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Peter Knowles » Classroom Policies

Classroom Policies

Below you'll find information about the daily policies and procedures in my classroom. If you'd like to download and/or print a copy of them, a PDF file is available.

The rules, policies, and procedures below are intended to help each of us make the best possible choices, so we can all make the most of the learning opportunities ahead.

Please take some time to review them, and be sure to ask questions if you have them.

►Class Rules

While in this class you are expected to follow these basic rules:

  1. Be in your seat, ready to work, when the tardy bell rings. This includes having your Chromebook out, open, and ready to go.
  2. Treat classmates, classroom, and materials with care and respect.
  3. Follow instructions the first time they are given. (If you have questions, please ask!)
  4. Participate responsibly in classroom activities and discussions
  5. Remember a few simple no's: No food or drink (water is OK), no hats/hoods/sunglasses, no grooming activities (hair, nails, applying make-up/cologne/perfume/deodorant, etc.), and no cell-phones. Please put all these things away for the duration of class.


If/when you choose to violate these class rules, you will earn one or more of the following consequences. Though these are generally progressive steps (from 1, to 2, to 3, etc.), the nature and frequency of the violation may require moving more quickly to a later step.*

  1.   Warning/reminder (Including loss of item in Rule #5 during rest of class)
  2.   Discussion after class (1 or 2 minutes maximum, to make sure you and I both understand the situation, what’s expected, and how to meet those expectations in the future.)
  3.   After school/Lunch detention; parent/guardian conference if necessary.
  4.   Individual Behavior contract
  5.   Office referral; possible temporary removal from class
*NOTE: Cell-phones removed under rule 5 will be returned to the students at the end of the period on the first offense,  the end of the day on the second offense, and will be turned in to the office on the third offense. A parent or guardian will need to retrieve the phone from the office if that occurs.

►Required Materials

This is a technology-rich classroom. Most daily activities are carried out online, using our classroom set of Chromebooks. Very few handouts are given, and students will have access to a textbook in class, so there's not a lot to bring.

However, the following items are used on a fairly regular basis, so students may want to bring them

  1.   A blue or black pen, AND a pencil AND a highlighter
  2.   3-Ring binder or folder, with handouts and notes from this class well organized inside it. You can easily share the binder for this class with another class, as there won’t be very many handouts, but the ones you will get are important to have on hand.
  3.   Earbuds or headphones (headphones are available in class if you don’t have your own.)

►Please leave backpacks in your locker

If you do choose to bring one to class, please stow it neatly against the front wall before class begins, or on the counter in the back of the room -- NOT under your desk.  This allows easy movement throughout the classroom, and lets us move desks freely without leaving things for others to trip over.

►Written Work

Assignments in this class often involve answering questions from texts, videos, group discussions, or from other study materials. When completing written work, you should show that you understand your answers by completely rephrasing ideas in your own words. Even if the answers are a result of group discussion, you need to put your own spin on the material to make it your own. And make sure you DO make it your own; the penalties for NOT doing so are severe:

►Columbia High School Plagiarism Policy

Answers copied from the textbook, another student, the Internet, or another source are not acceptable unless the source is clearly identified and credited.

**A first offense may result in loss of credit for the assignment.

**A second offense may result in loss of credit for the course.

►Academic Honesty

To make clear the importance of a student’s own work as a way to show learning and academic growth, this class will make use of an Academic Honesty Agreement (below) which students will be expected to agree to and follow. Instruction in properly showing sources of ideas will be a major part of this course.

Academic Honesty Agreement

1. My homework, quizzes, projects, and assessments will be my own work, unless the assignment specifically allows working with others.

2. When I do use the work of others in my own work, I will give credit to them through clear citations.

3. Failing to clearly and appropriately use the words and ideas of others can result in a zero for the assignment with no chance to re-do it, a lower course grade and/or disciplinary steps.

►Computer Use

You will have access to a Chromebook daily to complete required assignments. You must have a valid Responsible Use Policy (RUP) on file before using computers in class. If  you lose access privileges due to actions in this class or elsewhere, you may find it difficult to complete class assignments during assigned class time and may need to complete them on your own, outside of school.

You are expected to follow class procedures for maintaining the computer resources of the class, including notifying me of any damage or other issues you encounter.


You will receive a copy of the class textbook to take and keep at home -- or wherever you will be doing your homework. A class set of the textbook is also available in the classroom for daily use at school. This approach accomplishes several things.

  • You will always have a copy of the textbook at home, to complete homework assignments
  • You won’t have to carry the textbook in your backpack daily (they get pretty heavy after awhile)
  • You won’t forget to bring it to class (it will already be there for you)
  • The textbooks will last longer, with less wear and tear

Many resources associated with your textbook are available online. In fact, the entire textbook is available online for you to use anywhere. Check the class website for links to those resources throughout the course.

►Hall Passes

You are expected to bring all required materials to class and to take care of bathroom needs before class starts. However, despite your best efforts, you may find you occasionally need to leave class. If you choose, you may to use up to four (4) hall passes per trimester without penalty. After the fourth, you may use a hall pass in exchange for 10 minutes of lunchtime detention. Plan to be in class for the full time each day, and use your hall passes only in cases of emergency. Hall passes may ONLY be used to visit the C-Court bathroom, C-Court water fountain, or your own locker. If you feel a need to visit any other destinations or use a pass for any other purposes, ask for specific permission to do so before leaving class. And leave your cell-phone in the classroom when you go.  Hall passes are NOT to be used to check or send text messages, make calls, etc.. Use of cell-phones out of the classroom during class time will count as a violation of Rule 5, along with the appropriate consequence. If a personal emergency or need requires you to check for messages, speak to Mr Knowles about it beforehand to get permission.

►Attendance & Tardies

Timeliness and consistent attendance are important elements of success in any class, job, or other serious endeavor. Although you are not graded strictly on "participation" in this course, many assessments are based on activities that cannot be easily recreated for students who are absent at the time they take place in class. If you miss class, arrive late, or leave early, you’ll miss opportunities to learn, and you may need to complete alternative assignments or attend working lunches (see below) to make up for missed classroom activities. In addition to the natural consequences of missed class time and opportunities to learn, if you accumulate more than 4 unexcused tardies you will receive additional disciplinary consequences in the form of office referrals and lunch detentions.