Thursday, September 24, 2009


Dear Parents and Students:

Please check the class blog for updates! A new Power Point ('The Chemistry of Life') is now available to assist students, and there is also an important note about letter grades that appear on Power School.


Beginning next week, science tutoring is available after-school between 3:00 and 4:00 in Room N-33. If you are concerned about your student's grade, please encourage them to attend tutoring. In addition, I will be assigning mandatory tutoring as per the Course Contract, beginning this coming Wednesday. Failure to attend assigned tutoring or to follow directions in class may lead to students being assigned Saturday School...


To assist students who need additional time to master material, Mr. Hatfield is rescheduling Tuesday's (9/29) exam for Friday, Oct. 2nd. There will be a Study Session after school on Thursday, Oct. 1st.


This is an announcement of interest to all my students and their parents.

It has always been my practice to employ an alternative grading scale for my classes at Bullard, rather than the so-called 'standard' scale of 90/80/70/60 etc.

The scale below is the scale that I have used for the last six years. It is the same scale that is on the course materials I distributed to students in the first week of school, and the one that I shared with parents on 'Back To School Knight'. Here it is:

A 86-100
B 71-85
C 56-70
D 51-55
F 50 or less

This is also the same scale I've used, every year, since the district implemented their Power School grading program. In the past, teacher grading was site-based, running off a platform installed into the instructor's school-site computer. I could use the program to create my own grading scale. Unfortunately, a decision has been made to inplement a new web-based version of Power School that requires me to get "permission" from a site administrator to use an alternative grading scale.

Well, that's not only nonsense, it's taking liberties with academic freedom. As an instructor, I have the right under the California Education Code (Article 3, provision 49066a) to use my judgement to determine a student's final grade, and if I choose to use an alternative grade scale* to make that determination, that is none of the district's business. So I will continue to grade things the way I always have, and I assure you that I will do whatever is necessary so that a student's final letter grade in my course will reflect my grade scale alone.

Now, I have petitioned the district to support my instructional practice, and so far I haven't gotten any assurances that this support is forthcoming. Until such time as my scale is implemented, the district's computers may display a different letter grade for some student's grades: an 'A' on my grade scale as a 'B', a 'B' as a 'C' and a 'C' as a below-average grade. That's unfortunate, but I am not going to let the district undermine the rights of teachers.

* = an alternative grade scale which is favorable to students, frankly!


Here is the Power Point on 'The Chemistry of Life.' Students received a Study Guide for their Test on Thursday (June 25). They should use that Guide to compare the notes in their composition books with the Power Point notes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Parents and Students:

The Power Point "Atoms and Molecules" is now available on the class blog.

Students received a Study Guide in class today for their first UNIT TEST on Friday, Sept. 11th.

On Thursday the 10th, we will have a Study Session after school (3:30 - 5:00) in Room N-63, based on the Study Guide. Participating students will earn extra credit in the course and receive valuable feedback regarding test.


The lab "Metric Measures" was due today, Tuesday the 8th.
The handout "The Lives of the Stars" is due tomorrow, Wednesday the 9th.

Scott Hatfield
Biology Instructor


For all my classes, here are the notes on 'Atoms and Molecules.'


Friday, September 4, 2009



The following episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos, 'The Lives of the Stars', forms the basis of a student homework assignment. Click on the icon below to play the video within the blog:

You can also go to Hulu directly.