Instructor: Dr. J. Dungan                   Room: S210      e-mail:  jdunga@neisd.net 


    General Statement:  Hi there!  Welcome to the wonderful world of phlogiston, transmutation, fireworks, plastics, superconductors, nuclear energy, ozone, dirigibles and blimps, forensics, pharmaceuticals, life processes, and countless other magnificent things.  In other words, welcome to the world of chemistry – the central science.

    Pre-AP Chemistry is a lab / activity-oriented course that delve into the composition of matter and chemical processes undergone by matter.  The course is designed to prepare the student for success not only in college but also in the work place in general - since it requires all the skills that make up a successful individual. The skills utilized and developed in this course include:  an ability to work well in a group, the ability to formulate questions and explain answers (both verbally and in writing), critical thinking, the ability to work through and solve problems, patience, “stick-to-itness” (persistence), logic, time management, organization, and self-confidence. So, congratulations on choosing this course – one that will prepare you well for the future, no matter what your chosen occupation. 

    As a result of chemistry’s utilitarian nature, it is a demanding course.  The material in this course is very challenging and requires that the student devote more time to this subject than he or she may have done in previous science courses.  As a result, it is necessary that the student studies at home and does all assignments on a regular basis.  Additionally, this is a math intensive course.  All students need to have a strong background and a good grasp of Algebra I concepts.  This course is also cumulative in nature, which means that each day’s lesson is the foundation for subsequent lessons.  Therefore, it is imperative that the student attend class regularly, do all their assignments to the best of their ability, and be sure that they understand current material before the class moves on to another topic.  Thus, it may be necessary for the student to ask questions and/or attend tutoring.


    Class Organization:  Each day will involve multiple learning activities.  Students need to bring all books, take notes on class material, and keep an organized chemistry notebook.  Lesson plans, class notes, daily assignments, lab reports, and homework should be kept in this notebook. The class may start with a short mini-quiz (3-5 minutes) over the material covered last class and/or the assigned homework. Students that are tardy will receive a zero for these mini-quizzes. Class agenda, lesson plans, assessment schedule, and other information can be found on my website on the James Madison HS Teacher’s Web.  I encourage you to visit it regularly.  It will be particularly useful in keeping you current with the material if you have been absent due to illness or school activities.


    Supplies:  online textbook – “Modern Chemistry

                      3-ring binder with dividers

                     pens (with blue or black ink), pencils and erasers

                      index cards (3 x 5)

                      scientific calculator (graphing calculator is acceptable) This is required for the course

                      bound composition books for use in lab and demos


    Grades:    homework                                     10%

                      Daily activities/quizzes                 20%

                      Labs                                                      30%

                     Tests                                           40%


    Homework:  The horrific “H” word.  Unfortunately, homework is a necessary part of learning.  Homework is necessary for you to master the concepts and develop the problem-solving skills needed to succeed in this course. Homework will be assigned daily.  It will be assessed in different manners (typically self-graded in class or graded electronically) and may, on occasion, be used on the daily quiz.  You are encouraged to come for tutoring if you need clarification of a concept or help with an assignment. My tutoring hours are posted, however, if I am in the room, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.  You will be given long-term homework assignments occasionally. They will often require that you use the math you have learned to be applied in a different manner than you may be accustomed to using. Late homework will be accepted as per district policy.


    Quizzes:  Quizzes will be given to check for mastery of daily content material and homework. You can expect a quiz or mini-quiz weekly.  Quiz dates will be posted in my classroom and on my Teacher’s web site. The quiz will cover material assigned for homework and notes from previous class periods.  The lowest quiz grade (sometimes the two lowest) will be dropped each 9-week grading period. The number dropped will depend on the number of quizzes given for that 9-week period.  Quiz make-up will occur in my room and must be made up within one-week from an excused absence.  Quiz make-up is the student’s, not the teacher’s, responsibility!!

    Tests:  2-4 tests will be given each nine-week period.   You will know the date of the tests well in advance.  The dates will be posted in my classroom and can be found on my Teacher’s web site.  If you will be absent that day due to an extracurricular activity, you need to arrange to take the test before your absence.  All test make-ups are given in my classroom and have a 1-week maximum make-up period with grades assigned as per district policy. If the end of the 9-weeks falls within that week, the test must be taken before the end of that 9-week period.  Please remember that generally the longer you wait to make-up a test, the harder it will be to score well.  The class will continue to move forward and you will need to learn new material as well as prepare for the test.  Test make-up is the student’s, not the teacher’s, responsibility!!! Test re-tests will also be given as per the district policy.


    Labwork:  Laboratory and class exercises are an integral part of this course. Safety is of primary concern during these exercises.  Failure to follow all safety rules or laboratory directions will result in loss of credit for the assignment and /or expulsion from the laboratory. You will be given the lab procedure and pre-lab questions before lab day so that you can prepare for the actual lab. Therefore, all directions should be read, and any pre-lad work finished, before beginning each exercise.  No one will be permitted to participate in the lab without a completed pre-lab.  In such a case a grade of zero (for the 2nd offense and beyond) will be assigned for the lab. Some labs will require a formal lab write-up while others will require answering all questions given on a presented data page.  One lab grade may be dropped each 9-week period if a sufficient number of labs are completed in that grading period.  However, there are very few lab make-ups due to time constraints so please try to be present on lab days.  This is a laboratory science and, frankly, lab work can be not only beneficial in helping you learn the concepts but also a lot of fun.  Late lab reports may be accepted one class period late depending on the lab as some lab reports require extended grading time.  


    Makeup work / Re-takes:  It is your responsibility to get your missed work.  Work assigned before excused absence is due the day you return to class.  Work missed due to excused absence is due in accordance with district policy.  Late homework will be accepted in accordance to district policy.  All assignments are listed (and most can be printed) from my teacher website found on the “James Madison HS Teacher Web.” Re-takes on summative assessments will be given in accordance with the district policy.


    Extra credit:  Extra credit will be available for all but the last nine weeks.  Successful completion of the extra credit will result in a low grade (excluding tests) being replaced.  You will be given the specifics for each extra credit opportunity.  The extra credit assignment will be graded as strictly as a regular assignment.  Do not assume that extra credit means an automatic “A” or 100.  The opportunity for extra credit will only be given to those students that routinely turn in their assignments completed and on time.  


    Attendance & Tardies:  If you are not in class, you will not only be missed, but it will most likely be more difficult for you to pass.  Absenteeism is the leading cause of job loss and poor performance.  Only excused absences will be allowed to make-up work!  If you are not in class and ready for the Joy of learning when the bell rings, you will be counted tardy.  You will not be allowed to make-up any work missed at the start of class.


    Cheating:  Cheating/copying of any kind will result in a zero for all parties involved.  Helping each other understand homework problems is not the same as copying.  Please do not use other teacher's class time to do your chemistry homework.  If you are caught and I am informed, you will earn a zero for the assignment.  Likewise, do not expect to use my class time to do other classes' work. Often homework will be self graded in class.  Periodically I will collect the graded homework after you have given me your grade.  If the self-reported grade does not match closely to the actual grade I will assume that all previous self-reported grades are bogus.   This will result in a zero not only for that homework but for all previously self- graded homework from the current  9-week period unless verification of past grades is possible.


    Respect:  This course is planned to include an enormous amount of activity, material, and fun.  To accomplish this, we must respect each other’s opinions, contributions, and learning styles.  I expect all students to exhibit appropriate respect for the teacher and each other at all times.  Examples of this include paying attention when the teacher or another student is talking, announcements on the PA system, and when we are performing individual work such as tests and quizzes.


    I am looking forward to being with you as we learn the exciting, awesome, challenging study that is chemistry.  Please do not ever hesitate to come see me before or after school if you find yourself not understanding the material.  Thank you and welcome to my class,



                                                                              Dr. Joe Dungan


    *** Note to Parents/Guardians – Please take the time to sign up for Parent Portal and/or Remind 101 (a letter will be sent home with the student with directions for getting on Remind 101).  This will allow for easier communication between the teacher and parents/guardians.


    If there are any specific concerns that you or your parents may like me to address at this time, please tell me about them below and I will try to address them through email, phone, or in person.  Thank you.  By far the Best method to reach me is through e-mail. I can be reached at


    E-Mail Address:  jdunga@neisd.net


    Teacher web site: https://www.neisd.net/site/Default.aspx?PageID=7601


    Voice Mail number:  210-637-4400 ext. 125 (hard to access so e-mail highly preferred)


    Conference Times: 2nd Period   9:45 - 10:35 a.m.


    Tutoring Schedule:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday  -  8:15 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.

                                    Wednesday – 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

                                       Other times available by appointment even if later than 5:45 p.m.


    Student concerns or information they wish to confer: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Day-time Contact Method:______________________________________________________________


    Parent concerns or information they wish to confer: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Day-time Parent Contact Method:_______________________________________________________

    Emergency Contact:


    I, ___________________________, have read the syllabus for Dr. Dungan's pre-AP chemistry class and understand the expectations of the pre-AP chemistry class.



    student's signature and date                                       



    I, ___________________________, have read the syllabus for Dr. Dungan's pre-AP chemistry class and understand the expectations and rules of the pre-AP chemistry class. I have also signed up for Parent Portal and/or Remind 101 to allow for teacher contact if needed.



    parent's/guardian's signature and date