Science Research Course Guidelines and Grading Policy for All Levels

Teachers:  Mrs. Casey Clark & Mr. James LaRocca


            All students must be present for all classes.   In the event of a legitimate absence, the student must obtain and present an absence pass at the beginning of the next class as he/she would for any other class.  Students are responsible for getting missed notes or more likely missed announcements from someone else in the class.  After- school clubs and teams and other competing after- school classes are accommodated according to a schedule established in the beginning of the year.  If a student would like to discuss an alteration to this schedule as new clubs/activities arise, he/she may do so as long as it is well in advance of when the situation is going to arise.  The following are examples of absence reasons that will NEVER be excused: medical appointments, make-up exams, detention, etc.  If there is a serious reason why a student must leave before class is finished, he/she must obtain an early dismissal pass from the Dean’s office or else it is considered a cut.  Doctor appointments, unless it is an emergency, will still affect a student’s grade even if the student is presenting an early dismissal pass.  If a student wishes to go to laboratory on a research day, it is perfectly acceptable but should also be on the conflicts list established at the beginning of the year. 

            Lateness is not acceptable.  If, for some reason, an H period lateness is excused by the Dean’s office, then it will be excused.  However, if this happens often, even an excused lateness will affect the student’s grade.  Students in after-school class who arrive after 2:50 sharp will be marked late, regardless of the reason.  No student is to show up late for class because he/she was talking to another teacher or “in the college office.”  If a real emergency arises, obtain a note explaining your lateness from the adult with whom you were. Likewise, students may not leave class early unless it is part of a pre-arranged schedule established at the beginning of the year.  Class usually is dismissed by 4 p.m., but class may extend as late as 4:30. p.m. without notice, especially on presentation days. 


*** Anyone who goes every other of something, please let us know a start date so that we know which weeks are on and which are off.  Additionally, you must email all teachers by 9 p.m. of the day before so that we get a reminder of your absence and can confirm its validity.  

*** Anyone who does something sporadically or once a month or needs to go to lab spontaneously or wants to attend a tryout must email in advance by 9 p.m. of the night before class to all teachers (even if mentioned on this conflicts list).

*** If anything new comes up, it must be discussed in advance with teachers so that an agreed schedule can be determined.

*** Students may not attend review classes on a regular basis, but if there is a really important review class or meeting, then permission to go might be granted if there is advanced notice by email by 9 p.m. of the prior day.

*** It is your responsibility to know about meetings and tryouts and review classes in advance.  If you do not inform us the night before by email by 9 p.m., you will not be permitted to miss class.  

*** As always, doctors appointments and babysitting, after school jobs, and for the most part driver’s ed and SAT classes (since these course can be taken other times) are NOT permitted excuses to miss research class and such absences will be severely penalized.

*** Any student who feels sick at the day’s end would need to obtain an early dismissal pass. Our general feeling, however, is that if you made it to 2:40, you can make it a little longer, so please avoid this unless extremely ill.


            Each student will meet in a small group with a research teacher once every 14 school days.  Students must be prepared for this conference with their binders and in them, of course, all that they have accomplished since the last conference.  These binders should be ready to go with sheets filled in, hole-punched, and inserted before the student arrives for conference.  Additional information and a sample scoring rubric that will be used in conference are available on the website.  If a student misses a conference without an absence pass or comes without a binder, the student will receive a grade of 0% for that conference.  Additionally, if a student is absent, he/she must reschedule his/her conference by INITIATING an EMAIL within 2 days of his/her absence or else it will automatically turn into a 0/10.  There are 2 or 3 conferences per quarter.  The grades will be averaged. 


            All students (with the exception of 1st quarter seniors) will give a power point presentation to the class once a quarter.  The guidelines for this presentation vary depending on program year and will be available on the website and taught in class.   Students will be assigned individual due dates; these are strict deadlines.  If a student is not prepared on the given day or the disk does not work, then the student will receive a grade of 0 %.  USBs must be checked the day before a presentation on the school computer to avoid this problem and please have a witness that will vouch that it was working.  Please also be aware that computer conversions can be problematic when attempting to then present in school. Do not rely upon the internet to access your Powerpoint or an email containing your presentation, it doesn’t always work!

Grading Policy

Grades for Science Research are comprised of the following:

                                                 30 %                Attendance

                                                 35 %                Conferences

                                                 35 %                Presentation **

 ** Seniors will substitute a research paper/Intel performance grade for presentation during the 1st quarter.

There will likely be adjustments to the 4th quarter grading scheme based on preparations for the yearly symposium.

            Please keep in mind that this class is not a typical science class and as such there are no objective exam grades.  Each component is vitally important to the students’ grades.  Grades will not be as readily available on Parent Portal as they would be for other classes; many of the grades for this class are not even assigned until the end of the quarter. Additionally, a student’s motivation and initiative may result in a decrease or increase of his/her numerical average when assessed at quarter’s end. 


            Each year, the students present their work at our annual Science Research Symposium.  The details of this event will be given.  However, the students’ participation in this event is mandatory.  Absence for any reason will qualify the student to fail for the year and attend summer school.  There are several mandatory practices as well.  The date of this year’s symposium is Thursday, June 3rd 2021.  Please mark this date on your calendars and be sure to free your schedules.  Be aware this is also the same day as the Graduation Liturgy and Awards! Do NOT make plans to go out to dinner that evening or have a party. Graduation is the next day! No excuses!


Students are required to check BOTH research websites on a regular (daily) basis as well as sign up to receive emails from the teachers through Google Classroom.  Additionally, it is expected that students check their email at least once every 24 hour period, using a school computer during lunch if necessary.  When emailing teachers of this course for ANY reason, students are expected to email all three teachers at the same time so that they can stay apprised of student performance and progress.  Failure to do so may result in grade deduction. 


Juniors and seniors are locked into the course until graduation and so will not be granted permission to drop the course at any time for any reason.

Sophomores may choose to drop the course at in June at the end of sophomore year.  All students are obligated to participate in the symposium, regardless of your decision to continue or leave the program. 

I have thoroughly read the guidelines for Science Research and agree to all of the policies of this course as stated.


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