• Ms. Buus                                                                                                                 Room #: E208

                                                                                                               Voice Mail # (623)376-3158

    Earth Science                                                                                      Vanessa.Buus@dvusd.org


                                                                                                                                  Prep: 5th Period  

    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: Geology, Astronomy, Oceanography and Meteorology. 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:

    • Differentiate between metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous rocks.
    • Describe the physical evolution of Earth.
    • Describe our solar system and all of its components.
    • Explain processes within the geosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere and show how they are connected.

    In addition to the course objectives listed above, the “Arizona College and Career Ready” Anchor

    Standards for Writing are also embedded.

    • Standard 1- Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    • Standard 2- Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • Standard 9- Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


    Classroom Rules: In addition to the MRHS guidelines found in the handbook I expect the following:

    1. Respect that this is a learning environment - While you are in this classroom you are expected to conduct yourself in a manner which benefits the learning for yourself and others. Rude or disrespectful behavior along with the use of electronic devices will not be tolerated and will be handled in accordance with district policy.

    2. Be here – It is important that you are in class regularly and on time. Missed classes could result

    in missing out on useful hints, instructions or analogies to help you become more successful.

    3. Be Prepared - It is important that you come to class prepared to participate and learn. Coming to class with supplies such as pen or pencil, loose leaf paper and a 3-ring notebook for keeping your assignments is highly recommended. A three hole punch is available for use in the room.

    4. Respect Yourself and Others – If you have questions on this see me right away.

    5. Positive attitude – This will make our time together more enjoyable. We all can do well in this class!

    6. 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 and an MRHS policy.


    Grading: Grades will be composed of 3 areas, tests/quizzes, homework/class work/labs, and the final exams. The percentages will be broken down as follows: Final Exam 20%, tests and quizzes 50% and homework/projects/class work and labs 30%. The percentages will be rounded to the nearest whole number, a 79.5% will be rounded to an 80% and a 79.4% will be rounded to a 79%.  In accordance with school policy there will be no extra credit available and no late work is accepted!!                          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: 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 the classroom and/or on my website at the start of each week. I will demonstrate to the students how to find my availability each week.


    Make up Policy:

    Absences: 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.  


     Retake Policy:

    • You must be present and complete the original exam to be eligible for a retake.  One week is allowed for test retakes. MRHS Science has a 1 time per semester retake policy.  The replacement grade is the average of the original exam and the re-take exam.  The re-take exam will be different than the original exam but cover the same objectives.


    Daily Device Use (iPads): Students should come to school with their iPads charged and ready to use in each class every day.  Within each classroom, there are three possible technology environments. Teachers will identify for students the environment expected during their class period. These environments are described below:

    Red: No device use allowed.  Devices are to be off and put away.  If a device is out and being used at this time, students may receive disciplinary consequences and/or zeroes if appropriate.  This environment may be necessary for testing or non-electronic based assessments.

    Black: Limited device use allowed.  Students may use devices in accordance with teacher instruction in a prescribed manner.  Students may be asked to place devices face down on their desk until appropriate to use.  Teachers may ask to see students’ open apps and require that all apps are closed with the exception of a specific one or two.  Games should not be open in this environment unless the teacher indicates a specific game may be used.

    Green:  Open device use.  Students may use their device independently to take notes, complete assignments, conduct research, communicate with the teacher, check grades, and other appropriate educational uses of the device.  Students should not access inappropriate content or cause disruption in this environment.


    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. Students who have devices out during a Red environment or during testing, may lose credit on their test or quiz.  See the Student Rights and Responsibilities consequence chart in the handbook for more specific descriptions of infractions and consequences.


    Math/Science Calculator Policy: All students will be allowed to uses their personal calculators for any test or quiz required.