Class Expectations

Physics                                                Course Expectations    

School Year 2017-18                            Mrs. Colleen Ruths


Physics can be one of the more difficult courses one can take during a high school career.  Many of the concepts and ideas can be abstract.  You actually need an artistic mind to visualize the problems   There is a tremendous amount of math work needed in physic – so one will need to utilize math skills heavily.  But, physics is a wonderful science.  It explains so much of what we see, feel, hear, smell, taste, and experience.   


My goals for you this year include;

            -Appreciation of the Science all around you

            -Learn Skills for Success in College (or any higher level learning)

            -Stretch Yourself  


Class Guidelines


1. Daily supplies needed for class:

a.     Book and notebook and/or folder

b.    Pens and pencils

c.     CALCULATOR – Scientific or Graphing

d.    Other papers needed for class


2.  Other things needed for success

a.     Good attitude – leave your other problems in the hallway.  If you have a problem that is more important than physics (it had better be a really GOOD reason), inform the teacher promptly and together we will try to seek a useful solution.

b.    LISTEN and LEARN.  Do not talk during lecture, lab explanations, or while other students are asking questions.  Do have discussions ABOUT PHYSICS during lab time, group work time, or when we are having a review session. 

c.     Be here everyday.  We are always doing something new.

d.    Respect other students and their property. NO harassment allowed.

e.     Respect school property.  There are many pieces of expensive and fragile equipment in this room.  DO NOT TOUCH unless you are given permission,

f.     Raise your hand to ask a question, answer a question, or make a useful comment.

g.    Get a good night’s sleep – for teenagers this means 8-10 hours.  You will be amazed how much more interesting physics (and your other subjects) are when you can stay awake during lecture.

h.     Check the board every day when you enter class.  Usually there will be a “starting assignment” to do while I check roll and homework.  Begin work right away.

i.      Mrs. Ruths is available for assistance before school, Period C and F, I, and before and after school.



3. General Rules.

a.     Students will be allowed to chew gum until the teacher finds gum wrappers in the sinks, drawers, cabinets, desktops, or gum wads under desks, chairs, in desks, etc. The first time any gum or wrappers are found, this PRIVILEGE will be revoked.

b.    You are responsible for the cleanliness of your area.  If the teacher finds litter in the cabinets, the sink, the floor or if it is not properly cleaned up from the lab experiment, etc, your table will be warned or points deducted or you will be assigned lab clean-up duty.  If you arrive and find litter in your area, tell the teacher so that the class before may be penalized.

c.     You should find me to be a reasonable person, in return I expect you to be reasonable too.   If you have a lapse in reason, the first people I will notify are your parents. 

d.    The seat you receive is an assigned seat.  Do not change it.  It helps to streamline my grading and checking of homework.  If you have a situation that makes this seating difficult, inform the teacher promptly.


4. Laboratory Rules

a.     A lab rules sheet will be handed out at a later date to be signed by parents.  This sheet must be kept in your physics folder at all times. 

b.    Any student(s) who behaves unsafely, destructively or incorrectly will be removed from the lab and assigned a written report or Internet project.

c.     Students who are absent the day of the lab will be allowed to make it up as long as the lab is set-up. After it is put away, the student will be assigned a written report or Internet project in lieu of the laboratory.   The report is due the same day as the rest of the class.






a.     (50% of grade) Tests will be given every 4 ½ weeks.  The test will cover all the material that was covered in class during the previous four weeks.  This may include multiple chapters, lab experiments, and class demonstrations.

b.    Quizzes (Part of Classwork Grade) - may be given at any time – announced or unannounced – graded or solely for the benefit of the student. – written or oral. 

c.     Cheating – Students caught cheating on a test or quiz will receive a ZERO for the test. The other student(s) involved will also receive a zero.  It is close quarters in this room; it is your responsibility to protect your work and keep your eyes on your own paper.

d.    Any student who is absent on the day of a test or quiz will make it up the day they return to class.   Going to a sectional is not a valid reason to miss a test.  The make-up tests are not the same as the regular tests.



a.     Students are responsible for completing homework.  Often times there will be class time designated to work on assignments, however, you must finish during study hall or at home. 

b.    Online homework – students are expected to complete by the time and date provided online.

c.     All students are expected to do their own work.  Copying other people’s homework or lab report is cheating and will be dealt with as above.

d.    Lab reports – There are two types of lab reports – formal and informal.  Most lab reports are informal.  Formal reports are larger and more detailed. 

e.     Lab reports are due no later than ONE WEEK after the completion of a laboratory.  Quite often labs can be finished within the lab time and will be accepted at that time.

f.     NO late work is accepted.  If a student is having problems completing assignments, the teacher will have to inform the parents of this unacceptable situation.




a.     Grading is done according to the Shikellamy School district standards.

b.    It is highly advisable for you to keep track of all of your graded assignments.  At progress report time and end of marking period total points will be assessed for your grade.  If there is a discrepancy, the teacher will update the grade IF the student is able to produce the paper(s).

c.     The grade for a marking period can be determined by:  totaling the amount of points earned by the student, dividing it by the total number of points possible, and then multiplying by 100.
CATEGORY          PERCENTAGE                  

Class work                          \                                                    

Homework                            \                                         

Lab Reports                             >  50% (a portion of each section)

Projects                                  /

Weekly Quizzes               -                                   

Test (2 or 3 /MP)              -          50%




a.     The actual days in physics class is minimal:

42 min * 180 school days / 60 minutes / 24 hours =  5.25 days


b.    Do not waste your time or fellow student’s time by being late, disruptive, or disrespecting.

c.     Use class time wisely.  If you have completed all assignment for the day, move ahead to the next assignment.  Do not sit there doing nothing, or I will find something for you to do.

d.    Please stay in your seat until the end of the period.  There is no reason to line-up at the door.  It causes congestion and confusion around critical and sensitive places in the room.


I sincerely look forward to a fabulous year in physics.


Bio on Mrs. Ruths


Mrs. Ruths is a graduate of Shikellamy H.S. and began her love of science in this very room.  She received her Bachelors of Science degree at Penn State University.  She has taught at Susquehanna Township (Harrisburg), York City School District (York) and at Southern Columbia (Catawissa).   When not concocting the next experiment, she enjoys running, skiing, taking classes, playing in the bell choir and spending time with her husband and three children.