• 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. Construct an explanation about the relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media, and their applications to modern technology.
    11. Evaluate explanations and theories about the role of energy and matter in geologic changes over time.
    12. Analyze and interpret data to determine how energy from the Sun affects weather patterns and climate.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    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.
    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.
    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 for this challenging class you have chosen to undertake!
    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.


    Grades will be composed of 2 areas: assessments and classwork. The percentages will be broken down as follows: assessments are 70% and classwork is 30%. The grade percentages will round to the nearest whole number. EX: a 79.5% will round to an 80% and a 79.4% will round to a 79%. The grade in PowerSchool is the official grade.

    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.

    Assignment and Assessment Expectations: In addition to school and applicable rules above:

    • All assignments can be turned in for full credit up to 1 week after the announced or published due date of the unit of study. After that, all missing assignments will receive a 0. However, the point of assignments/homework/labs and projects expose students to content and help them obtain mastery of that content through timely practice so they are successful on high stakes summative assessments. 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.
    • No outside resources are to be used during any assessment unless explicitly described before the assessment by the teacher.
    • Quizzes and Assessments must be completed in one sitting and within the time boundaries set. No extensions will be given.
    • Missed assessments due to absences will have arrangements made with the student directly. Requests for a “make-up” assessment must be done the day the student returns to class and must be completed as explained by the teacher. Make-up assessments are also timed and no resources are allowed while testing is in progress.
    • Students will be allowed one retake opportunity per summative assessment.

    A different assessment that covers the same standards will be provided for the retake in lieu of the initial assessment.

    Make-up policy:

     Absences: A student has until the close date-one week from the end of the unit of study- to submit missing/corrected work. If many days are 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:  Mountain Ridge students have within the current unit of study to turn in assigned work for full credit, as determined by the teacher, level, and department on campus. The length of the unit of study and due dates will be clearly communicated to students by the teacher. Any assignment less than a week old at the end of a unit will have a one-week submission period.

    Classwork Policy: In-class assignments may be due by the end of the class period.

    Test Retakes – Summative Tests Only: Students have the ability to retake summative assessments within one week, by appointment, before the close of the unit of study- no exceptions will be made.

    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 cheating 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 assessment (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.

    Daily Device Use (iPads): Students should come to school with their iPads charged and ready to use in each class every day. We use them daily, not bringing a charged iPad will interfere with access to learning materials and hinder learning. 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.

    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.

    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.