Rock on Dude and Co.  on top Mt. Marcy


    Rock on Dude and Family  Course Overview:


    Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year and to Earth Science!  You might be asking yourself the question, what is Earth Science and why do I need to learn about it?  Forget for a moment that Earth Science is a class that you need to take in order to get a Regents science credit in order to graduate and read the words of Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell on returning from a lunar mission:


    “It is so incredibly impressive when you look back at our planet from out there in space and you realize so forcibly that it’s a closed system—that we don’t have unlimited resources, that there’s only so much air and so much water.  You get out there in space and you say to yourself: ‘That’s home.  That’s the only home we have, and the only one we’re going to have for a long time.’  We had better take care of it; we don’t get a second chance.”


    Earth science is the study of our Earth—our home.  It is a fascinating subject that draws from three interdisciplinary sciences:  geology (rocks, volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, etc.), astronomy (planets, stars, galaxies, etc.), and meteorology (weather, hurricanes, atmosphere, etc.).  Together we will investigate the rarest of all planets—Earth and its processes that impact not only your daily life but your future.  All you need to succeed in this class is a good attitude, a willingness to work and a “never give up” mindset!


    Course Expectations:


                The Earth Science curriculum is comprehensive and challenging.  Consistent, regular attendance is the single most important key to passing this class.  Earth Science is taught as a college preparatory course.  Students will be introduced to a higher level of rigor through the Common Core that will help them develop the skills needed to be successful in college or competitive in the post-secondary job market.  Personal responsibility, self-reliance and critical thinking will be emphasized.  Students are expected to study and accomplish work outside of the class room as they do in college.  Students should expect to spend 20 to 30 minutes per night working on homework or studying. To remain competitive with their peers nationwide, students should strive for a grade of 80+. 


    Laboratory Requirement:


                Students will have the opportunity to work individually and collaboratively on a variety of laboratory exercises throughout this course.  Labs are designed to provide students with hands on practical application of concepts introduced in class.  This is a Regents course with a state mandated laboratory requirement that all students must meet prior to taking the Regents Examination in June 2015.  To be eligible for the Regents exam, you must successfully complete 1200 minutes of laboratory time.  Approximately 2,000 minutes of laboratory time are scheduled.  In order to pass this course, students must attend lab and complete ALL labs with a passing grade of 65% or higher. The laboratory requirement must be met by May 29, 2015 or students will be ineligible to sit for the Regents examination.



    Students are required to maintain a spiral bound notebook to use as a student journal/Regents review guide.  This notebook will be provided to the student.  Part of the student’s final grade each marking period is class participation which is based on student readiness for class.   This means students are required to bring their textbook, assignment and a pencil or pen to every class to earn participation points.  If a student forgets to bring a pencil, they can be purchased for a small fee of 5 cents per pencil.  It is highly recommended that students purchase a package of colored pencils (12 colors).


    Grading Policy:

    Grading policy for this class is listed below.  As the school year progresses, the lab percentage of the grade will increase 5% per marking period:                       


    Unit Exams                                                                                   40%                 

    Attendance/Class Protocol (based on student rubric)                   20%

    Lab Reports                                                                                   15%

    Quizzes (one per week)                                                                 15%

    Class Participation/Homework
    (includes maintaining a 
     complete class notebook)                        10%


    Late Work Policy:


                Students should expect to turn in classwork and homework ON TIME.  Partial credit is given for late work turned in one day date.  After one day, late work is not accepted.  In accordance with school district policy, students have up to 10 days to turn in missing work on return from an excused absence.    An excused absence includes either a written note from a parent, guardian or administrator: or the appropriate annotation in the school’s computer attendance system.    


    Extra Assistance:


                Dedicated assistance for class work or lab make-up is provided each Thursday from 3:00 until 4:00 pm beginning in October. 


    Contact Information:


    Parents or guardians may contact the teacher by leaving a message at 663-7070 x-3020 or send an e-mail to: kurt.albers@rcsdk12.org