• Dunnellon High School

    Environmental Science Syllabus


    Class: Environmental Science                                                               Periods: all

    Teacher: Dr. McMurrer-Shank                                                              Room: 303

    School Phone: (352) 465-6745                             Email: marlene.mcmurrer-shank@marion.k12.fl.us



         The primary goal of this course is to give students a thorough understanding of Environmental Science. This course is designed to prepare students for the Environmental Science Local End of Course Exam (LEOCE) and will cover all of the Next Generation Science Standards that relate to Environmental Science.


    Course Overview

         During this school year, we will be focusing on the nature of science, and studies of the Environment and the many factors that influence it. Overlapping all of this will be the study and practice of the scientific process and the review for the Local End of Course Exam.


         A part of your grade will be from lab work and lab reports. If you are dismissed from a lab because of negative or dangerous behavior, you will be given an alternative assignment to make up the grade, and possibly a referral to discipline.


    First Nine Weeks:

    • Science, Matter, Energy and System: (Chapter 2)
    • Ecosystem Dynamics: (Chapter 3.1-3.4)
    • Biodiversity and Evolution: (Chapter 4)


    Second Nine Weeks:

    • Biodiversity and Evolution: (Chapter 4)
    • Species Interaction, Ecological Succession, and Population Control: (Chapter 5)
    • Review for Semester Exam (counts 20% of overall grade)

    Third Nine Weeks

    • Ecosystems and Climates: (Chapter 6)
    • Saving Species and Ecosystem Services (Chapter 7)
    • Water Resources and Pollution and Climate Change: (Chapter 10, 16.2-16.4)


    Fourth Nine Weeks

    • Nonrenewable Resources and Renewable Resources: (Chapters 12,13.2-13.3)
    • Human Population and Urbanization (14.1-14.2)
    • Environmental Hazards & Human Health: (Chapters 15, 17.1, 18.4)
    • Review for CSMA / EOC Final Exam (counts 20% of overall grade)


    Books and Resources

    This year we have the opportunity to have a new textbook.  This textbook can be viewed online through the student’s portal. We are also fortunate to have a class set of textbooks in the classroom.  The textbook has just enough pictures in it that were approved by the editor, thus students do not need to add any types of figures, words, or numbers to any textbook.  If a student is observed to be writing in a textbook or peeling a textbook cover the student will be sent to discipline for destruction of school property.


    Students are also not allowed to check out a physical copy from the class set, if the student would prefer a physical copy rather than the online copy they need to see the guidance department and check one out. If the student is on the debt list from the previous year the student will not be able to check out a textbook, so please pay your fine!!!  If students do not return the physical copy of the textbook they will be placed on the debt list until paid.


    • Textbook- Environmental Science, Sustaining Your World. National Geographic, CENGAGE Learning



    Written homework will be determined on class-by-class basis. However, students should bring their bookwork / notes home every night to study. Students will be completing ‘article packets’ on a regular basis as an on-going part of their homework expectations. The articles will be pertinent to the current content.


    Student Work Policy

    Any work that is turned in late will not be given full credit. Work that has no name on it will not be given credit. Late work will be accepted with a daily penalty. Students who were absent due to an excused absence will be able to make the assignment up upon request (check out the class website). Incomplete assignments of any type will not be accepted. Students are expected to complete the entire assignment.


    Assignments and Skyward

         Assignments will be entered into the Skyward System as soon as I can get them graded. Skyward is available to the parents by using the parent portal. Please come to the school and sign up for the portal if you do not access. There is an app you can use on your phone if you do not have internet access. Each teacher at Dunnellon High School has their own class website that is open to the public. Assignments, course documents and a calendar can be found on the website.



    50% Tests and Projects

    40% Daily Assessments

    10% Homework




    Grading Scale

    100% - 90%


    89% - 80%


    79% - 70%


    69% - 60%


    59% - 0%





         Attendance and discipline will be handled according to the Marion County School Policies and Procedures and the Dunnellon High School Discipline plan. If a student arrives late to class, the student will be marked tardy. All students that arrive after the tardy bell will need to sign into the class in the folder. Students who are not in their assigned seat will also be marked tardy. Students have plenty of time to conduct personal business between classes on their own time. If the teacher is not in the room the students need to line up by the door and wait quietly.


         Students need to understand that their behavior in the classroom affects the learning environment and any disruption to the learning process will be handled through the Dean’s office. Talking in the classroom must be at a minimum, we have a lot of material to cover and cannot spare the time for excessive talking. My classroom is a science classroom and not a gym, there is no need for students to wander around the classroom and my trash cans are not basketball hoops. Any violations from the previous statements will result in a verbal warning. If the student continues to be a disruption, the student will be referred to discipline.


         Students are placed in assigned seats and I expect the students to sit there during class time. If your child has a vision or hearing problem that they need seating near the board please note that on the back page of the syllabus.


    Warning System

    1. Verbal Warning     2. Sent out to Discipline     3. Referral



    • Pencils with Erasers (I prefer wooden pencils) (I do not carry any lead for mechanical pencils)
    • A 1 subject spiral notebook (It would be best to get a spiral that has pockets to hold completed workbook pages) OR a one-inch binder with dividers – your choice.
    • Sticky Notes
    • Notebook Paper
    • Ink Pens
    • Highlighters
    • Colored Pencils / Crayons
    • Index cards


    The following items are not mandatory for the class but would be extremely appreciated. These items will be used in the classroom on an everyday basis.

      • Paper towels, tape (all kinds), packs of index cards, pencils, and notebook paper.

         Materials must be brought every day to class. It is the student’s responsibility to bring paper and writing instruments to class every day because they are going to be needed every day.

    CLASS Procedues

    The following rules will help us keep everything running smoothly in the classroom so that we can be successful in class.

      1. Follow all safety procedures. Any violation will result in the student having to complete an alternative assignment and could lead to a referral to Discipline. Failure to follow safety protocol in the classroom will result in students not participating in future labs or activities.
    • Bathrooms visits are for EMERGENCIES ONLY!!!! If you have a medical need to be out more often, please have your parent send me a note so that we can work out a solution. It is very important for the student to remain in class to fully understand the concepts that are going to be presented. Students will sign out of the classroom when going to the lavatory and sign in when they arrive back to the classroom. PLEASE ENCOURAGE YOUR STUDENT TO USE THE RESTROOM BETWEEN CLASSES, THEY HAVE TIME.


    1. Keep the classroom clean. If you make a mess, clean it up before you leave. The class will not be dismissed until all materials are in their proper place and off the floor.
    2. If you are absent, please see me as soon as you return to the classroom. Any assignments that you miss goes in the grade book as a “0” until you make it up. I will give the student the date it is due on each assignment following school policy.
    3. Parents can email me using the email given above, if there are any questions.
    4. Please be RESPECTFUL to your teacher / school official and to your fellow classmates. We do some group work and we must work together as a team to be successful!! Yelling in the classroom is unacceptable and will result in a written assignment that will require a parent/ guardian signature. Students need to do what is asked of them the first time instructed.
    5. In this class, there are several ‘banned’ words. I do not permit student to use profanity or any slang in place of profanity. I expect them to be polite to each other and to think before they speak.
    6. No food, drinks or gum in the classroom. Bottled water is permitted. Food attracts animals that we do not want in the classroom and sugar makes the floor sticky. Students will not be permitted to go to the vending machines during class.
    7. Stay seated unless given teacher permission. Follow all hand signals for getting up out of your seat. 2 = bathroom, raise pencil if you need to sharpen it.
    8. NO CELL PHONES!!!! After being warned about having cell phone out and visible, student will be sent to discipline and a referral will be written. Please do not text, call or FaceTime your child during class time. It causes a distraction and they will be in violation of MCPS code of student conduct. You can call the office 465-6745 and they will get the message to your child.
    9. Lab equipment in the classroom area is off limits to all students; this is for their safety


    Daily Routine

    1. Come into class quietly.
    2. Read the agenda for the day on the board in the front of the room.
    3. Complete Bell Work quietly.
    4. Turn in any assignments that need to be turned in into the appropriate bin for your class.
    5. Wait patiently and quietly for further instructions.
    6. During class time, classroom procedures are followed.
    7. Leaving the classroom, students need to make sure that they have all of their belongings and wait quietly for the bell. Student must stay in their assigned seat. There is no waiting by the door for dismissal. The bell does not dismiss the students; the teacher will dismiss the students when the classroom is in order.