SYLLABUS Environmental Science 2013/2014

Certifications: B. S., M. Ed., Ed. S., Gifted Endorsed, National Board Certified
Environmental Science
Instructor: Jessica Chase
email: or
Tel. #: 478-875-1000 (school)
912-537-3457 (home)
Textbook: Holt Environmental Science, 2000, Karen Arms, Ph.D.
Office Hours: Available for help 7:30-8:00 AM and 3:10-3:30 PM Monday through Friday (later on an arranged
Assignments: available online at West Laurens High School website ( click on Schools, choose
West Laurens High School, click on School Staff, click on Teacher Websites. Choose Chase, Jessica. Find your class
section and click on it. You might wish to bookmark that page to retrieve it quickly.
Objectives: To master the major themes of Environmental Science according to the Georgia Performance
Standards of the State of Georgia and the National Science Standards; to provide students with the scientific
principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world; to
identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and manmade; to evaluate the risks associated with
these problems and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them; to collect and interpret
laboratory data; to develop process skills, to work independently; to design and carry out several independent
investigations of environmental questions, read and report on recent research about environmental issues.
Scope and Sequence: Environmental science is a one (block schedule) or two (regular) semesters interdisciplinary
course of study; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study: earth systems and resources,
the living world, population, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, waste, global
change. You will receive one Carnegie unit upon successful completion of the course.
Materials required: 3-ring binder for taking notes and keeping handouts, highlighter, color pencils
Grading Policy: The first semester’s (or quarter on block) grade includes a midterm exam. This is 25% of the
student’s grade. There is NO EOCT (end of course test) in environmental science, but there is a Student Learning
Objective test (SLO) at the end of the semester. Unannounced (“pop”) quizzes count as bonus points which may
be used on tests (for a maximum of 10 unless the tests are curved), labs or daily work. There are no makeup pop
quizzes. If a student is absent on the day of the quiz, no bonus points can be earned for that quiz. Therefore, it is
in the student’s best interests to attend school daily for every opportunity to succeed.
The categories and weights for each category are as follows:
Tests and announced quizzes
(lowest grade will be dropped)
Laboratories, projects
(includes homework and class work – lowest grade will be dropped)
Midterm and Final Exams
Certifications: B. S., M. Ed., Ed. S., Gifted Endorsed, National Board Certified
Philosophy of the Classroom: You are responsible for the material covered in class and in the laboratory. I am
here to facilitate your learning. Environmental science is a new way of thinking about nature and humans
interactions with it. I ask you to learn and understand the “big picture,” fleshing out with details what must be
learned in order to make connections to real life. I ask you to make inquiries about concepts, discover together
and individually about how environmental science affects our lives and how we affect our environment and make
conclusions about observations you have made. I promise to grade your work fairly and quickly so that you have
timely feedback. I hope you will find this course fun and interesting so that environmental science is a course you
can look forward to coming to. In return I expect you to open your minds, be prepared each day of the class, ask
plenty of questions, be an active learner, and enjoy the learning experience.
Lab Reports: Your lab reports are due no more than three days following the post lab analysis. NO LATE WORK
WILL BE ACCEPTED. Many laboratory investigations will have a prepared protocol for you to follow. Other labs
will not. Instead, they are guided or pure inquiry labs that require you to develop your own experimental design
based on the perceived problem. This is to afford you the opportunities to develop your critical thinking skills and
apply them in a laboratory setting. Most labs you will work with one or more lab partners.
Expectations: All work must be handed in on time. No work will be accepted beyond the due date, unless there
are extenuating circumstances. You will have the opportunity to download guided readings from the class
webpage, work on documents online and submit them online, if the format is appropriate to do so. I expect you to
attend all daily classes. Of course, illness and other family concerns prevent students from attending, and
allowances are made for these according to the WLHS Student Handbook. I expect you to follow all rules and
regulations stated in the WLHS Student Handbook. If you must be absent, please make every effort to contact me,
via email or calling or visit my online assignment page as noted on the previous page. If you have questions, please
ask them. I may not always have the answer, but I will find the answer to it. The only answers that are never
learned are to the questions that were never asked.
After the second week of school, I will prepare a bi-weekly progress report for your child, or an additional report
upon request, a hard copy that your child will bring to you to sign. Each progress report is a homework
assignment. If your child should misplace or lose it, simply email me and I will email you a copy as of the date
requested. I cannot reconstruct any to which I have added more grades from the date of the initial report. Each
report will give you the opportunity to review how your child is doing in all areas of the course. Of course, you
may view your child’s grades at any time of day or night by Internet through I-Parent, which gives you exclusive
viewing of your child’s progress in all his/her classes. If you do not yet have an account on I-Parent, please visit the
school and meet with our registrar, Mrs. Marcy Smith, or an administrator to establish your user code and
password. You cannot do this over the phone. My door is always open, for helping your child, for finding avenues
that facilitate specific learning areas and success in the course, or just to “chat” with you about any aspect of your
child’s learning. Please feel free to communicate with me in any way that is comfortable for you.
Certifications: B. S., M. Ed., Ed. S., Gifted Endorsed, National Board Certified
Please sign the next page in the appropriate places and return the next page
only to Mrs. Chase.
Please sign the attached page and return to Mrs. Chase.
Please place this syllabus inside your notebook so that you may always refer to
Thank you.
Certifications: B. S., M. Ed., Ed. S., Gifted Endorsed, National Board Certified
To the Parent/Guardian:
I have read and understood the attached syllabus. I understand that if I have any questions or concerns
about the course, that I may call upon the instructor at any time to determine how my child is performing
and work with the instructor in partnership to facilitate the learning of my child,
Parent/Guardian Signature
I also understand that I am entitled to know every facet of my child’s academic development and learning.
My child’s teacher can communicate with me at any time that is convenient to me in the following manner:
I prefer that you contact me by email at
Or by phone at home
at work
Parent/Guardian Signature
To the Student:
I have read and understood the attached syllabus. I understand that if I have any questions or concerns
about the course, that I may call upon the instructor at any time to help me with my academic progress.
Further, I understand that I am responsible for my learning and will do my best to fulfill those
responsibilities to the best of my ability.
Student Signature
Certifications: B. S., M. Ed., Ed. S., Gifted Endorsed, National Board Certified