• Course Description: The Earth is a very complex structure. This class is designed to give you a better understanding of the Earth and its surroundings. In our quest to understand the Earth we will be studying four major sciences: Geologic processes, Astronomy, Meteorology, and Environmental resources. This class is aligned with Arizona College and Career Ready Standards and/or national standards and supports school-wide efforts to increase student achievement.


    Course Objectives:

    By the time the student completes this course of study, the student will know or be able to: 

    1. Construct an explanation based on evidence to illustrate the role of nuclear fusion in the life cycle of a star.

    2. Construct an explanation about the relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media, and their applications to modern technology.

    3. Construct an explanation of how gravitational forces impact the evolution of planetary motion, structure, surfaces, atmospheres, moons and rings.

    4. Construct an explanation for a field’s strength and influence on an object (electric, gravitational, magnetic).

    5. Collect, analyze and interpret data regarding the change in motion of an object or system in one dimension, to construct an explanation using Newton’s Laws.

    6. Use mathematics and computational thinking to explain how Newton’s laws are used in engineering and technologies to create products to serve human ends.

    7. Construct an explanation of the origin, expansion, and scale of the universe based on astronomical evidence.

    8. Develop and use models to explain the relationship of the structure of atoms to patterns and properties observed in the Periodic Table and describe how these models are revised with new evidence.

    9. Develop and use models of the Earth that explains the role of energy and matter in Earth’s constantly changing internal and external systems (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere).

    10. Evaluate explanations and theories about the role of energy and matter in geologic changes over time.

    11. Analyze and interpret data to determine how energy from the Sun affects weather patterns and climate.

    12. Engage in argument from evidence about the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, changes in climate, and human activity and how they influence each other.

    13. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about how the use of chemistry related technologies have had positive and negative ethical, social, economic, and/or political implications.

    14. Engage in argument from evidence regarding the ethical, social, economic, and/or political benefits and liabilities of energy usage and transfer.

    Classroom Rules and Consequences:

    In addition to strictly following all MRHS handbook rules, I expect the following to occur in my classroom:

    1.    Be present– It is important that you are in class regularly and on time.  Not only should you physically be in class but also mentally.  Students should take advantage of time with the instructor to pay attention and ask questions as needed.

    2.    Choose your attitude– You have no control over the things that other people do.  You only have control over your reactions.  Make a conscious effort to have a positive attitude.  It is not always easy but if you are aware that only you can control your mood every day can be a great day. Respect yourself.

    3.    No food or drinks in the classroom– We might be using substances that may contaminate what you put in your mouth. This is for your own health and safety. Respect our classroom space.

    4.    Listen and participate- A lot of the learning for this class takes place when I am talking with you or you are collaborating in your groups! So, please be sure to truly and actively listen and when appropriate- participate. Respect each other.

    5.    Don’t procrastinate-Study what was done in class for 20 minutes (minimum) PER DAY and start any homework as soon as you can after school before you are tired, etc. If you do these things, learning will come more easily.

    6.     Get Additional Help (tutoring) ASAP- In addition to the Academic Prep times built into our schedule each week, additional assistance/tutoring is provided on a weekly basis both by MRHS and individually by me. My weekly availability will be posted in the classroom at the start of each week. I will demonstrate to the students how to find availability each week. 


    Grade Book Weighting: (District Wide):

    80% Assessment – Include tests, quizzes, projects, labs or other items that show a summative understanding of the students’ knowledge.

    20% Coursework – Includes in class assignments that are graded on accuracy. Students will have multiple practice opportunities or multiple attempts for these types of assignments.

    0% Practice – Includes daily activities used to help the students understand the content without penalty.


    Grading Scale:

    90% – 100% = A

    80% – 89% = B

    70% – 79% = C

    60% – 69% = D

    59% or below = F

    Report Cards:

    In an effort to conserve resources and harness the capacity of our electronic grade reporting program (PowerSchool) district schools will no longer print hard copies of report cards unless requested by individual parents. To request a hard copy of your student’s report card, please contact the front office at 623-376-3000.  To receive your PowerSchool login, please stop into the office with a valid photo ID. 


    Power School Online Access:

    Grades and attendance may be accessed 24 hours a day online with your Power School access code.  Access codes are available in the Counseling Office or Front Desk Monday – Friday 7:00 AM– 3:30 PM. You may check student progress regularly on the PowerSchool site using the same login for one or more students.  For Mountain Ridge parents/guardians without home computer access, a computer with guest log-in capability is available in the Counseling Conference Room.


    Academic Assistance/Office Hours:

    In addition to the Academic Prep times built into our schedule each week, additional assistance/tutoring is provided on a weekly basis both by MRHS and individually by instructors. These office hours will be posted in my classroom, website, and/or Canvas at the start of each week. I will demonstrate to the students how to find my availability each week. 


    Policies and Procedures:

    ● Homework assignments on paper are collected at the beginning of class. A majority of the assignments in this course will be submitted digitally via Canvas with the due date clearly posted. Assignments are not accepted via email, canvas message, Remind or any other method, they must be submitted to Canvas for credit.

    ● Communication is very important in this class and every other. The primary mode of communication for this class is Canvas Inbox and should be used when contacting your teacher. It is also a good idea to remember when your teacher is likely able to return your messages. Do not wait until the weekend to reach out with a question that you need answered promptly, as they may not see your message until Monday morning. Likewise, do not message late at night because you will not receive a response until

    the next day. Communicating efficiently and promptly with your instructor is a key component to your success in this class.

    ● Students who are absent the day before a scheduled/announced assessment are expected to take the assessment as scheduled/announced the following day.

    ● Use of supplemental resources is not allowed on any assessments.

    ● If a student is absent on a scheduled/announced exam day, multiple retest options are announced and occur during AcaPrep or afterschool. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the teacher as to which day they will attend. If a student commits to an appointment and does not come in, or notify in advance, he or she will lose the opportunity of making up that assessment.

    ● On occasion, in order to re-enforce content mastery, PG and PG-13 science based video clips and science based instructional videos will be shown.



    After an absence, a student has one school day for each day missed to make up work/tests, regardless of the number of days absent. If many days were missed, please schedule an appointment with me to formulate a plan for the completion of make-up work. Make-up work for extended absences (over 3 days) may be requested through the Counseling Office and picked up there.  


    Late Assignments Policy: 

    In order for Late Work to be accepted, students must meet the following parameters:

    • Assignment is not due within the class period

    • Assignment is not a timed activity (such as a Quick-Write Essay)

    • Assignment is not a Long-Term assignment (over multiple weeks)

    • Assignment is turned in by the end of the instructional unit

    All assignments are given a due date, and a zero is filled in once the due date is passed. Although assignments can be turned in after that date the point of these assignments is to expose students to content and help them obtain mastery of that content through timely practice so that they are successful on high stakes exams. Not completing assignments as assigned and submitting them late, hurts the student’s abilities to achieve mastery as they may go into assessments without feedback and practice. Having late work also causes students to have to play "catch up" which causes additional stress on the student.


    Classwork Policy: 

    In-class assignments may be due by the end of the class period. You will receive time to complete in class. 


    Test Retakes –  Assessment Category Only:

    The student completes another assessment of the same learning targets. The assessment will be a different format and will be at the same difficulty level. The higher of the two scores will be entered in the gradebook.

    To earn a retake opportunity, a student must complete all of the following:

    ● The student must initiate contact with the teacher within 5 school days of the assessment score being posted.

    ● Submit all assignments for that unit of study, even if the assignment is in the practice category and not impacting their overall grade.

    • Verification of studying must be provided to the teacher.

    ● Sign up for a retake date during the retake window appointed by your teacher. There will be multiple dates available outside of school and during Aca Prep time. This retake window will be around the district summative exam and the retake will serve the additional purpose of preparing for the district exam.


    Plagiarism and Cheating: 

    Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s work and reporting it as your own, or the giving of your work to another student to use as their own. Both instances are considered heating and will not be tolerated. Any assignments that are plagiarized, or copied will not be accepted and the student using the copied work as well as the original author of the work (if the cheating is “peer to peer”) will both receive a zero for the assignment and may both face additional consequences at the school level in accordance with the MRHS Student Handbook. There are also strict “no talking” and “no technology access” during all assessments (tests, quizzes and final exam). Any violation of these policies, regardless of the reasons/motives will result in the assessment being confiscated and a score of zero entered into the grade-book on the assessment. In addition, consequences at the school level may also occur in accordance with the MRHS Student handbook.


    AI Statement:

    In Deer Valley Unified School District, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible education while ensuring their safety, privacy, and well-being. As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance learning experiences, we may incorporate the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the classroom for students. However, it is important to approach this technology with caution and adhere to responsible data privacy practices.


    DVUSD has determined that the use of Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, is prohibited unless clearly specified by your teacher. Specific guidelines will be provided in the assignment details. If you are unsure if the tool or website you are using is an LLM or if it is permitted on a specific assignment, please contact your teacher before submitting your work.


    Daily Device Use (iPads):

    Students should come to school with their iPads charged and ready to use in each class every day. Devices may not be used to record or take photos of other people without their consent.  Consequences for classroom disruptions and misuse of devices will follow a progressive discipline model, beginning with a phone call home and progressing to office referrals for repeated or more serious offenses. See the Student Rights and Responsibilities consequence chart in the handbook for more specific descriptions of infractions and consequences.


    MRHS Laboratory Breakage Policy:

    The Mountain Ridge Science Department has a policy regarding the damage or breakage of laboratory equipment. In the event a student breaks any laboratory materials, that student will be responsible for paying the replacement cost of each item. A complete list of all laboratory materials and their costs are posted in each classroom.  The students are taught proper procedures and laboratory etiquette to ensure the safety of our students during lab activities. This policy helps hold the students accountable for their actions and reinforces careful laboratory procedures.

     Math/Science Calculator Policy: 

    Students will be allowed to use their own personal calculator on tests and assignments if required. 


    Recommended Supplies for this Course:

    Some sort of paper in an organized binder for which notes can be written and kept for frequent reference. A way to organize and keep handouts, pen and pencil and a basic function calculator are essential materials to have access to. If you have any issues obtaining these materials, contact me immediately.