Mr. Nathan Erfurth, M.Ed
Teacher, Soldotna High School
Welcome to the syllabus that I will be using for all of my courses. You will be given a copy of this at the beginning of the course, and you will be expected to adhere to it and check it for course policies and procedures. Please read this thoroughly and carefully, and ask me clarifying questions as soon as you can.
Also see: Online Learning Expectations
Every course I teach is a bit different, but they all share some foundational features. They are all designed to expand your historical thinking skills, reading and writing skills, content knowledge, and problem solving skills. They are rigorous, challenging, and satisfying. You will get out of this class what you put into it.
If at any time you feel that you are either not challenged enough, or too challenged by the work assigned, it is your responsibility to communicate that. It is my job to help you learn, a job that I love and strive to do my best at.
For 2020-21, we are on a 4x4 block. Each class lasts a semester, but we meet each day.
- First Semester
- US History (11)
- US Government (12)
- Second Semester
- AP US History
- AP US Government & Politics
- US History (11)
Whether or not we use it, you are assigned a textbook through the school library that you must return in usable condition. If you're unsure if you need your book, check for a "bring your book today" sign on the classroom door. If you're an AP student, you'd best bring your book every single day.
Daily Required Materials
Do not fail to bring a notebook and a writing utensil to my class. You're in a school. You know you at least need that pretty much every day. Do not disrupt class because you're unprepared.
My gradebook is continuous. This means, unlike many other classes at SoHi, your quarter grades (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) are snapshots of where your grade is at when grade check is done. Midterm grades are not averaged to determine the course grade.
Your official grade is always on Canvas. Right before grade check, I ensure that everything matches up in PowerSchool. I also sync them up at least once a week.
Do not ask me when I will sync grades. This happens continuously throughout the day, throughout the week, and always before grade check officially goes through for athletics and activities. If you want your current grade, check Canvas.
Eligibility check is not an emergency. Do not come to me right before eligibility and suddenly act like everything matters and you're having an emergency if you have not put forth effort the rest of the grading period. If you treat the class like a duty the whole year and do your best, eligibility checks don't ever need to worry you. I will not grade twenty late assignments for you because check is over the weekend.
Assessments will not be penalized for late points. You may take advantage of the test correction policy for exams and test, but not for quizzes. See the Assessment Procedures page for details.
Absence & Late Work Policy
Work is late if it is turned in at any time after the due date assigned on Canvas. This means that if it's due by the beginning of class, it's not due by the end of the school day. Work must be turned in via the method prescribed by the assignment; e.g., no printed papers if I specify that they're to be turned in on Canvas.
If you have legitimate reasons for work to be late, you must communicate with me. Work written down on prearranged absence sheets must actually be turned in when you get back to school.
Modifications for Absences:
|Extracurricular/Athletic Event||All assigned work is due the day you return from your events.|
|Other Excused Absence||Two days per day missed to a maximum of five (district policy).|
|Unexcused Absence||No extra time.|
|Technology Problems||Plan ahead. Technology causes problems. This is not an excuse. If something catastrophic happens, bring me technical proof, or no extra time.|
I will accept late assignments for up to four weeks after they are due. I will accept work after the quarter mark (I cannot accept work from a previous semester), but it will not affect your Q1 or Q3 grade in PowerSchool, only your S1 or S2 grade.
When an assignment is due, if you do not turn it in, a zero will be placed in the gradebook to accurately reflect your grade in the class. It will be replaced if you turn it in later, but do not expect me to grade late work instantly.
Respect yourself, and respect the class. Do your best. Netflix is important, but it can wait. If you get your work done, you can watch whatever you want without having that work hanging over your head.
If you are absent, it is entirely your responsibility to adhere to the late work policy and to obtain any work that you missed. You may get it on Canvas, and for extra hard copies you may visit the handout filing cabinet in the classroom.
Do not be late to this class. If you arrive after the bell, you will be marked tardy. As per the school policy, you will be given a warning your first tardy. Repeated tardiness will result in increasing administrative interaction. Communicate with me if something outside your control is causing you to be late.
AP Classes will have homework and/or reading almost every night. I will do my best to keep it to a reasonable level. This year's block schedule will be an interested adaptation for all of us.
Classwork and homework assigned often takes the form of online research or online activities, which means that you need computer access. If you don't have a computer or internet at home, you have access to our library after school and numerous times throughout the day. Be creative, and do some problem solving!
If I come to find that your work has been copied from someone else or that you did not do it yourself, you will earn ZERO credit for the assignment, an individual conference with me, parental contact, and potentially referral to administration. Giving your work to someone else to copy is academic dishonesty and is subject to this policy. Repeated infractions will be referred to administration.
Plagiarism includes copy/pasting from the internet or others’ assignments, retyping, and/or otherwise passing off someone else’s work as your own. Changing a word here and there does not count as your own work.
You are fully encouraged to communicate with me. Contact me when you have questions, when you have absences so that I know what's going on, and any time you think it might be helpful to how you and I work in class for me to know something.
I communicate through email (I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org). This means that parents will receive notifications and communication about their students' grades via email. Ensure that correct contact information is posted in PowerSchool. If it's out of date, update it through the front office. Students, you will also receive email questions from me about your assignments or about upcoming/past due dates. These might be generated by Canvas itself, or they might be directly from me. Either way, check your school email account.
You can find everything you need on Canvas at kpbsd.instructure.com. All assignments, directions, agendas, and calendar events are posted on Canvas on the course page.
Students: If you are going to email me, be polite and format appropriately. You are not texting your friend, you are emailing your instructor. I expect complete sentences, a clear statement of what is happening and what you need, and professional tone. Communication skills are very important, and in an increasingly casual world, professional and clear communication will set you apart from the rest in a good way.
Do not count on emailing me as a saving grace. I sometimes check email outside of work hours, but if I don't, you aren't off the hook for a due date. Ask questions during class.
Parents and students: check your email.
Especially while learning online, you will have to learn to manage your own device usage. Be responsible, or your usage will affect your learning and your grade. If in person, I will confiscate devices that have become a distraction. If I have to do this more than once, administration will be involved.
These apply in my physical and virtual classroom spaces equally. (Also see Online Learning Expectations)
- Be respectful.
Respect is a huge sticking point for me. We will be discussing some touchy, potentially personal topics relating to history. We are talking about the human experience, and we must all ensure that we are respectful to our peers, our selves, our history, and the history of others. There will be time for laughs, and there will be time for gravitas. Know the difference.
- Be prepared.
Bring required materials (assignments, notebooks, writing utensils, etc.), be punctual, and be active and prepared to learn. Be attentive.
- Be curious.
We have a tremendous number of topics and periods of time that we will be studying, and there is no reason why you can't find something for you too. There are things you must know, regardless of your interest, but there are many others that you can explore based on your own personality and curiosities. Let that be alive. Don't be afraid to want to learn more.
Physical Classroom Procedures
- Masks are required in my classroom due to COVID. We do not have enough space to socially distance, so they must be on at all times.
- Leave your mobile devices somewhere else unless asked to bring them. You don't need them.
- Be prepared to begin right at the beginning of class. Complete the starter activity on the board if there is one.
- Due to COVID and the inability to socially distance in my classroom, student food is not permitted. You may bring a bottle of water if you replace your mask immediately after drinking.
- Students may seat themselves unless I decide otherwise.
- Due to COVID, we are limited in how many students may leave the room during class to one. If you need to use the restroom, you must ask to do so to make sure that more than one person is not out at a time.
- Assignment format: Everything will be collected on Canvas one way or another this year. Follow the formatting expectations for each assignment.
Everything else that you need can be found here on my website and on Canvas. If you have questions about this syllabus, class policies, procedures, or expectations, ensure that you've read this, and then come to me with your question either during class or via email.
I look forward to learning with you this year!