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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I contact you?

Email is a wonderful communication tool since I am able to respond quickly.  You can email me at with your questions, comments, or concerns and I will respond as quickly as possible.  Occasionally a parent email will be blocked by the district email filter, so if you have not heard back from me within 48 hours, please call and let me know.

You are welcome to send in notes with your student as well.  If you would prefer to speak on the phone, please call the school at (423)422-4061 and leave a message.  Include a phone number where you can be reached  and I will return your call as soon as I am able.

When are you available for conferences?

I am happy to meet with you by appointment before school and during planning 7:00-9:15 am or after school 3:00-3:30pm .  You must make an appointment in advance for a conference.  Please let me know at the time you schedule the appointment what issues you would like to discuss so that I can come prepared with relevant information and/or documents that will be helpful.  I prefer to have an administrator or guidance counselor participate in parent conferences, so appointments must be made to accommodate their schedules as well.

What can I do to help my student be more successful in this class?

1) Consistent attendance is key.  AAlgebras is challenging and it is difficult to get caught up quickly on your own. Please try to schedule doctor and dental appointments after school when possible. Students who miss class due to sporting events must be proactive in picking up work in advance and completing it on their own.

2) Homework is worth more than points.  Homework will mainly consist of watching videos and taking notes.  Students often say they don't have time to do homework because of one reason or another.  It is important to come to class with this completed, so they can benefit from the shortened lecture (because they already have the notes) and have more time to  practice the skills and apply the concepts learned from the videos and increased one on one time with the teacher.  Consistent practice yields more success on quizzes and tests than last minute cramming.

3) Check the web site regularly.  I update the web site on most school days, usually by 4pm.  You can see current and past videos, help your student study by playing review games together, redo the work given in class and more. 

4) Help your student get extra help.  Encourage your student to attend the free math tutoring offered every morning after 7:30 or after school.

Do you offer extra credit?

Students are able to reWORK tests. and reTAKE tests, until they receive their desired grade. As well as they receive 5 points at the beginning of each 9 weeks. They must use these if they leave the classroom. Any that are left are added to 9 week average.

Can my student retake a failed quiz or test?

Any TEST can be retaken by appointment after school  until the end of that marking period.  Students can retake a TEST  as many times as they want; the highest score is kept. The student must first rework each problem missed (any part of the problem) correctly and explain in complete sentences why they missed each.   

What should my student do if they are absent from class?

The student should check Edmodo to stay caught up on the videos/notes  On the day they return, they should pick up any missed handouts from assigned classmate (partner).  If an assignment was due on a day the student was absent, they MUST turn it in on the day they return to get full credit.  If a quiz  was given on the day the student was absent, the student must make up the assessment that day.  If a test is missed and the student knew about it before it is to be taken the day the student returns. 

It is the student's responsibility to learn the missed content outside of class.  I will not hold back the rest of the class to reteach lessons that were missed due to absence, regardless of the reason.  It is the student's responsibility to get missed handouts and notes, and to arrange to take missed assessments during the class or after school by appointment.

Any grades for assignments/assessments missed due to absence will be recorded as 0 points so that the student can see the impact that grade will make on their average if not made up by the end of the marking period. Late work is NOT a grading priority.  Late assignments are entered only after all current grading is complete and up to date.  I will update grades from late assignments by the end of the marking period in which they were due.

What is your policy concerning late work?

Late work is not accepted for full credit.  Student can earn at most 85% for late assignments. Work handed in after a deadline due to an excused absence is not considered late as long as it is turned in on the same day that the student returns to class.

What are your policies concerning group projects?

I encourage students to work cooperatively in groups on projects.  Working in groups allows the students to divide the work load, develop teamwork skills, collaborate with peers, share ideas and insights, and correct mistakes.  The grade your student receives includes points for the project itself and points for the level of involvement and quality of work your student contributed to the project as evaluated by the teacher and other members of the group. 

Do you give students as much time as they need to take a test or quiz?

Students are expected to complete the entire quiz or test within the allotted amount of time usually 2-5 min per problem.  The only exception to this rule is for special needs students who have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) on file with the special education department requiring that additional time be provided.


What supplies are required?

A 3-ring binder or folder, a composition book, pencil, dry erase marker BLUE OR BLACK ONLY, and loose-leaf paper should be brought to class every day. A calculator to be used at home is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED, They can be rented.  I also have a set of TI-84 Plus graphing calculators for use in the classroom.  Unfortunately, I do not have enough to loan them out in the evenings. 

Do I have to purchase a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator for this class?

A TI-84 graphing calculator is strongly recommended, but not required.  They cost about $150 new, $30-$150 used on eBay. Can also be RENTED see me for a form.  I have a classroom set that we use during class, but they cannot be loaned out for homework.  This means that if your student prefers to do their homework with the calculator, they need to have one for home use.  If you choose to make the investment, you should know that they will be able to use the TI-84 in Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, Calculus II, Statistics, Math Analysis, Chemistry, and Physics.  It is approved for use on the PSSA, PSAT, SAT, and ACT standardized tests.  The TI-84 is slightly more expensive than the TI-83 series, but is faster, has more memory, graphs inequalities, and has programs installed such as 'Cabri' which is a handheld version of a program similar to Geometer's Sketchpad. If you would like to read more about them, visit the TI-Tools for Parents Site.

Do you offer help to students outside of the classroom?

Yes!  I try to schedule one or more afternoons (3:00-4:30pm) per week to help my students with questions and allow them to retake tests.  The dates vary due to meetings and after school duties, so please have the student see me during class to find out my availability.  I do NOT charge students currently enrolled in my classes for tutoring outside of class.  I DO NOT offer private tutoring to my own students. 

Why is your room so hot/cold?

The maintenance office sets, monitors, and adjusts the overall building temperature.  Keeping the lights off helps lower the temperature when it is warm, but unfortunately I am not allowed to open windows, block the heat/cooling vents, or allow the students to take off sweaters/jackets if what they are wearing underneath is not school appropriate.  Please encourage your student to dress in layers, with a thin blouse or t-shirt with short sleeves as the bottom layer so they can adjust their clothing to their own comfort level as needed.