Dear Students and Parents,
   Welcome to Chemistry class!  We will be studying the structure, composition, and changes in matter.  You will be introduced to the mathematical nature of matter, and verify this nature in laboratory experiments.  At the end of the semester, there will be a North Carolina End-of-Course test that all Chemistry I students must take.  All topics that are covered throughout the semester will be on this very important test.  Throughout the semester, the scientific method will be used incorporating process skills (observation, math skills, measurement, classification, inferring) that are fundamental to the study of science.  The higher level thinking skills of students (analysis, synthesis, evaluation) will be developed through lab activities, problem solving, discussion, writing, technology, and reading.

   Students are required to bring the following materials to class each and every day:
        - 2" three-ring binder (with dividers)††††††††††††††††††††††† - notebook paper††††††††††† - pencil and pen†††††††††††† - scientific or graphing calculator†††††††††††††††††††† ††††††
††††††† - colored pencils or markers††††††††††††††††††††††† - any notes and/or worksheets that are needed for that day

   Students are responsible for their own success in my class.  Students will have to keep up with their assignments.  Most of the handouts that students will use in Chemistry I class will be found on the internet.  I have a website where all of the material that students need can be found.  There is a part of the website that is just for parents to help you keep up with what your child is doing in class.The website address is:

If I were a student, I would add this website address to my list of "Favorites" on my computer at home as well as on my account here at school.  If your home computer breaks or runs out of ink or for any reason malfunctions, the students can still get the papers that they need for class.  A student can either call one of his or her friends and have them print an extra copy or a student can arrive at school by 7:00 am, go to the Media Center, and print out the material there.  (It does not cost students anything if they are printing school-related material.)  A student could also set up an internet account at the public library.  (However, you will have to pay to print out material at the public library.)  Any way you look at it, a student has many options in order to make sure that he or she has the information ready for class.

    Students will be required to print out the materials needed for the following class period in addition to their written homework assignments.  Every day, the exact titles of the papers that need to be printed will be written on the board.  It is highly advisable to write these down in your agenda at the beginning of the class period.  Students can expect to have a homework assignment each night.  (Both written assignments and materials to print out.)

   A student's grade will be determined by dividing the number of points earned by the number of points possible.  Each assignment will be given a point value based on the difficulty of the assignment.  (For example, a test is usually worth 100 points.  A homework assignment checked for completion is usually only worth about 10 points.)  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg grading scale will be used.  (100-93 = A, 92-85 = B, 84-77 = C, 76-70 = D, 69-0 = F.)

   The behavioral expectations for the students in my class are as follows:
Be prompt  (be in your assigned seat and prepared to work when the bell rings).
Be prepared  (pen and sharpened pencil, notebook, paper, calculator).
Be respectful  (no profanity, food, drinks, gum, hats, grooming).
Be honest  (no cheating, forgery, copying, always tell the truth).
Be cooperative  (positive attitude, listen and follow directions, do not talk unless given permission).

   In the event that a student should fail to obey the above guidelines, the following actions would be taken for continued classroom disruptions:  warning, counseling with teacher, detention, talking with counselor, parent/teacher conference, then referral to an assistant principal.In the event of a major incident, the student will be sent out of class to the assistant principalís office.

   I will be communicating with you throughout the year by notes, letters, telephone calls, e-mails, and progress reports.  If a need arises, please write me a note, call me at school (980 - 343 - 5390), or e-mail me ( needed, a conference can be scheduled.

   After reading this letter and the science laboratory safety rules, please print out an extra copy of the lab safety rules.  Both the student and parent should sign the lab safety rules sheet.  Students must turn in a copy of this sheet with the signatures of both the student and the parent to me at the beginning of their next Chemistry class.  Additionally, a student needs to print out another copy of the lab safety rules and keep that copy in the front of his or her Chemistry notebook.  I am looking forward to an exciting and fantastic year!
                                                                                                            ††††††††††† Sincerely,

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Christa D. Duncan

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