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Renaissance Middle School

7155 Hall Road
Fairburn, Georgia 30213
Ms. Cresenda Hawk, Principal
Dr. Angela Hagans, 7th Grade Assistant Principal
School Phone: (470) 254-4330 Fax: (470) 254-4338

Life Science: 2018-2019
Instructional Syllabus

Teachers: Ms. Coulter, Ms. Garrett, Ms. Telfort, Ms. Payne,

I. Course Description for 7th Grade Physical Science:

The 7th Grade Life Science curriculum provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to
transition from elementary life science standards to high school biology standards. The course is designed
to provide students with an overview of the common concepts and strands in the life sciences including
but not limited to structures and functions of cells, tissues, organs, and organ-systems, heredity, biological
evolution, diversity of living organisms, and ecosystems. These concepts are investigated through
observing, collecting, summarizing, analyzing, and presenting, results of scientific investigations and
fieldwork designed for students to develop appropriate knowledge and skills in science as inquiry.

II. Georgia’s 7th Grade Physical Science Georgia Standards of Excellence:
By the end of the seventh grade, students will understand the following concepts:

S7L1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to investigate the diversity of living
organisms and how they can be compared scientifically.

S7L2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to describe how cell structures, cells,
tissues, organs, and organ systems interact to maintain the basic needs of organisms.

S7L3. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to explain how organisms reproduce
either sexually or asexually and transfer genetic information to determine the traits of their

S7L5. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information from multiple sources to explain the
theory of evolution of living organisms through inherited characteristics.

S7L4. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to examine the interdependence of
organisms with one another and their environments.

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III. Course Outline/Timeline:***
First Semester
Science Safety/Inquiry (Unit 0) 1 weeks
Classification (Unit 1) 3 weeks
Cells and Body Systems (Unit 2) 8 weeks
Genetics (Unit 3) 6 weeks
Second Semester
Evolution (Unit 4) 5 weeks
Ecology (Unit 5) 10 weeks

*** Please note that the course outline/timeline is subject to change based on the needs of

IV. Textbook and Materials:
HMH Georgia Science
ISBN: 9781328494665 $88.20
Text is a consumable workbook sent yearly

Students must bring to class daily: textbook, notebook, pencils, and paper.
As teachers, we expect the students to come to class prepared and ready to learn.
In the event the textbook becomes destroyed, lost, or stolen; a payment of $88.20. (cash or money order

V. Grading Scheme: This class will adhere to Fulton County Grading Policy that consists of the
following grading scale:

A 90 And above
B 80 - 89
C 70 - 79
F Below 70*
NG No Grade
INC Incomplete

**by state rule any grade below 70 is failing.

VI. Grades are determined using the following formula/criteria:

Tests 25%
Quizzes 20%
Classwork 25%
Performance tasks (formal writing, projects, or labs) 30%

Performance tasks: Students may be expected to complete research and/or design projects during
each semester. The annual Science Fair or Social Studies is encouraged for all 7th grade science
students. The goal is to provide each student with as much exposure as possible. There will be
assignments given on a routine basis that will require work or research outside of class as a part of
unit of study or in support of an in-class project. The assignments given are to support an

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investigation or activity that is being conducted in the classroom and will be necessary for the student
to complete to ensure they fully comprehend the material being studied. Students will participate in
differentiated project based learning experiences throughout this course. Projects are not limited to
science content, and may include the following components: multidisciplinary, cross-curricular,
technology based, enrichment, and advanced content standards (above current grade level).

Homework: It is the policy of Renaissance Middle School to assign homework as a reinforcement of
concepts learned in class; however, it is up to the discretion of the individual teacher as to whether it
is assigned daily or over the weekend. Evaluation of homework may consist of detailed grading,
generalized checking, or a combination of both techniques.

Scheduled Help Sessions: The teacher will be available by appointment to assist students who are
experiencing difficulty. It is imperative, however, that students requiring assistance give the teacher at
least 24 hour notice. Opportunity to accelerate can be requested prior to school and after school;
however, if assistance is requested during after school hours it is the parent’s responsibility to provide

Grading Policy: Every two weeks, on Friday, the teacher will print out Student Detail Reports or SDR’s.
The teacher will give the student(s) with missing assignments the Student Detail Report (SDR) along with
corresponding copies of the missing assignments attached. Student(s) will be given one week, the next
Friday, to turn in the assignments to receive full credit for completing the assignment(s).

Late Work: All assignments are expected to be handed in on time, unless arrangements have been made
with the teacher. Late work will result in a five (5) point reduction on the assignment, unless it is due to
an absence. For example a student present on Monday fails to turn in Monday’s homework until
Wednesday. If the student received a score of 85, the score will be reduced to an 80. However, a student
absent on Monday will not be penalized but will instead follow the process outlined in the Grading Policy
mentioned above.

Recovery Process. FCBOE policy on Grading and Reporting (IHA) provides for the recovery
process at the middle school level.

B. Provision for Improving Grades
1. Opportunities designed to allow students to recover from a low or failing cumulative
grade will be allowed when all work required to date has been completed and the student
has demonstrated a legitimate effort to meet all course requirements including attendance.
2. Teachers will determine when and how students with extenuating circumstances may
improve their grades.

Teacher/Parent Communication: An open line of communication is encouraged between teachers
and parents. E-mail is a great tool for communication between your home and our classroom. Please feel
free to contact us using the email addresses above. Parental visits are encouraged as well; however, it
is the policy of Renaissance Middle School that all visitors must report to the office before going to
other parts of the building. A “Visitors Pass” will be issued as evidence that this procedure has been

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Absence/Make-Up Procedures: Upon returning to school following an absence, it is the student’s
responsibility to contact the teacher(s) to request make-up work. Make-up work must be completed
by the student within the time specified by the teacher. At Renaissance Middle School, the student
will be given the same amount of time to make up the work as the student was absent unless other
arrangements are mutually agreed upon. The student will receive the actual grade on the make-up
work if the absence was “excused.” Make-up work submitted late will receive a zero. (FCBOE
Policy JBD)

***Teachers may include notes, interactive labs, work or instruction on their individual sites. It is
imperative that students check these resources during an absence to prevent regression in the student’s
knowledge of the curriculum and seamlessly integrate into the new lessons upon return.

Students are expected to adhere to the rules and policies of Renaissance Middle School and
Fulton County as stated in the RMS Student Handbook/Agenda and the Fulton County’s
“Guidelines for Student Behavior.”

Academic Honesty: Fulton County Board of Education has always expected its students to practice
academic honesty. Adopted March 1998, the Student Academic Integrity policy states: The Board of
Education regards academic honesty as a cornerstone of its education mission. Cheating will not be
tolerated in this school system. Examples of cheating, e.g., copying or “borrowing” from another source
and giving as one’s own work; seeking or giving unauthorized assistance on tests or assignments;
altering or forging grades, grade books, progress reports, report cards or academic records; using
substantially identical work in more than one course without the instructors’ prior approval; and any
other examples discussed in class. Disciplinary action for students who do cheat could include, but is not
limited to, repeating the assignment, receiving a reduced grade, or exclusion from the assignment
entirely. We hope this answers most of your questions about this class. Please feel free to send a note,
an e-mail or call the school if needed.

Discipline/Expectations: In order to maintain an environment conducive to learning, students must
follow behavior guidelines of Renaissance Middle School and Fulton County Schools as stated in the
Renaissance Middle School Code of Conduct. Should a student not follow these rules, teachers will use a
combination of the following methods: nonverbal and verbal reprimands, conference between teacher and
student, seating change, time-out/isolation, lunch and afterschool detention, communication to parent via
telephone, email, referral to guidance counselor, conference between parent, teacher, student, and
administrator, and office referral. In addition to behavior concerns, cheating/plagiarism in any form will
not be tolerated. Any assignment that is found to be a product of cheating/plagiarism will be assigned a
grade of 0 and the student will be given a referral.

NOTE: This course syllabus provides a general plan for the course; Deviations may be necessary.

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Please detach and return
Please print and sign your name below indicating that you have read and understood the expectations
within the class syllabus. I look forward to working with you and your child this school year. If you have
any questions or concerns; please call or email.

Student’s Printed Name: ______________________________________________

Parent’s Printed Name: _______________________________________________

Parent’s Signed Name: _______________________________________________

Parent’s Email address: _______________________________________________

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