General Expectations and Student Responsibilities

1. Know what your homework is and complete it on time. Your assignments will be posted in advance on the “Assignments” section of the class website.

2. Read all assignments carefully and employ active reading techniques to help you learn relevant information and to be able to relate the story accurately. This means attention to annotation as you read text and source material and taking conclusive notes to help you participate in the discussion about the material read.

3. Be punctual and prepared for class.

4. Know your personal schedule (appointments, athletic events, performances, etc.) and be aware of how it affects or potentially conflicts with class. It is your responsibility to coordinate your schedule and make the teacher aware ahead of time of foreseeable absences and conflicts.

5. Participate in class dialogues by asking questions, sharing ideas and/or confusions, defending your positions, and exploring ideas. Always remember that respect and concern for others should shape what you say and do in class.

6. Work on your writing for legibility, clarity, cohesion, and conclusive support.

7. Work to determine point of view when reading documents and other sources.

8. As you study, look for ways to help you grasp the material in a better manner, understanding cause and effect, seeing connections, and drawing your own conclusions.

9. Take effective notes in class during discussions and from reading assignments.

10. Be organized with your materials. Keep all materials given to you and organize them in dedicated folders on your computer (or iPad)  and/or put them in a dedicated notebook/binder (for quizzes, tests, paper handouts, etc.).

Grading Policy

Your trimester grade will be determined based on a combination of your grades on tests, quizzes, essays (when assigned), daily homework, and class citizenship (see below), together with the factors listed above.  Grading for each trimester and major evaluations will follow the PDS A-F/100-0 correlated system.

Aside from formal evaluations, there are a number of factors that will determine your grade in this course. In no particular order, these include:

-ability to participate in class discussions in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
-quality of written work in terms of organization, use of imagination, and clarity
-positive interaction with other students on group projects-punctuality in handing in work
-ability to listen and to follow directions, particularly in incorporating suggestions for improvement
-personal initiative in both individual and group assignments-organizational ability
-genuine interest and enthusiasm-effort, and consistency thereof-attention to detail on homework
-demonstration of ability to complete readings in a timely manner-demonstration of grasp of course material
-attendance and punctuality for class

Class Citizenship

Evaluations of class citizenship will be based on the following factors:

– positive contribution to class discussions and atmosphere, including respect and care for others
– active, focused and cooperative participation in class sessions and in group learning and activities
– faithful class attendance and on-time arrival to class
– keeping track of assignments, making arrangements for making up missed assignments and informing teacher of planned, excused absences
– on-time completion of all assignments and evaluations


Homework assignments may include a variety of activities like daily reading, written assignments on the readings, etc. Homework is meant to help you better understand concepts that we learn in class. Thus, homework is assigned for your benefit. Any homework assigned is due at the beginning of the class period. Failure to complete daily assignments, even when not formally turned in, will be a factor in determining a trimester grade.

Some homework assignments may be turned in and receive a grade. Late graded assignments will receive a deduction of one grade level for every day the homework is late. Keep in mind that attention to detail and neatness both count when evaluating graded homework.

Formal Evaluations

Quizzes and Tests: depending on unit size, each course unit will be evaluated by a quiz, test or a combination of both. See the syllabus for an approximate breakdown of major quizzes and tests. Students are expected to take quizzes and tests on the assigned day. Apart from an excused absence due to illness, the only exception to this rule is when athletic contests conflict with the period during which the test is to be administered. When this situation arises, it is your responsibility to inform me at least 24 hours prior to its original administration time and to reschedule the test. If you miss a test or a quiz because of an athletic contest, you are to take a makeup test earlier in the day of the test date, if you have a free period. If you miss a test because of illness, you are to take a makeup test on the first day you return to school. Failure to make up the quiz or test on that first day of return to school will result in a lowering of your grade by one grade level (e.g “A” to “B”) for each day that passes before the quiz or test is taken.

Larger Written Assignments: If assigned, these assignments will be varied in nature and will be explained as they are assigned. These assignments will sometimes serve as the focus for class discussions and special learning sessions. Late written assignments will receive a deduction of one grade level for every day it is late.

Extra Credit

At the teacher’s discretion, opportunities to earn extra credit points may be given to the class as a whole. For example, in “Jeopardy” format review sessions, extra credit points can be earned.

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