I am a second career teacher having spent most of my life as a chemical process safety engineer for several major drug companies. I would like to welcome you and your student to Wayne Schools for the school year 2019-20. This should be an exciting year for your student as they enter high school. I hope to help them make the transition from middle school to high school as painless as possible but there are some adjustments that will need to be made. Middle school was pretty much off the record practice for their adult life. Their high school record will follow them for the rest of their life. For my science classes, I recommend that your student spend a minimum of 4-5 hours a week on homework and studying. Many students may need more, very few will need less. This may seem like a lot but over the course of a week it does not amount to much each day. I also recommend the studying and homework be done in small packets of no more than one hour at a time. This will increase your student’s ability to retain the information by small exposures more often rather than one large cram session.
I try to make sure all students grasp a concept before moving on but often that is not possible because of the amount of material that must be covered. If you feel your student is falling behind, please contact me or have your student contact me for extra help.
I promise both my students and their parents that there will be no “busy work” homework. There is much to cover in our school year, spending their time and mine on useless assignments is not an efficient use of anyone’s time. Rest assured that all my assignments are necessary in order the cover the mandated material in the allotted school year.
A word on procrastination: Some students, if left unsupervised, will leave all their homework and studying to the night before the test. It is impossible to do an entire unit’s worth of homework and studying in one night even if they do not sleep. Please ask your student about homework if you have not seen them do any science homework in a few days chances are it is building up.
Turning in assignments on time: It is critical that your student turn in all assignments on time. The timing of due dates is not arbitrary, it is set to correspond to when your student will need to understand the information in order to either pass a test or move on to more in-depth material. This means that late assignments cause a chain reaction of poor test scores and in class confusion that is hard to recover from even if the assignments can be turned in late for some credit. I urge you to impress on your student the importance of completing their assignments on time.
Check the Student Grade portal often! Don’t be surprised by a 9 week grade report. Your student is in High School now and should take responsibility for their own grades. Because all parents have 24 hour access to their student’s grades, I seldom call home for failing grades. Assignments that are coming due will be listed as “pending” with the due date. Assignments that are past due will have a zero entered. Zeros can only be made up in the case that the student is failing the class and can only be made up until a passing grade of 59.5% is obtained. This means that once a student lets their grade slip to an F because of zeros it will be difficult or impossible to get any grade better than a D.
Class Assignments will be posted on Google Classroom at the beginning of each unit. (Parents: You must use your Student's log in information to view the pages. Going to classroom from this page will only show "no assignments unless you log in with your student's school account) A topic called “What did I miss” has my lesson plans posted so that students can see what they missed or will miss and make arrangements to keep up. All worksheets, videos, and other materials not in the workbook or textbook are posted so that the student can print them at home if they do not have them. I also post all lecture slides and an example practice exam with answers. Google Classroom is available to all students 24/7 through either the mobile app or on any internet connected computer.
Study Skills: Our first few weeks will be spent on lab safety, rules, procedures and study skills. Many students wish they had paid closer attention to the study skills section after we move into the actual course work. Good study skills will save your student thousands of hours of frustration and wasted time over the course of their lives. It makes one an efficient learner. I teach them to quickly and accurately separate the important stuff they need to know from the fluff in a textbook chapter, lecture or pile of raw research.
Class Materials: All students are required to bring a composition book (student provided) and their assigned textbook and workbook is applicable along with writing utensils to EVERY class.
PLEASE don’t tear pages out of your composition books!