This is the “Official” welcome letter to
                               Introduction to Business.
                                      2007 - 2008

This letter is being provided as a link from my course description. If you are on a
waiting list, do not order text and materials until the director notifies you that you
have a seat in the class.

I am sure each of you is bubbling over with questions, the foremost of which
probably is how the class is going to be run. I will generally do a lecture format. It
will be interactive. I will encourage you to ask questions as I lecture. Sometimes I
will answer your questions and sometimes I will tell you to hold on because your
question is about to be covered in my lecture. There will be times I will ask you to
hold your questions. At times I will ask you for personal experiences as they relate
to the topic being discussed.

                              BUSINESS NOTEBOOK

I will expect you to keep all of your assignments in a three ring binder. You will
need to create a table of contents listing all assignments in the notebook and you will
need to number the notebook pages to correlate with this table of contents. (This is
not the same table of contents I sent to you showing you the contents of the
textbook) The first three assignments are: 1. this introduction, 2. the “get
acquainted notes” from the first class meeting, and 3. the syllabus. This binder will
be turned in at the end of each semester. It will be graded on organization, neatness
and content. You are encouraged to design a cover page for this binder. It can be
done by hand or on computer. Use your imagination - it should say something
about the course; it can be pictures or graphics - whatever you think says
“BUSINESS”. The notebook should be kept by chapter(all chapter one
assignments, followed by all chapter 2 assignments, etc.) with the following
assignment order for each chapter: Outline, graded homework, original copy of the
workbook pages, upload receipt for the homework, original copy of the test, graded
test, upload receipt for the test. Your unit tests will follow the last chapter of the
unit and you should have the original copy, your graded copy and your upload
receipt. You do not need to include the answer key for each chapter which I
provide. Also, please do not staple any pages together. The second semester
notebook need only contain the second semester work.

I want to encourage students to keep their notebook up to date as we move through
the semester rather than waiting until the end and attempting to put it together in
one or two days. Experience has proven this to be a bad practice because of
unforeseen circumstances including computer and printer failures at the critical
times, even to the point of all work being “lost” in a computer failure.
At the time designated on the syllabus, you will mail me your notebook. There is a
late penalty for late notebooks. You need to send me an e-mail to tell me when you
mailed it and I also check the postmark. Some post offices consider the notebook
“media mail” and some do not. Check with your local post office. Please include a
return address label, either done on a computer or VERY NEATLY done by hand.
If you will include $3.00 with your notebook to help offset the return postage, I will
cover the rest.

               Don Rucker, 7208 Inland Ct. Georgetown, IN. 47122


Of course, since you are home-schooled, it is all homework. However, I want to
make a distinction between regular assignments and tests. Each chapter will have a
set of questions (“Review Your Reading”) and vocabulary words (“Develop Your
Business Language”). These are to be done for every chapter we cover. In addition,
there will be assignments out of the workbook for each chapter. These assignments
will vary from chapter to chapter and can be found on the syllabus. The questions,
vocabulary and answers to the workbook pages will be submitted as a single
assignment for each chapter.

You will upload your completed assignments to the TPS web site. (If you do not
know how to do this, a tutorial is available on your Atrium page.) PRINT YOUR
RECEIPT AND PUT IT IN YOUR NOTEBOOK Once I receive your homework
assignment, I will return to you an answer key for you to check your homework. I
ask that you make corrections neatly in BOLD RED. (If your printer does not have
red, please make corrections in bold CAPITALS). Since you have done the work on
the computer, just go back and make the corrections on your original work, print it
and place in your business notebook. Homework should be done in Microsoft
WORD and SPELLCHECKED prior to submission. Please do your homework in
12 pt. bold type.

The Parent is responsible to assist the student in checking homework. The objective
portions are very straight forward. However, some of the questions may have
latitude in their answers. I provide the answers as they appear in the answer key
printed by the publisher, however, I also encourage students to e-mail me if they are
struggling with any particular question or concept.

A note of caution may be in order at this point. Since I do not grade the homework
and I do provide an answer key, it may be easy to fall into the habit of doing
homework that is “good enough” for the instructor to return an answer key. The
assignments generally highlight the material that will appear on the chapter and
unit tests, so it will serve the student well to make sure the homework is done well.
Also, if I determine that a student has not put sufficient effort into a homework
assignment, I will not return an answer key, but will request that the student re-
submit a better homework assignment.

When doing the homework, for “Review Your Reading”, you should write the
question as it appears in the text but you do not need to answer in complete
sentences. Often times you will be required to list things – please make the list in a
readable format (A, B, C or 1, 2, 3 etc.) For “Develop Your Business Language”,
write the vocabulary word IN CAPITALS at the beginning of the definition
followed by a dash (EX: NATURAL RESOURCES – raw materials supplied by
nature) For assignments from the workbook, you need only submit to me the
answers, however, do complete the blanks on the workbook pages and correct them
in red as indicated above.

For most chapters I will provide an outline of the material we will cover. I
ENCOURAGE you to take notes on the outline. Frequently, I will leave blanks on
the outline which I expect you to complete. These outlines become part of your
business notebook. Do not be concerned that you have taken notes on the outlines, I
expect them to be written on and not even neatly! These outlines will be on the
Potters School site where assignments are uploaded and downloaded.

Homework assignments have a value of 20 points each. If assignments are
submitted late, they are docked 1 point (5%) for each day they are late.
Assignments are due at 8:00 pm. Eastern Prevailing Time and you NEED TO
Homework received after 8:00 pm. is considered one day late on the day it is due
and an additional day late for each successive 8:00 pm. which passes. Incomplete
homework will receive a reduced grade. Homework not done according to the
format specified above will be returned to you with a request that you re-submit in
proper format and it will be considered a late assignment. Your homework will
count as 10% of your semester grade.


You will have chapter tests and unit tests. (I sometimes use “test” and “quiz”
interchangeably when referring to chapter tests – they are the same thing.) A
chapter test will have a value of 100 points and a unit test will have a value of 200
points. (Items worth 200 points will be listed twice in the grade book) A unit is
made up of between 3 and 5 chapters. At the end of each semester, your Business
Notebook will count as a unit test. (200 points) There will be a comprehensive exam
at the end of each semester, but don’t let that scare you. You will know in advance
almost every question that will be on the test. The semester exam questions will be
posted on the TPS site from early in each semester. I suggest you download this and
study it at the end of each chapter to internalize the questions from that chapter.
The semester exam has a value of 300 points.
Again, tests are due at 8:00 pm. Eastern Prevailing Time and are docked 5% for
each day they are late. If you know your test is going to be late for a legitimate
reason, I ask that you have a parent e-mail me in advance of the due date/time. If I
do not get notice from a parent regarding late tests or homework, deductions will be
made. Again, I ask that you print the TPS receipt when you upload your work and
put it in your Business Notebook along with the test. Please place both the original
test from the test book (hard copy) and your graded test in your Business Notebook.

You need upload ONLY THE ANSWERS to the tests. Please use CAPITAL
LETTERS (EX: T for true, F for false, etc.) I will correct them and return them to
you. You can then put the corrected copy I return to you in your Business
Notebook, along with the original hard copy (It does not even need to be filled out,
as many students take the test by typing the answers directly on the computer). One
IMPORTANT NOTE – a parent needs to sign each test you take and write “taken
under my supervision” along with their signature. I will check for these signatures
when I receive your Business Notebook at the end of each semester. Deductions will
be made if signatures are not present.

After chapter 19, you will have the option of doing a career information interview as
an extra credit assignment. This grade may be used to replace your LOWEST
CHAPTER TEST GRADE. If you are interested in doing this assignment, ask for
information after we cover chapter 19.

We will visit a variety of web sites. One of your first semester projects will be to
record, and later graph, the closing price of the Dow-Jones Industrial Average (the
stock market) each day. This information is readily available at www.bigcharts.com
(I will take you there and give you instructions when we are ready to begin). During
the first class of the second semester, you will be given an imaginary $10,000 to
invest in the stock market. From that point forward you will track your investment.
You should check and document your closing prices at least twice a week . At a
given point, we will all sell our investments and see who made (or lost) money and
how much.

By my calculation, we will have 33 class periods. There are 44 chapters in the text.
We will skip unit 5, but otherwise I plan to complete the text. However, I reserve
the right to slow down or even pursue something outside the text if conditions or
current events warrant.

                       WHERE TO FIND YOUR GRADES

Approximately every two weeks, sometimes more often, I will update your grades.
I will send an e-mail telling you grades are updated. When I do, please check your
grades to: 1) be sure they agree with your returned assignments and 2) check for
any missing assignments. You will find grades at the following address:

When you get to this site, it will ask your name and password. The format for your
name is first name (space) last name, with the first letter of each being a capital. (ex:
Joe Student) Your password is the same as the one you use to log into class. If you
try this and it does not work, please e-mail me so we can identify the problem. It is
usually that I have mis-spelled your name or password. I will also post the average
for each test under the name Joe Average. The password for Joe Average is:

                       A WORD ABOUT “PRIVATE CHAT”

If you have been a TPS student, you know you have the ability to “private chat”
with another student in the classroom. There may be a time or a situation where
this is appropriate, but the general rule is that IT IS NOT ALLOWED. If you have
something you wish to private chat to me, that is OK, but private chat to other
students is disruptive to both you and the other student. Students found to be
private chatting during class should expect me to call their parents. Also, private
chat appears for all to see on the recorded version of the class.

                             WHAT I EXPECT OF YOU:

I expect you to have read the chapters before the class period when they will be
covered. I do give chapter notes, but they are not always comprehensive. Also, my
chapter notes may include material not found in the text.

I expect you to enter into the class discussion. I understand that some students are
more likely to do this than others. I do not want to unduly coerce anyone, but I
would like for everyone to participate at some level.

I expect work to be completed in a timely manner. For uploaded work, 8:00 pm.
(eastern time) on the due date is timely; 8:01 is late. For snail mail, I will look at the
post mark. I will try to keep snail mail work to a minimum. Daily work generally
counts 20 points per assignment. All late assignments will be docked 5% per day. A
special note is in order at this point. Since all daily work goes into your Business
Notebook and your Business Notebook is graded at the end of each semester, daily
work will be counted twice. So, even if it is so late you get no points, you still need to
do the assignment because it will be part of your Business Notebook grade.

If you know you are going to be unavailable for class, please let me know in
advance. I will always accept work early and special arrangements can be made for
tests or homework with your parents consent.

If late work is a result of personal illness, family emergency or a computer problem
of a non-recurring nature, I will grant full credit upon request from the parent.
This request must be made either prior to my receiving the assignment or shortly
thereafter. ALSO, when the assignment is submitted, please note at the bottom that
it is late and that I have been previously notified. I sometimes get up to 100 e-mails
in a day and it is possible for me to overlook or mis-file a request for an extension.

Please make every effort to be in class on time. I know there can be problems with
connectivity, so I suggest always trying to be logged on 5 minutes early.

                      WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT OF ME:

Since I expect you to have your assignments to me on time, I will return them to you
as quickly as I can, generally within 3 days. Assignments submitted on time receive
priority in grading. Work received late will be graded as time permits, generally on
the following week-end. I schedule time to grade assignments. A single late
assignment can easily take as much time to handle and six assignments received
together on time.

Class meets on Thursday and homework for the chapter(s) covered in class is due
the following Tuesday and the test for material covered will be on Friday, one week
and one day after the lecture. (see syllabus for details)

If you are having difficulties with the material or have questions you are free to e-
mail me at any time. My e-mail address is: MrRucker@pottersschool.org
In the event that we should have some type of problem communicating, you may call
me at home at 812-923-6139 between 7 pm. and 10 pm. (Eastern Time) most
evenings. I ask that you try to resolve problems through e-mail communications
before calling.

I tend to believe the subject material is interesting. I tend to tell a lot of stories in
my lectures to highlight the material in the text. My hope is that this keeps the
material interesting to you.

I am always open to suggestions. If you have an idea you wish to share with me, I
encourage you to do so. For obvious reasons, I cannot implement every suggestion I
receive but suggestions are still welcome.


A      93 - 100%
A-     90 - 92%
B+     87 - 89%
B      83 - 86%
B-     80 - 82%
C+     77 - 79%
C      73 - 76%
C-     70 - 72%
D+     67 - 69%
D      63 - 66%
D-     60 - 62%
F      BELOW 60%

In a separate document I have included the table of contents of the book. I am re-
working the syllabus and it will be provided prior to the start of classes. The text
book ordering information will be provided by the Director.

About half of our first class period will be devoted to going over this and other
material detailing how the class will work. You will have ample opportunity to ask
questions at that time.

Very nearly all of the students I have taught in this class over the years have said it
was a fun class and that they learned a great deal. I will do my best to make sure
this holds true for this class as well.

Don Rucker

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