Science 8

University Academy

2019 -2020

Teacher: Mr. Jeremy Dorrell


Phone Number: (816)412-9255

Room: A300


Welcome to a new school year here at University Academy. I am very excited about meeting you and being your Science teacher this year. Eighth grade science will help your students answer the why and how’s of science with interactive, investigative, and animated problem solving activities that will capture your students’ imagination.  It is my goal to make this class as fun and informative for your child as possible.  My door is always open starting at 7:15 a.m. every morning till around 3:30 p.m. 


Course Description

            In addition to meeting the state science standards, this course is designed to provide hands-on experiential learning. Students should expect to find the curriculum rigorous and engaging as the course will include collaborative work and project-based learning. This course will help your students by preparing them to become better note and test takers.


Required Materials

  • Pencil or Pen (blue or black ink only)
  • One notebook
  • One 2” inch (3 ring) binder designated for handouts in my class.
  • If additional materials are required for an activity, I will let students know in advance.


Course Standards

  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Review of Matter & Energy
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Waves, Magnetism and Electricity
  • Cells and Body Systems
  • Food Chains and Webs
  • Human Activity
  • Reproduction and Heredity
  • The Hydrologic Cycle
  • The Rock Cycle
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Weather and Climate
  • The Earth, Sun and Moon System
  • The Solar System
  • S.T.E.M. (throughout all lessons)


Classroom Expectations

  1. Be respectful to everyone.
  2. Have all supplies when you arrive for class, failure to do so will result in a tardy.
  3. Before class, line up in the hall quietly and wait to come in. Once you’ve entered, quickly find your seat and start the Do Now.
  4. Complete tasks given and encourage others (lend a helping hand).
  5. Nothing that distracts from learning is allowed.
  6. Raise your hand and wait to be called on.
  7. Receive permission to leave your seat or go to the restroom.

Grading Policy

University Academy Middle School is executing a standards-based grading system this year.  What this means is that we have moved away from the traditional A-F scale of grading towards grading students on their mastery of specific standards.  Students will receive two grades per week- one for citizenship (behavior, preparedness, effort) and one for mastery of the week’s standard.  The scale will be as follows:


4 = Mastery                             O = Outstanding

3= Proficient                             P = Proficient

2= Basic                                   N = Needs Improvement

1= Insufficient                           U = Unsatisfactory

Students will be expected to complete practice activities each week, take daily notes, maintain an organized class notebook, and take assessments over each learning standard.



I have tutoring each Monday from 2:50 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. This is a time students can receive extra assistance on certain topics or make-up/retake work. Students need to let me know if they are planning to attend tutoring prior to 2:50pm on Monday. Students with a “1” or “U” will be required to attend tutoring. Students must be in my classroom by the 2:50 p.m. tutoring bell to attend.


Procedures and Consequences

The students are to follow the procedures set forth by University Academy in the student handbook.  Each classroom follows the BIST (Behavior Intervention Support Team) behavior system.


In the event that a student is not meeting behavior expectations the following consequences may apply: change of seating within the room among students, a class period with seating in a safe seat, removal from classroom to a “Buddy Room,” parent contact (via phone and/or email), and office referral.  If a student is relocated to the “Buddy Room,” they must follow the receiving teacher’s directions fully.  Failure to do so will result in relocation to the Recovery Room and/or an Administrative Behavior Referral.  Please refer to the UA Middle School Handbook for further information or see the instructor.


Academic Dishonesty

Honesty is a valued UA character trait and must be upheld by students at all times.  Academic dishonesty can be broken into two categories that include cheating and plagiarism.  Cheating is any action that misrepresents the student’s learning or work product; this includes but is not limited to copying work, allowing copying, signaling during a test, informing other students of test content, using cell phones or other electronic devices that are not school or teacher approved, using cheat sheets or a failure to report (confidentially) known instances of cheating.  Plagiarism is the wrongful act of using someone else’s words or ideas as your own without giving credit to the author.  If a student is found guilty of either form of academic dishonesty, the consequences are as follows:  The student will receive a parent contact and an office referral.


UA Middle School Attendance

It is expected that all students will attend regularly.  Parents/legal guardians should call the school if the student must be absent.  Excessive absences may result in loss of academic credit, retention, and possible withdrawal from University Academy. Please review the UA Middle School Parent and Student Handbook for further details.



ClassDojo is an app I use to communicate with parents. Download the app or log into your existing account and enter the code provided to your student.



University Academy 8th Grade Academic Policy

The 8th grade community will foster a fun learning environment that supports academic rigor, character building, high school readiness, and college preparation.

Students must demonstrate what they know in order to earn their grades. The 8th grade team believes that 3 things help contribute to a passing grade: 

  • Effort: You get out what you put in. If you do the work, the grade will come.
  • Desire: You work for what you want. If you want to pass your classes, you have to work for it.
  • Drive: Do your best EVERY time. If you give your best, your misunderstandings become clear, and we can give specific help for you to succeed. 


  1. Deadlines are important for instruction and understanding. When an assignment is given, it’s expected that it be turned in on time. If the assignment is late, you will have 7 days from the date of the assessment to have ALL assignments and retakes completed. 
  2. In order to master a skill, you have to practice it. Practice assignments are not scored, but will be used to determine your mastery of a skill, so it will directly impact your grade. Practice assignments are expected to be turned in at the start of the class period by which it is due. If you don’t have your assignment ready, you are not prepared for the current day’s class, which will affect your ability to master skills. You will not be allowed to take the assessment until ALL assignments are completed.
  3. Late work is accepted. Even if you miss a deadline, do the assignment so that you can get the practice; show your teachers what you know; and master the current skill(s). Late work will be accepted within 7 days from the date of the assessment.
  4. Assignments may be submitted a series of ways. You may hand them in physically, submit them via email, share them as a Google doc, or submit into an electronic classroom, such as Google Classroom or Study Island. 
  5. Assessments are the ultimate display of what you know. If you take an assessment and score a “2” or less, you must retake all or part of the assessment at the assigned time on the assigned date. You will be given three chances to retake, with intermittent tutoring, until you can demonstrate that you have mastered the skill. You will have 7 days to complete ALL work for that Assessment.
  6. Each assessment will fall into one of three categories and will be weighted as follows: Study Islands/Quizzes (10%), Assessments (40%), and Benchmarks (50%). 


Parent/Guardian Signature:  _________________________________________________________



Parent/Guardian email:  ____________________________________________________________



Best number to reach Parent/Guardian:  ________________________________________________