Mrs. Rushia, Team Princeton, David R. Cawley Middle School

Sixth grade students experience science as a hands-on and minds-on class. Students increase their knowledge in the areas of life, earth/space, physical science, and STEM, revisiting and expanding upon certain themes to gain a better understanding of the world in which we live. Major units of study include: Earth Processes (landforms, soil, changes to the earth’s surface), Diversity of Life (kingdoms of life, microscopes, cells), and Chemical Interactions (matter, chemical reactions, the periodic table).


Science Binder: Your child will be given pages to form different booklets for each science unit. These booklets contain background material and procedures for class activities. Children need a dedicated three-ring binder (1-inch ring) to hold their science booklets. Students also need plastic sheet protectors to store other science papers.

Grades: Check PowerSchool frequently! If your child should ever get a score below 90% on an assignment, he or she has the option of correcting the errors for a higher score. I will take the higher of the two scores. Students may correct a particular assignment only once. They may not correct work that was passed in late. Corrected work needs to be handed in the day after it is passed back.

What to Bring to Class: Students are required to bring their science binder, highlighter, a pencil, and colored pencils with them to class each day. We ask the students to do their work in pencil, which can be neatly erased in the event that they score below 80% and need to correct it.

Sick Days: When a student returns to school after being absent, they will need to check with me to see what was missed. I ask that kids make up their work in a reasonable amount of time. If you wish to pick up work for your absent child, please make the request in the morning, before school, when you call the office to report that your child will be out. This will give the teachers the necessary time to collect their assignments so you can come pick them up after school. Please understand that not all teachers may be able to provide homework or make-up work for reasons such as missed instruction/directions, required use of school materials, ongoing class projects, etc. When this is the case, we will take care of it when your child is back in school. This is especially true for science!

  • Call before school to report that your child will be absent. If you want to pick up work, mention that in your voicemail.
  • E-mail your child’s teachers to ask if there is a need to come for work.
  • If you determine that there is work available that can be picked up, please come after 3:30. It will be on the front desk in the office.
  • Ask your child ahead of time which supplies they will need you to retrieve from their locker.

Missing School for Family Vacations: Due to the hands-on nature of science, we will not be able to provide work in advance for students who will miss school for family vacations. When your child returns to school, we will figure out what alternative work can be done individually.

Homework: Written homework is infrequently assigned in 6th grade science. There will be many grades based on classwork, assessing science skills (for example, the ability to prepare a slide for the microscope), projects, tests, etc. When there is homework, I will designated it clearly by indicating "HW" on the What's Up This Week page.


  • ​When you come to class, please immediately sit silently and do the Warm Up that is posted on the board. On the first day of the week, check the job list to see what your job is for the next few days. After we go over the Warm Up, we will officially start class.
  • Please arrive on time and be prepared for class with your binder, folder, pencil, colored pencils, highlighter, and agenda book.
  • If you are absent, find out what you missed by checking my website and/or by asking me. Get any papers you need from the rack under the TV or from Google Drive.
  • Late work: Do your work on time! When your work is late, you are expected to pass it in the next day. Multiple late assignments will be reflected in your effort grade.
  • Poor Grades: You can correct anything that has a grade below 90%. I will accept the retake grade and replace the old one.
    • Example: You got a 76% on an test. Since 76 is below 90, you are allowed to correct it. You fix it, pass it in, and this time you get a 96%. I will change your grade to be the full 96 points.
  • Do your work in pencil so you can neatly correct mistakes. When re-doing an assignment, erase the wrong answers and replace them with the correct ones in the same spot on the page.
  • You may only correct a particular assignment once. You may not correct late work for a higher grade. Corrected work is to be passed in the next time you have science class.
  • Late assignments, make-up work, letters signed by your parents, or anything else that needs to be passed in is to be placed in the appropriate slot of the paper organizer. Please don’t personally hand me anything because I will probably put it down somewhere and forget where it is. Also never place anything on my desk because it may get lost in the clutter!
  • You are required to have a dedicated binder and folder for science. Sometimes these will be collected so you can’t keep material for other classes in them. You need to have a few sheet protectors in your binder to hold on to certain pages, such as your monthly Warm Up calendar.
  • Check your grades on PowerSchool frequently!
  • If you need extra help, please come see me and we’ll arrange some help time.