Chemistry Home

Welcome to Chemistry!

Course Description:

This college preparatory class provides a fun, interesting and challenging learning experience to understand the integral relationships of chemistry and the relevance of chemistry in our world. Hands-on experiences using scientific equipment and procedures will be used to help students understand the basic principles and laws of chemistry. Concepts will be explored through laboratory experiments, demonstrations, readings, assignments and lectures. Students are required to pay a $10 laboratory fee which helps offset the expense of consumable materials used in the laboratory experiments. Lab fees are due by September 9, 2016.


"World of Chemistry" by Zumdahl

"Chemistry" by Holt

  • You will have on-line access to these books from any web-enabled device.

  • A link to each textbook is posted under the "Learning Resources" tab on this website.

Materials Needed:

Every day you must come prepared with the following:

  • notebook paper

  • inexpensive scientific calculator capable of scientific notation, square root and cubed root functions, logarithmic functions, and trigonometric functions. Cell phones will not be allowed as calculators.

  • pencils, blue or black pens, and red pens

  • all resources and reference materials that your teacher has handed out in class

  • 3-ring binder to keep all class materials organized and easily accessible

Grading Policy:

The standard PSD grading scale will be used in assigning semester grades. Grading will be based on assignments, laboratory experiments, quizzes, and tests. The semester grade will be weighted according to the percentages listed below:

  • Tests: 50% of final grade

  • Laboratory Experiments: 30% of final grade

  • Quizzes: 10% of final grade

  • Assignments: 10% of final grade

Unit Tests and Final Exams:

Unit tests in chemistry vary in length according to the content covered. Chemistry concepts build upon one another throughout successive units. Therefore, each test is somewhat cumulative in nature. The 1st semester final exam covers all material covered in the 1st semester. The 2nd semester final is a comprehensive exam that covers all material covered throughout the entire year. All of the tests have been designed to be taken and completed in one class period. As long as the student understands the material, s/he will have no trouble completing the test in one class period. The unit reviews will give students a good indication as to whether they are prepared for the test.

Class Participation and Note-Taking:

It is expected that during chemistry class every student is actively participating in the class, taking notes, and/or writing down example problems. Active participation includes asking and answering questions during class discussions. In addition, each student is expected to contribute equally to all small group activities, discussions, and lab experiments. You may not work on assignments from other classes during chemistry, as I would not expect you to work on chemistry in any of your other classes.

Excused Absences:

Daily attendance in class is critical to your academic success in chemistry. Whenever a student has an excused absence from class, it is his/her responsibility to come in before the class the following day to make sure s/he understands the topics that were presented. IMPORTANT NOTE: An excused absence on the day before an exam or quiz does not excuse the student from taking the exam or quiz on the assigned day. Our weekly schedule is posted on the class website, and all assignments will be shared with you in your Google Drive, so the date of all exams is known ahead of time. Make sure you walk into class on an exam / quiz day ready to take the assessment - even if you were absent the day before.

Late Work:

This chemistry class moves at a fast pace, and most topics must be learned in a sequential order. In order to be successful in chemistry, students must keep up with, and fully understand, the daily work. Often, if you do not do today's homework, you will not understand tomorrow's lesson. Homework assignments will be checked at the beginning of each class. They are due when called for, and considered late at any time after that (even if you turn it in 5 minutes later). Late work will be accepted, but heavily penalized. If an assignment is turned in late, it will receive a 50% deduction. All assignments from a unit must be turned in before the unit test to receive any credit. Students will be given one day of extension for each full day of an excused absence. To aid you in keeping up to date, the weekly schedule is listed in the class website, and all assignments will be shared with you in your Google Drive.

Grade Reporting:

Parents / guardians are strongly encouraged to log on to Parent Portal often to keep up to date on student's performance and attendance. Parent Portal is a great online tool that allows parents / guardians to monitor student's progress in class and be aware of any missing assignments the student may have. Please contact me as soon as possible should you have any questions or concerns regarding your student's performance.

Test Re-Take Policy:

It is extremely important for students to arrive prepared for each unit test. However, we also understand that from time to time, a student may perform poorly on a major unit test even though s/he felt prepared. For that reason, we do allow a limited number of test re-takes throughout the year. Below are the test re-take requirements:

  • Each student is allowed one (1) test re-take per semester.

  • A student will be allowed to re-take a unit test only if s/he has turned in all homework / labs / activities for that unit on time and fully completed.

  • The student must re-take the test within one (1) week after the graded original test as been reviewed in class.

  • Please e-mail the teacher indicating that you wish to re-take the test.

  • Prior to re-taking the test, the student must first:

    • go to the class website and study all unit materials

    • complete (for a 2nd time) all textbook readings dealing with the unit in question

      • take detailed notes as s/he reads the textbook

      • complete all practice problems and exercises that appear in the textbook reading

      • answer all section review questions and the chapter review questions from the textbook

    • complete all assignments and activities a 2nd time

    • staple the newly completed assignments and activities on top of the original one

    • create a packet of all the re-completed work and notes taken during the textbook readings

    • come in for help from the teacher on any material that is still difficult for you to understand

    • submit the packet of materials to the teacher

    • Review the test with the teacher to determine the best course of study.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: The original test score and the test re-take score will be averaged together in the gradebook.

Extra Credit:

As extra credit assignments do not truly reflect learning of chemistry concepts, no extra credit will be offered or accepted.


Tardiness disrupts the learning process for the tardy student which can negatively impact his / her grade. Homework assignments will be checked at the beginning of the class period, and any tardy student will receive late credit for that assignment (see above). A warning will be given for the first tardy, but any additional tardies will result in time cleaning in the teacher's classroom. Any student who is tardy more than four (4) times will be referred to the administration. Important Note: Whenever a student misses more than ten (10) minutes of class without a note, s/he may be considered to have an unexcused absence, not a tardy. Based upon school district policy, unexcused absences result in loss of credit for the day's work without the opportunity to make up that work.

Make-Up Tests:

Make-up tests may be given for excused absences only. Make-up tests must be taken outside of class time. The student must make the arrangements for the make-up exam with the teacher as soon as they return. If a student is absent only on the day of a test, s/he will take the test on the following day. However, if the student is absent only the day before the test, s/he will take the test with the rest of the class as scheduled.

Non-academic items in class:

Music / video players, cell phones, calculator games, food, and beverages are all items that can cause distractions in class. All cell phones, music players, and ear phones must be kept completely out of sight during class time unless the teacher has asked you to use it for a specific purpose. For the first offense, the teacher will confiscate the offending item for the rest of the class period. The student may retrieve the item at the end of the class. Future offenses may require that the student's parent / guardian come in to retrieve the item from the office. On test days and at other specified times, the teacher will require that all students deposit their cell phones in a designated safe location until the end of the test or activity. Since this is a chemistry classroom, dangerous chemicals may be spilled on tabletops. As a result, no food or beverages are allowed in the classroom, except water.

Hall Passes:

In case of an emergency, the teacher must know where each student is at all times. To ensure this, no student may leave the classroom without informing the teacher, signing out, and carrying the Hall Pass. The Hall Pass is to be used for the restroom, to go to your locker, or to get a drink of water - not to visit the vending machines, go to the library, etc. You should be gone from the classroom for only 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure to sign back in as soon as you get back into the classroom, and replace the Hall Pass. Failure to adhere to the above rules will result in a loss of Hall Pass privileges.

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After Reviewing the Syllabus found in the students shared Google Drive under the “Chemistry Class Documents 2016-17”, please write your names, initial and date below. (Due Friday September 9, 2016)

I have read and understand the Chemistry Class Syllabus as outlined above.

Student name (please print) _________________________________________________

_______  Student initials indicating understanding of policies.

Parent Name (please print) ___________________________________________________

_______ Parent initials indicating understanding of policies.

Date _______________________________________