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    Math / Social Studies


    My name is Kevin McPhillips and I am excited to be teaching Junior High at Rio Seco this year. Mathematics and Social Studies are taught as a core class. As we begin the new school year, I look forward to the many adventures that lie ahead as we travel down the paths of Math and Social Studies and learn new concepts and ideas.   

    The Math class will use the College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) curriculum called Core Connections. This curriculum aligns with the Common Core Standards in that it is a problem-centered approach in which students are engaged in building a conceptual framework for mathematics which they will retain for years to come. Students work collaboratively in groups of four. Teachers provide some direct instruction, but mostly act as a facilitator to help students gain the knowledge they need. 

    Homework will look different in CPM. It is titled, Spiral Review and Preview. Students will review concepts with which they are familiar, explore new material, and occasionally practice skills experienced in the classroom that same day. This means that your child will be learning new material while also visiting learned concepts to continually hone their mathematics skill set.

    CPM Math is a mastery graded classroom. The student’s grade will be based on tests, quizzes, and projects of the math material.   Students will test on each chapter as they complete the assignments. Students must score at least 80% to demonstrate mastery of the material. Any student that scores below 80% will be given the opportunity to retake a quiz/test for a better grade. This requires a tutoring session after school to revisit the material before retaking the quiz/test. It is the students responsibility to see the teacher about making arrangements to retake a quiz/test. There will also be an interactive mathematics notebook on which part of their grade will be derived.

    In Science, we will be working out of the Prentice Hall California Life Science Textbooks which involve many interesting features and concepts in Life Science. Each student will be assigned a textbook which is to be left at home as there will be a science book to use in class as well. We will explore various topics on science through readings, labs, and various projects done throughout the school year. Science is graded the same way as the mathematics class. Students will be given the same opportunity as in mathematics to retake a quiz/test in which they did not score at least an 80%.




                                                                                                                          Rules for Class


    The class will be working in groups much of the time in the classroom. This will be during both Math and Social Studies  instruction. These groups will be collaborating and communicating to one another during the school year while participating in the classroom. There is a proper etiquette that is to take place during the group phase of classroom instruction. These are and not limited to the following;
    1. Respect classmates, teachers, and property

    2. When the bell rings, students should be seated with the proper materials and ready to learn

    3. Be sure to follow the directions that are given and participate within your group and in class

    4. Be respectful to one another by valuing all ideas as we are all here to learn



      Required Supplies


      Pencils, red correcting pen, crayons and colored pencils, spiral notebooks (1 for each math and science), glue stick, highlighter, whiteboard marker and eraser, lined and graphing paper



    Math 7) Tests                                  60%

                    Quizzes/Notebook          40%

    Social Studies) Tests/Projects           60%

                    Quizzes/Notebook          40%


    Grades will be determined in three areas:  

    * Scholarship (listed above)

    * Effort (completing assignments and having needed materials)

    * Citizenship (behavior in the classroom and on the campus).  



    Homework will be given throughout the course of the year. There will usually be an opportunity to be able to work on a given assignment in class. Homework that is assigned in class is typically due the following day. One thing I really stress is I am looking into the effort that students put into their assignments and completeness. This is where the majority if there effort grade will be based upon.

    Each student will receive a planner in which they are to write the posted homework assignment(s) in their planner. This is done daily to ensure open communication between teacher and parent and what is to be completed. The planner is to be brought to school everyday and filled out on a daily basis. A parent signature is required at the end of each week and brought back the following week.
                                                                                               Late Work/Make-ups
    Any missed quizzes/tests or must be made-up within one week of the day the quiz/test was assigned. I will provide an assigned day before or after school to make it up. In the case of a redo quiz/test, the same policy applies. As for homework, in order to receive full credit, it must be turned in on the day it is due. Students will have one week from the date it is assigned to turn in late work for partial credit. After a week from the date the assignment is due, the work will no longer be accepted.


    Absence Policy

    In my class, each student is expected to get a homework buddy in which they can inquire about what we did that day in class (test, quiz, homework, etc.) in case they are absent for any reason. Also, I keep my homework calendar on the website updated as well that will contain that night's assignments. The weekly homework calendar is fluid, meaning that the weeks assignments may be posted, but these can change throughout the course of the week. It is your child's responsibility to get this information.

    Discipline System

    The Junior High uses the district recommended 5 Step Discipline Plan. There is a step card that is issued to the student that they will be responsible for. A step will be given to a student for breaking school rules including but not limited to: gum, dress code violations, disruption to learning environment and disrespect.  

    The 5 steps are:

    1. Verbal warning

    2. Counsel about Behavior Expectations (with teacher)

    3. Parent/Teacher Conference (telephone, email or in person)

    4. Refer to VP/Principal

    5. Refer to VP/Principal (in-school or out-of-school suspension)

    Steps may be escalated if the behavior is continual or the offense is serious. STEPS can be cleared after five (5) consecutive school days with no further behaviors.


    If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me. My email is kevin.mcphillips@santeesd.net and the number I can be reached at is 956-5572. I check messages daily and will get back to you as soon as I can. If you would like to donate any supplies to my classroom, I could use dry erase markers, index cards, paper towels, Kleenex, and/or lined paper. Thank you and I really do look forward to an exciting year of learning moments and being a part of your child learning new concepts and ideas in Math and Social Studies. I got into the teaching profession as a means of making a difference in children’s lives and really do look forward to helping your child succeed in the seventh grade. Please click the link and fill out the parent questionnaire.

    Thank you,

    Mr. McPhillips








    Please fill out and return this portion to class)


    Student Name: ________________________________________ Period ______

    I have read this information sheet and understand the requirements for the Math 7 and Life Science class.


    _________________________                       ______________________________

    Student’s signature                                                         Parent’s signature


    Parent Contact information:

    I would like to communicate through email and text. Please include the following information if you are willing to communicate in this manner.



    Name: ____________________________________ Email _______________________________________ Phone (Cell/Home)________________________________



    Best way to contact you. __ email   __ phone   Best time to contact you. _______ am/pm