Course Syllabus

Arvada West High School     • 2019-2020 School Year


Instructor: Ms. Maren Blair Office Hours: Room 113

Email: Connections:  Room 133

Voicemail: (303) 982-1336

Course Description:  Physics studies the elementary interactions of the things in this Universe. Topics include Kinematics, Dynamics, Conservation Laws, Waves and Optics, Electricity and Magnetism. Physics is fun and challenging class that strongly emphasizes both concepts and math.


  • Notebook (either binder or spiral, depending on student preference)

  • Scientific Calculator 

Classroom Expectations and Norms

Our classroom will run based on this idea:

“With full effort and full attention, it’s okay to make a mistake.”

Full effort means:

  • Attend class, be on time, be prepared, have a positive attitude, and do your best given any situation. 

Full attention means:

  • Listen without interrupting, value input from classmates, limit distractions, and protect class property.

It’s okay to make a mistake means:

  • Keep an open mind, be gracious and kind to each other, and be patient with yourself. Everyone learns in different ways and at different paces. Have confidence based in your (not your classmates’) preparation. 

*Specific classroom norms for each period will be added after they are determined by class

Classroom Routines

  • Be in your seat and have materials out and ready by the time the bell finishes ringing.

  • Start to work on the daily question immediately after the bell.

  • Opportunities to leave the classroom during class will be limited. Make every effort to take care of personal needs before the start of class.

  • NO FOOD or BEVERAGES in the lab areas of our classroom at any time.

Technology Expectations


We (AWest Staff) commit to holding all students accountable for:

  1. Bringing the AWest issued device (not a personal chromebook or laptop)

  2. Bringing the device charged. A charging station is available in the library

  3. Maintaining a charge throughout the day (if listening to music or watching movies is draining your battery, STOP)

  4. Devices are for educational use only (teachers commit to ensuring this is happening either through active monitoring or through use of LanSchool)

  5. Devices being kept in excellent condition

Cell Phones

We (AWest Staff) commit to holding all students accountable for:

  1. Placing cell phones in their assigned sleeve when asked

  2. Silencing or turning off cell phones to limit class distractions

  3. If asked, keeping cell phones in the sleeve during the entire class (even if you leave to use the restroom)

  4. Only using cell phones for music or educational tool when approved by the instructor 

  5. Being respectful of other people’s property by leaving other’s devices alone.


If you miss class for any reason you should:

1. Check Google Classroom for missed assignments, class activities, labs, and notes.

2. Come in to Office Hours or Connections with questions and to make up any in-class work. Labs must be made up during the first Connections period following your absence.

it is your responsibility to determine what work you missed and to make it up in a reasonable amount of time.  You are responsible for your success.  I understand that emergencies and unique situations may arise; please communicate with me.

Excused Absences: For each excused absence you have two days to make up work. Work can receive full credit.

Unexcused Absences: Policy is the same as the district policy. Refer to the Jeffco Conduct Code Manual.


Coming to class late is disruptive to the academic environment and unfair to your fellow students.  Please make every effort to be on time! The tardy policy will be the same as the school wide policy which will include after school detention and/or in school suspension.

Academic Integrity

Cheating is rarely an isolated event, and it will only boost one’s grade when it is done continually.  This is a terrible habit to get into because you are not learning the material and you will be ignorant of things that you really can be fluent in.  Many colleges and corporations often have a zero tolerance policy toward cheating and plagiarism. Develop good study and citation skills now so you won’t have regrets in the future.  The cheating and plagiarism policy will be the same as the school wide policy which may include a zero on the assignment, after school detention and/or in school suspension. 


Students will have weekly homework assignments. Ideally, students will be studying daily for no more than 10-15 minutes of focused, uninterrupted time. It is not intended to overwhelm but is necessary to solidify learning. 

Late Work

It is important to get assignments turned in on time so you don’t get behind.  However, I understand that, occasionally, things come up that prevent this. The late work policy is as follows:

On Time:  Full Credit.

One week past due: 80% 

More than one week: No Credit

Chapter tests

Test questions will include material covered in the reading of the text, classroom discussions, homework problems, and laboratory activities.

Test Corrections

After every chapter test, students will be allowed to correct the questions they missed.  On a separate sheet of paper students are to write the letter of the correct answer AND a short explanation of why it is the correct answer.  HALF points will be given back if the answer is correct. WHOLE points will be taken off of the original score if the answer is wrong. Test corrections must be completed within one week after the test. 


Periodic laboratory activities will be done during class time.  You must have a signed safety contract in order to participate in labs. A detailed write-up for each lab will be kept in a separate (provided) lab book. This write-up must follow the exact format as described in a handout that will be glued to the front of your lab notebook.


Quizzes may come unannounced and will cover topics from the book or notes. Quizzes are correctable for up to full credit. 

Final Test

A final test will come at the end of each semester.  It will follow the same format as the chapter tests except it will be cumulative over the entire semester. The final test can not be corrected.

Grade Breakdown: Grading Scale
                           Chapter Tests:    40%
90% <  A < 100%

                               Laboratory:     20%                        80%  < B <  90%
Homework/Classwork/Quizzes:     20%
70%  < C <  80%

                                 Final Test:     20% 60%  < D <  70%

       F <  60%

It is your responsibility to use Portal to check your current grade and make sure that it corresponds to your returned graded assignments. Keep all returned work as it is the only way to verify your grade in the grade book.

Google Classroom 

Please access Google Classroom on a regular basis. Class notes, assignments, worksheets, review sheets, multimedia and additional resources will be available. Parents may sign up to receive Google Classroom activity reports. Email Ms. Blair if interested. A Google Calendar will also be kept up to date. A calendar of events and assignments is also always kept up to date. This calendar can be found in Google Classroom under the “Calendar” topic or under Ms. Blair’s (in the Science Department) page on the Arvada West website. Additionally, the Powerpoints used in class are posted in “Powerpoints” under a link to Mr. Bluhm’s (the other physics teacher) website.  

I’m a Scientist Enrichment

Grades will be a reflection of learning. Extra credit may be awarded to those who are following class expectations on unspecified days. I may also reward students who exceptionally employ a scientific practice. 

Extra Resources

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