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Dear Students and Parents:
  The West Caldwell Science Department is dedicated to giving each student the educational background that he/she will need for the future.  The science requirement for graduation is three units, including one unit each of Biology, Earth and the Environment, and a physical science.
  As your son's/daughter's teacher, I will be doing my best to further your child's education.  I encourage you to call me any day at school between the hours of 8:00am and 3:30pm.  I will be glad to set up a conference with you.  In addition, students and parents are welcome to call my home (728-7303).  Tutoring is also available to students who request this assistance.  Each student will receive a tutoring schedule for each month.
  The science department has several expectations from our students and parents.  Students will be expected to be prepared and on time for class each day.  Students who come to class unprepared will receive and UNEXCUSED TARDY while they obtain the proper supplies.  Being prepared includes having pencil/pen, books, paper, tardy/absence slips every day.  We also give homework every night, and we expect for it to be completed.  If students have trouble with a homework assignment then please encourage them to call me at home before 8:30pm.  Homework is very important because it reinforces the information learned in class.  Our school has adopted a NO Hall BREAKS DURING CLASS policy.  Restroom breaks are to be made during the break between classes.  There is ample time to accomplish this task.
  We have found over the years that students perform much better when the parent and teacher work together.  Below is a list of those things that require your help.  The things you do at home really make a difference!
ENCOURAGEMENT-Show your interest and encourage your son/daughter each and every day.
ATTENDANCE-Students should be absent from school only when absolutely necessary.  Absences in excess of seven days can result in no credit for the class.  This is school policy.
HOMEWORK-There will be some.  Students who are absent are required to make up the work as soon as possible.  They should see me on the day they return to school for make-up assignments.  Please check any homework assignments and make sure they are complete.  Assignments will be due the next class period.
ADEQUATE REST-No one can learn when they fall asleep or are lethargic in class.  Please be sure that students get adequate rest to start each day refreshed.  This may mean monitoring TV, work hours, video games, etc.
MATERIALS-Please is sure your son/daughter has the appropriate materials for class each day.  If there is a problem obtaining these materials please let me know.
Educational importance - Please stress the importance of a good education for their future.  Help stress responsibility and respect both in and out of school.  Encourage them to put forth the effort required to excel in their classes.  Please make sure that any job they have after school does not interfere with the schoolwork they need to do in order to succeed.
COMMUNICATION-I will send progress reports approximately every two weeks.  Please take the time to read, sign and return each one.  This is a requirement for all students in my classes.  If you have not received a report in a timely fashion call me as soon as possible.
  GRADES- All of my classes this year have a state developed exam.  This exam will count at least 25% (the equivalent of one six week term) of the students final grade.  Homework/class work , quizzes ,and labs will account for 10% of  the six weeks average.  Unit and chapter test will account for 70% of the six weeks average.  Make up test and quizzes will be given only on Tuesday afternoons.   Students are also required to keep all work returned to them in a well organized notebook for future reference and their student - Led conferences.  
  I am anticipating a wonderful and rewarding semester.  With your help I feel certain that the school year will be a great success.  Please begin by filling out and returning the attached form.
Rewards: For each student with perfect attendance and no grade lower than an 88 on any assignment in a given week will be allowed to drop their most damaging grade for that week.
PLEASE NOTE: My home phone number is 728-7303.  Please feel free to call if you have a question about homework or if you have questions of any kind.  I am looking forward to a great year!
Jameia (Jamie) Branch
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