8th Grade 

Mr. Carroll, Ms. Ventresca, Ms. O'Conner, Mr. Mauro, Ms. Farrell,
Ms. Heister, Mr. Bohler

Mrs. O'Connor
8th grade Life Science

My name is Melinda O'Connor and I am excited to start a new year with your child in science class at Ed Smith.  This is my tenth year teaching science in Syracuse City Schools.  I am excited to be returning for my eighth year at Ed Smith.  I have had a love of science since I was young and cannot wait to share this with your child!
I will be with you child September and October then will be out for maternity leave in early November through early February.  Your child will be in great hands, as our newly retired living environment teacher from last year will be taking my place while I am out.
Course Description:
Our class this year will focus on topics related to the Life Sciences, specifically Biology.  Students will learn about a variety of topics including: Engineering design, Organization of life, cellular reproduction, genetics, cellular energy, and an overall review of all material 5th-8th grade to prepare for the NYS 8th grade science test in May and June.  We are working on implementing a switch over to the new, New York State Science Learning Standards this year.  This puts more emphasis on student centered learning and is a very hands on approach to learning.  Students will complete a variety of labs and class activities that will expose them to the different areas of life science. 
In my life science class students will be assessed based on periodic quizzes, labs, classwork, and participation.  In addition, students will also take district wide Benchmark Exams or Performance assessments, which will count as their test grades.  These assessments will help to better prepare them for the NYS 8th grade science test.  Each exam will test on new material as well as material learned from the beginning of the year.  Our first benchmark assessment will be the week of November 29th.
This year I expect that students will…..

  • Leave all cell phones and electronics OFF and OUT OF SIGHT while in the classroom
  • Be prepared for class everyday (ON TIME AND PREPARED WITH PENCIL)
  • Work cooperatively to complete all labs and classwork
  • Be respectful of everyone in the classroom, both teachers and peers.
In order to be prepared and successful in science class, students will need….
  • Pencils
  • Folder (Provided and kept in science classroom)

Grading Policy
Participation                           10% (DINS and Ticket out the door to be completed DAILY-CANNOT be made up)
Test/Quizzes                            25%
Classwork                                25%
Labs/Classwork                       40%
Please do not hesitate to contact me throughout the school year with any questions or concerns.  I can be reached at school: 315-435-4650 or feel free to email me directly at: mo’connor@scsd.us  Thank you for your continued support!!
8th Grade Science
Mrs. O’Connor
Parent/Guardian: Please fill out, sign and return this portion to school.
Student name:______________________________________________________
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 Phone: ____________________________
Parent Name: __________________________________________________________________
Parent Signature: _______________________________________________________________
Student Signature: ______________________________________________________________
Anything you want me to know about your child:
Media Release:  My student may have their picture taken while participating in activities in science class and these can be used in the classroom and shared with the Ed Smith community and on the Syracuse City Schools page.
Parent Signature: ______________________________________________________