Course Policies

For a printer-friendly version of these policies, click on this Course Policies document.

Learning Climate

There are a number of principles that are important for all of us to embrace in order to create a good climate for learning here.

  • Respect: Together we must create an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance in all educational endeavors. Teachers, students, and guests are all expected to treat each other with courtesy in all of our interactions. This doesn’t mean we will always agree on all issues, but we must be able to listen to each other and discuss things in a civil manner.
  • Responsibility: We all must take personal responsibility for our own words, actions, and behaviors. Making appropriate choices and good decisions is part of lifelong learning. Though making mistakes and learning from them is part of the educational process—as long as we learn from our mistakes and they aren’t serious—that shouldn’t prevent us from using good judgement.
  • Engagement: Learning is all about gaining new knowledge and insights. In order to learn, you must actively engage in the process. You must be present and attentive and involved to benefit from the educational opportunities here.
  • Integrity: Along with taking responsibility, there must be a commitment that all the work you do here is your own. Individual assignments are intended to exercise your own mental muscles. Any appropriation of others’ work as your own is forbidden, obviously. Collaboration will often be a big part of the work process. However, it is intended to complement your individual efforts, not replace them.
  • Openness: If you are having a problem that is getting in the way of your learning, please let me know so that we can talk about ways to solve it. I’ll be available to speak privately (during class if it is urgent), and I may initiate that conversation, or after class or school if necessary.

Specific Policies

In addition to the above general principles, some specific policies are listed below.

  • Attendance: RHS policy (and mine) is that you are expected to be in class and prepared to work every day. Almost all of your learning will be from participating with your classmates and engaging in the activities firsthand. You will be considered absent if you are more than 10 minutes late to class; this is standard RHS policy. Obviously, excessive absences will affect your ability to complete all the work required for the course, and may also affect the professionalism component of your grade.
  • Misrepresentation: Your work must be totally your own, unless assignments or projects are based on collaboration or other approved reasons. Obviously, cheating, plagiarism, lying, copying, or any actions that violate academic integrity rules are forbidden. Violators will suffer the normal RHS and SPS consequences.
  • Behavior: You are expected to be respectful of your fellow classmates, visitors, and teachers at all times. This counts in the evaluation of your professionalism in your grade for the course. RHS rules for disciplinary actions for all manner of misconduct are listed in the Student Handbook. They apply here.
  • Bathroom Passes: If you need to leave the room to go to the bathroom during class, ask me first, and take the green hall pass with you. Keep your trip to five minutes, and don’t disturb your classmates when leaving and returning. You are responsible for anything you miss.
  • Personal Electronics: Personal electronic devices may not be used during class, unless I announce a waiver. This includes cell phones, music players, pagers, PDAs, GPS units (I know it’s a big complicated school building, but really…), tablets, netbooks, laptops, cameras, headphones, earphones, headsets (have I forgotten anything?). I will confiscate the device until the end of class if you violate this rule, especially texting. Repeat violations may get referred to RHS administration. There may be times, such as during periods of individual work, when it will be permissible to listen to music quietly on headphones, but that is the exception, not the norm.
  • Computer Usage: You must abide by the RHS and Seattle Public Schools rules for computer usage, as described in the Student Handbook. No inappropriate content, accessing prohibited internet sites, illegal activities, etc. Violators will suffer the consequences as in the Handbook! (Seriously.)
  • Food/Drink: No food or drink is allowed at the computer workstations, except plain water in closed containers. Computers and keyboards and mice do not need sustenance. However, I know that brains don’t function well on empty stomachs. So if you need to eat or drink during class, when appropriate you are welcome to snack at the tables in the center of the room. Please clean up before you leave. We don’t want real live mice in the lab.