Mrs. Amanda Smith
Wilder’s Preparatory Academy Charter School 2012-2013
Welcome to Mrs. Smith’s 8th Grade Physical Science class! It’s such a pleasure to have
your son/daughter in my class this year. You will start this course by learning the
terminology of scientists and discussing the unifying concepts used in physical science.
Students in Physical Science will have three major units of study: chemistry, physics, and
earth/space science. Chemistry topics include the study of the nature of matter; phases of
matter; and the elements of the Periodic Table. Students will use their basic chemistry
knowledge to apply the foundations of atomic structure and bonding; chemical reactions;
and acids and bases. The final section of the chemistry unit includes an integrated
chapter on biochemistry / carbon chemistry. The second unit of study includes the
following physics topics: motion and energy; and forces / forces in fluids. Near the end
of the spring and before CSTs begin, students will learn about astronomy topics, such as:
Earth, Moon, and Sun; the solar system (planets, comets, asteroids, and meteors); stars,
galaxies, and the universe. After CSTs are complete in late spring, if time permits,
students will complete a unit on engineering / drafting / technical drawing and
engineering applications (building codes; earthquake safety, etc.). Physical science is
also integrated with topics in life sciences and earth sciences.
You are expected to pay attention in class, and participate fully by asking and answering
questions. Working with your lab partners during lab, as well as studying together before
exams is another way in which students can be successful. Forming study groups is also
a great and successful way to study! The proven way to remember information for exams
is to begin early, concentrate, focus, and repeat, repeat, repeat.
Communication, between parent, child, and teacher is the utmost importance particularly
in the lines of communication regarding Aeries’ grades! The WPACS website is an
excellent way for students and their parents to “keep tabs” on their students assigned
work, upcoming exams including due dates, and students grades. When questions arise
regarding a grade posted on Aeries, parents should always speak with their student as the
first line of communication. Students must then speak to the teacher regarding any
Aeries issues so that they can be resolved in a timely manner. Do not wait until the end
of the trimester to inquire about a grade that was posted months earlier! Students are also
encouraged to utilize the WPACS daily planner. Assignments will be posted in class, as
well as on the class webpage calendar. Students will be expected to have homework
every week-night and on some weekends. Some assignments will be downloaded and
printed out from the class webpage the night of, or the day before it is due. Homework is
varied and may include the write-ups, and always include reading assigned chapters,
studying class lecture notes, or class activities DAILY.
Materials For Class:
1. Textbook 6. Colored Highlighters
2. Science Workbook 7. Lots of lined, notebook paper
3. Red pens (to grade homework) 8. Colored pencils / markers
4. Blue and black pens (for labs) 9. Scientific Calculator (a graphing
5. Pencils / erasers calculator is not necessary)
Science Classroom Expectations:
Students are not permitted in the Science Laboratory unless given permission by Mrs. Smith
for an assigned classroom activity. The Science Laboratory is not a play area, storage for
student binders, a social hangout room, or a hallway to get to the student bathrooms.
**Students who are caught in the Science Laboratory without permission will be issued a
WPACS Discipline Referral and a call will be made to parent(s). Entering the Lab without
permission is a safety hazard and will not be tolerated.**
All Homework must be turned in before the bell rings in order to receive credit. Late work
is not permitted (per the WPACS Handbook).
Students must keep the classroom/lab clean at all times. NO EATING, DRINKING, or
CHEWING GUM in any classroom at any time.
Students will need to have a separate notebook binder that is specifically for Science class.
Mrs. Smith may collect these binders at any time to check assignments. Students should not
throw away any classwork, homework, lab activities, etc. unless Mrs. Smith gives specific
instructions to do so.
8th Grade Science Curriculum Topics
Topic CA Science Standards
Lab Safety, Metric Measurements, Scientific Method 8.9.a-g
Structure of Matter 8.3.a-f
Chemical Reactions 8.5.a-e
Periodic Table 8.7.a-c
Chemistry of Living Systems 8.6.a-c
Density and Buoyancy 8.8.a-d
Earth in the Solar System 8.4.a-e
Additional topics may include: Engineering; Applied Chemistry; Applied Physics
It is my hope that these classroom standards will help make Wilder’s Preparatory Academy Charter
School a positive learning environment for your son / daughter’s education. I encourage you to
contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns regarding your student. I care deeply
about my students and their success in my class.
Mrs. Amanda Smith
8th Grade Physical Science; Middle School Science Teacher
8th Grade Physical Science - SIGNATURE FORM
Please return this form to Mrs. Smith
I, _____________________________ (Student, print your name) have read and understood the above
classroom guidelines and I am fully aware of what is expected of me in 8th Grade Physical Science. These
guidelines will be the key to success here at WPACS. I have shown my parent(s)/guardian(s) these guidelines
and am clear of what is expected of me. I am aware that if I do not follow these classroom guidelines that
disciplinary action may result.
Parent/guardian Name and Daytime Phone Number Best hours to be reached
Parent/guardian Email address
Student’s Name (printed): __________________________________________ Class Period: ________
Student Signature: _________________________________________________ Date: __________________
Parent/Guardian Signature: __________________________________________ Date: __________________
WPACS 7th and 8th Grade Policies and Guidelines
WPACS 7th/8th Grade Grading Policy
Late Work/Make-Up Work (Based upon the WPACS Parent/ Student Handbook.)
“All students have one day per absence to complete and turn in all make-up work. If a student fails
to make-Up his/her work he/she will be expected to attend after-school/Saturday detention until all
work is made-up.”
This means that no late work will be accepted. Classwork and homework must be turned in on the
date given. Punctual homework completion is a middle school expectation.
Academic Dishonesty Policy
“Cheating or attempting to cheat on a test are grounds for suspension and/or expulsion.” All
students of WPACS are held to a high academic ethical standard. Cheating includes giving another
student answers. Plagiarism or copying is a form cheating and will not be tolerated in any form.
Discipline/ Incentive Program
Students will be praised and recognized not only for their academic achievement but also for their
behavior. Teachers will implement a reward system in which we will be honoring the students’ good
Students with inappropriate conduct will be disciplined based upon the Parent Student
1st referral = Verbal warning by the teacher.
2nd referral = Verbal warning and the parent will be notified via Aeries, email and/or phone call.
3rd referral = Mandatory parent conference with an Administrator.
4th referral = Suspension 2-5 days (Oral and written notification will be made and a mandatory
conference with the Principal before student is readmitted from suspension).
5th referral = May result in expulsion with approval of the Board.
***Please note, any of these steps may be bypassed based on the severity of the offence.
Students are encouraged to use the restroom facilities before they arrive to school in the morning,
during Recess, Lunch, and/or after school. Students in the Middle School may also use the restroom
during passing periods, but are still required to get to their classes on time (otherwise, this will incur
a Tardy for that class period). If a student needs to use the restroom during class time, he/she will
use the Bathroom Sign-out/Sign-in sheet, and take the Bathroom Pass. The Bathroom Sign-in/Sign-
out log sheets will be monitored for restroom break frequency, and may be submitted to the
Administration for review.
The WPACS Dress Code
The WPACS Dress Code will be strictly enforced. Any student out of the approved WPACS school
uniform will receive a “Dress Code Violation Slip” and parents will be required to sign and return
this form to the student’s Homeroom Teacher. Please refer to the Parent/ Student Handbook.