Course Syllabus

This page is mostly for parents; Students should navigate the course through the Modules page or Calendar. 

This page currently is only here to show the 2022 Back to School Night Video 

Back to School Night Video

Draft Evidence Based Grading Curriculum Guide and Draft Overview

Course Title: Physics

Level: ACP

Instructor: Christine Carpenter


          Physics at the Advanced College Prep level provides students with a comprehensive overview of the major topics in physics including simple harmonic motion, sound and light waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, static and current electricity, electromagnetism, motion and forces, momentum and energy, and heat and heat transfer. Emphasis will be placed on observing these concepts in everyday life in order to collect and analyze evidence to discover and  understand the patterns that emerge. Students will engage in numerous investigations and lab activities in order to construct their own understanding of the material. Refinement of problem-solving, scientific writing, and science inquiry skills will be at the heart of this course. One of the primary goals of the course is to help students apply their understanding to solve problems. This is a challenging course that is suitable for those students who are proficient in reading, writing, math, and data analysis. This course prepares students for the Introductory Physics MCAS. 

Course Sequence:

Sequence subject to change to better to accommodate for students and schedule.

  • Geometric Optics (Reflection & Refraction)
  • Mechanical Waves (Sound and Water)
  • Electromagnetic Waves (Light, Microwaves, Radio, etc)
  • Electrostatics and Electric Fields
  • Electric Circuits
  • Electromagnetism and Magnetic Fields
  • Describing Motion (constant velocity and constant acceleration)
  • Explaining Motion (Newton's Laws, Forces, Friction, Universal Gravitation)
  • Conservation of Momentum
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Nuclear Physics
  • MCAS
  • Final Experience - (TBA)

Student Engagement Expectations:

Student engagement this year is going to be more important than ever as we navigate the changing schedule and landscape.  Communication and patience are the most important elements!  Students should reach out whenever they need additional support.  Please also be patient with yourselves and with me!  We will learn how to manage this together.  


Required Course Materials:

Laptop and something to write with

  • While most work this year will be completed through the computer or online, we will need to write or draw some items in class and remotely.  Please have access to paper and pencil (or pen) at all times.   

Headphones or Earbuds:

  • Some course content involves watching or making videos. It is great to have the ability to watch a video without imposing sound on others.


  • Students might be provided with the Conceptual Physics textbook by Hewitt. Much of the information we use is available online in multiple formats that can be explored here.  Students might be given the option to take a hard copy of the textbook or access to an online version (or both!).  Students might be asked to complete readings, online assignments, and activities using this resource.  Students should NEVER bring a hardcopy textbook to class daily.  If a student receives a textbook, they must return their textbook in June at the completion of the course or pay for a replacement.  The cost of this book is $90.  

Scientific Calculator

  • The subject of Physics is often very math-based. You should bring a calculator daily. Graphing Calculators, cell phones, or other electronic devices may not always be permitted.  

Grading Policy:

            The final grade for ACP Physics will probably be calculated according to the following breakdown.  

Item Weight
Quarter 1 22 %
Quarter 2 22 %
Quarter 3 22 %
Quarter 4 22 %
Final Experience 12 %
Overall Grade 100%

 Evidence Based Grading:

As part of my own growth I am trying out some ideas I have learned from the practice of Evidence Based Grading (EBG). The curriculum and four overarching standards can be found here in draft form. To me, there are three big differences between my previous science classes and where I want to go this year:

  • Students will work on the skill of self-assessment and have more agency in their learning process.
  • The course will not be practice, practice, test, but instead practice, scrimmage, game. Students will work on simulations of the test prior to the actual assessment. This should lower the "surprise" factor on tests. 
  • Non-CANVAS Assessments (games) will be graded using the Proficiency Scale found on this overview, and the trend in course skills during a quarter will be turned into a letter grade using the Grade Determination letter grade at 50% of the course grade. (So, your practices and scrimmages, which can often be redone, count as the Formative 50%, and if you have Skill scores of a 4, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 4 your Summative 50% would be average in as a B.)

This will be tested out Q1 and I will make changes if I need to! "Real" EBG courses only count the summative grades, but I am not there yet! 


The following scale will be used to communicate student progress in each skill.











Missing Evidence
(hasn’t done yet)

Missing Evidence
(refused to do)

Semester Grade Details:

Quizzes and Summative Assessments  - 50% 

  • There will be a formative check in at the end of each section to monitor student mastery.  Currently these are on Canvas and retaking them is possible. These count minimally in student grades. There will be 2-3 unit tests per quarter.  

Homework, Lab Activities and Projects - 50%

  • Activities will generally be worth 1-10 points. A larger, long term project might be worth more. Each lab partner must turn in an individual lab activity.
  • Homework will be assigned most nights and is due the following class to receive full credit. Homework will be checked in class or collected via Canvas. Assignments turned in later will not receive a reduction in credit. Activities can be turned in again for more credit. 
Quarter Activity Resubmits Assessment Retakes
Quarter 1 Any activity can be resubmitted a 2nd time for up to full credit. Most Canvas quizzes can be done infinitely  Students who earn <70% can come in at a prearranged time (once) to take a new version of the test and make the grade up to a 70%
Quarter 2 Activities that were turned in more than 3 days late cannot be resubmitted. Your grade stands.  No changes
Quarter 3 Points lost for missing units cannot be recovered, even if work is resubmitted Students who show lack of mastery in a specific area (graphs) may retake a new version of the test at a prearranged time for up to full credit. (Graphs take some people much longer to master than others.)
Quarter 4 No changes No changes

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Graded assignments are posted on the Canvas homework calendar and in PowerSchool.  Students are expected to check assignments and grades once a week. Parents are encouraged to check Powerschool once a month. Currently all details are on Canvas (comments, rubrics) and Powerschool just has numbers.