations. I will confiscate the cell phone and keep it until the final bell of the day. This punishment will be enacted for the first two violations. After that, you phone will be turned over to administration, and you will follow up with the office.)
- Break detention (number of days may vary, and this disciplinary step may be used multiple times
before step three is enacted)
- Parent/guardian contact
- Referral to principal
* Serious offenses can, at the teacher’s discretion, result in more severe consequences regardless of previous steps taken. Cause for further action or the decision to enact these consequences at an accelerated rate is at the teacher’s professional discretion.
3-RING BINDER (1 or 1 1⁄2 in.)
LOOSE-LEAF PAPER FOR NOTES (If a spiral notebook is used, you must keep it in the binder.)
SHARPENED COLORED PENCILS and a handheld pencil sharpener.
Pens (blue or black). We do not write in pencil. If you ever need a pencil, I will supply it.
Internet access (occasionally, you will need to access material or print note-taking sheets; if you do not have a home printer, the school or public library has multiple options.)
IMPORTANT: $10-$20 for labs (CASH OR CHECK MADE OUT TO LCHS with the notation "4316" or “Cross” in the "For" area). Science teachers receive no extra classroom funding even though we are tasked with conducting laboratory experiments. These science lab activities can be very expensive, but they are a very important part of science education. Please consider that I must rely on your generosity for many of our lab materials.
Several categories of assignments exist. Students are expected to complete all assignments in a timely manner. The highest achievable score for ANY assignment turned in late is “70”. The later your work is, the fewer points you can earn from it. For some assignments, announced in advance, NO LATE WORK will be accepted. The assignment categories are explained below:
CLASSWORK/HOMEWORK (40%): You will often receive brief homework assignments. Examples include reading a chapter section, working a small problem set, watching an instructional video from the internet... From time to time, use of the internet and/or printing your notes will be a part of assignments. If computer access will be a problem for you, you should let the teacher know right away.
QUIZ/TEST (50%): Quizzes and tests will cover any information and material previously taught in class unless specifically noted. Tests will always be announced; quizzes may be announced or unannounced.
HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES/LABS (10%): Lab exercises are a very important part of the course. It is difficult to make up missed activities such as this; try to arrange absences to avoid missing hands-on activities.
Taking Notes: Most units provide a note-taking template. USE IT to organize new material into a format you can actually study from.
Practice makes perfect: The more you practice, the easier your tasks will become. If you don’t understand how the correct answer was achieved, ask questions!
Be at school every day! No matter how responsible you are, no amount of make-up assignments can replace actually being in class and PARTICIPATING in the lesson and its related activities. When you must be absent from class, work hard to catch up as best as you can.
Timeline for units can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/y425mzeo. While effort will be made to adhere to this simplified timeline, student needs may require adjustments of some of the predicted numbers.