Ecology Syllabus and Class policies

Ecology Course Syllabus
Ms. Sally Lewis
Classroom phone:  850-6806

Course description: This is an introductory course to Environmental Science.  It is recommended that students complete Earth Science and Biology prior to enrolling in this course. We will study Earth’s ecosystems, and natural resources, how humans interact with other species and use natural resources, and some of the challenges we humans face in sustaining life on Earth for future generations.  This is a science elective with no SOL Test and therefore will not meet the verified credit requirement for graduation.
Course objectives:  The course objectives are driven by Hampton City Schools’ curriculum.  Students will obtain a detailed understanding of ecosystems and human interactions with ecosystems.  The lab component will feature basic tests of water, soil, energy consumption, waste and environmental health.  Students will employ the skills necessary to examine various scientific explanations, acquiring knowledge gained through lab work and the use of support materials provided by the text, technology, field trips and library resources.

Course outline and approximate schedule
First semester
First nine weeks:
Unit One:      Scientific investigation        1 week
Unit Two:    Ecological principles        4 weeks
Field Trip:    First week in October
Unit Three:    Types of Ecosystems        3 weeks
Special labs and activities            1 week
Second nine weeks:
Unit Four:    Population Ecology        4 weeks
Unit Five:    Water Resources        4 weeks
Exam review, special labs and activities        1 week
Exam–students may be exempt based on grade average, attendance and citizenship as determined by School Board policy
Second semester
Third nine weeks:
Unit Six:    Atmosphere            3 weeks
Unit Seven:    Food Resources            2 weeks
Unit Eight:    Biodiversity            3 weeks
Special labs and activities            1 week
Fourth nine weeks:
Unit Nine:    Energy Resources        5 weeks
Unit Ten:    Resource Management        3 weeks
Exam review, special labs and activities        1 week
Exam-- students may be exempt based on grade average, attendance and citizenship as determined by School Board policy

Special requirements:  Students are expected to keep notebooks, participate in all activities and laboratory exercises, follow all safety procedures, participate in fire/intruder/tornado drills and abide by the classroom rules.  No student will be allowed to participate in labs or activities without a Safety Contract signed by the student and a parent and kept on file with the teacher

Textbooks:    Environmental Science (Holt), 2008
In accordance with Hampton City Schools’ policy, science textbooks are to be covered at all times; random textbook checks will be conducted with homework grades, extra credit or homework coupons awarded.  This is a new textbook—the replacement cost is  ________.  Please keep track of your book to avoid this fee.

HONORS students only: Additional reading as may be assigned.  This is a pre-college course and as such it is appropriate to assign outside reading to further the coursework. You may be required to turn in reading logs and vocab lists periodically, and to participate in seminars/ discussions.  Additionally, you may be asked to do outside research about current topics related to the selected book.  Beware:  DO NOT PLAGIARIZE your work from the internet or from a classmate.  Refer to the policy on cheating and plagiarism in my handout and the HCS Rights and Responsibilities Handbook for consequences—among them loss of eligibility for honor societies.

You are required to have a loose-leaf notebook or binder, minimum 1 and 1/2 inches in size, for this class. You may substitute a spiral notebook with pockets if you prefer.  Colored pencils and graph paper will be needed a few times during the year.  Notebook checks may be conducted the day of each unit test.

Grading:  You will have a variety of assignments in this class. 
Your nine weeks grades will be determined as follows:
Tests, portfolios            40%
Classwork/homework/labs-    30%       
Quizzes/notebooks/projects-    30%

Warm-up/daily quizzes/bellringers are based on your notes or textbook and are usually “open book/notes.”  They are graded as classwork. Work from absences must be made up within the time frame outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook or will result in a zero.  If you are late to class with an unexcused tardy and the class has started on the bellringer work, you will not be able to do it for credit.  Please be on time!

Each 9 weeks grade will be 40% of your semester grade.  The mid-term exam in January and the June final exam, if required, are 20% of your semester grade. You may be exempted from the exams by satisfying grade, attendance and citizenship requirements set forth by the School Board.

Welcome to Ecology

I am pleased to be your ecology teacher this year and I look forward to a successful year. This is an introductory environmental science course.  In this course you will learn about Earth’s natural resources and how humans interact with those resources.  We hear briefs about our environment every day in the news and your generation will undoubtedly be the most creative generation in designing new ways to efficiently use our resources in a sustainable way.  How exciting!  In ten to twenty years, there will be careers in environmental science that haven’t been thought of yet!  Many colleges require this course; it helps you make better decisions as a citizen of the world.  By participating in this class, you will gain knowledge and experiences that will help you understand your world and environmental issues throughout your life. I look forward to field trips and many activities as we explore our environment together! ----Ms. S. Lewis

Teacher:  Ms. S. Lewis
Classroom:  F3
Room phone:  850-6806

Classroom Rules:

1.    Be in your seat and ready to learn when the bell rings
2.    Leave your assigned seat only when you have permission to leave it.
3.    Listen and follow directions, lab safety rules and lab instructions.
4.    Help yourself and others learn by practicing respectful behavior toward yourself, your classmates and any living organisms.
5.    Enjoy your food, drinks and gum outside of the classroom.   (Bottled water is okay.)

Consequences for breaking classroom rules:

1st offense—warning reminder of rule
2nd offense—student/teacher conference about rule
3rd offense—teacher detention/parent contact
4th offense—referral to administrator
Severe clause—horseplay or insubordinate behavior in a lab or other behavior that endangers the health or safety of others will result in an immediate referral.


Bonus points
Homework coupons
Verbal praise

Policies and Procedures:
Late work:
•    Homework is due within the first FIVE minutes of class.  Late homework is NOT ACCEPTED and will receive a zero.  It is better to turn in incomplete homework for a partial grade, than to turn in nothing.
•    Projects/lab reports must be turned in by the due date but may be turned in ahead of time.  If you have a sudden, unplanned absence, you must make arrangements to get the project or report turned in by the due date.  NO LATE PROJECTS WILL BE ACCEPTED!  An “excused” absence DOES NOT change the due date for your project.  Lab reports will be accepted the next school day with a 50% deduction from your earned grade.  It is better to turn in a late report or an incomplete report than to turn in nothing.
•    Unexcused tardies to class will result in a zero for the bell work if the quiz has already started when you arrive to class.  Be on time!
Make-up work:
•    It is your responsibility to check the assignment board and to sign the Make-up Notebook for any missed assignments from an Absence or Excused Tardy.  Per the Hampton City Schools Rights and Responsibilities Handbook:  The class work must be made up within a specific time period equaling one-day make up per one-day absence.  In case of a pre-arranged absence the class work is due on the day of the return.  Students are encouraged to make up work before returning to school.  Students missing one (1) or two (2) days may do so by getting work from a classmate.  Students missing three (3) or more days can contact the office to request make up work.   Please allow at least 24 hours notice to the teacher.  Extenuating circumstances may be considered in extending the time for make up.  If work is not completed, it will result in a lower grade, failing grade, or denial of high school credit.  For field trips, sports and club competitions, you are expected to ask for the work no later than 48 hours BEFORE your trip.  Any quizzes or tests must be taken in advance of the field trip at the convenience of the teacher.  Failure to observe this policy may result in a zero for the work.
•    Work that was due the day of your absence (with the exception of projects and lab reports) is due the DAY YOU RETURN TO THIS CLASS.
•    Make-up work will be scheduled before or after school.  If you need to make-up work with the teacher (labs, activities, tests), check to make sure I will be available, then use the APPOINTMENT NOTEBOOK to schedule your make-up session.  You must make-up the test, lab, or activity within a week following your return. 
•    Tests or quizzes scheduled for the day you were absent will be made-up in class on the DAY YOU RETURN to my class.  For a multi-day absence you will be allowed to get the notes and make-up labs and assignments before taking the test. 
•    Cheating in my class is totally unacceptable.  I will do everything I can to prevent you from being tempted to cheat.  COPYING ANY ASSIGNMENT, including homework, is plagiarism, a form of cheating.  Plagiarism is copying the thoughts or works of another person without giving the proper credit in the form of a citation, regardless of whether the copying is intentional or unintentional.  This includes but is not limited to “cutting and pasting” from the Internet, encyclopedias online or CD-ROMs.  You may not cite another student’s homework paper as your source.  In college, cheating or plagiarism may result in expulsion.  On the job, it can result in jail time.  In cases of cheating on homework or classwork, for the first offense the grade will be divided equally between all parties (ex. 3 students have identical homework or parts of homework and received a grade of 90; 90/3=30 so each will receive a 30) and discipline referral/parent call will result.  Subsequent offenses will receive a zero and referral.  In ALL other cases of cheating or plagiarism, the student will receive NO CREDIT for the work or portion of the work and a referral for each occurrence. Your administrator may award other disciplinary actions.  If you cheat or plagiarize in my class, I will report you to any honor society or organization that is considering you for membership.   Bottom line, don’t do it!
•    “Group work” is work assigned and completed using a collaborative (working together) process with only one paper turned in for a grade.  This paper will have all group members’ names on it.  All students receive the same grade.  LAB EXPERIMENTS ARE NOT GROUP WORK! The experiment itself will be performed as a collaborative effort; each member will record his/her own data.  The data should be the same.  All procedures, analysis questions and conclusions are individual answers.  Each student earns an individual grade.  Labs with identical written answers (not data) will be considered plagiarized.
Assignment headings:
Each assignment or paper you turn in should have the following heading in the upper right corner of the top page:
•    Your name
•    Date
•    Class period
•    Assignment Title

Additional pages should be numbered and have your name on the top right corner of each page.
Two points will be deducted for improper headings.
Make-up and help day:
I will be glad to help you with your assignments, with tutoring and making up your work.  I am available mornings and afternoons by appointment. Make-up labs and activities will be scheduled and announced.  Please use the “Appointment Notebook” to sign-up; you must give me 24 hours notice and make sure I will be available that day.
Contacting me:
You may contact me with questions by leaving me a voice mail at 850-6806 or by email at Please be aware that I do not usually check voice mail and email from home.

Daily expectations:
1.    Use your agenda to keep track of your assignments and grades earned.
2.    Please don’t throw anything in classroom.  It is dangerous to do so in a lab class and will result in detention or referral for every occurrence.
3.    Be on time as I enforce the school’s tardy policy.  If you are more than 10 minutes late you may be referred for skipping.
4.    Be ready to work with your textbook, notebook and all needed materials each day.
5.    Stay away from the prep room, teacher desk, computers, cabinets and lab stations unless given permission.
6.    Stay in the classroom so you don’t miss important info!  YOU GET THREE EMERGENCY PASSES PER 9 WEEKS.  LOCKER PASSES ARE NOT GENERALLY GIVEN.  PASSES ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE AND WILL REQUIRE YOUR AGENDA.  If possible, use the bathroom before class. Unused passes convert to extra credit at the end of the nine weeks.
7.    Treat lab equipment and supplies gently; broken supplies won’t help you learn. If you need to borrow supplies, please ask and return them to me when you are finished.
8.    Listen and stay attentive, please!  Lots of important information will be given to you, so activities such as reading books or magazines, doing homework, personal grooming, and sleeping are not acceptable.
9.    Use pencil, blue or black ink for assignments or lose two points.
10.    Wait in your seat for me to dismiss you.