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Mrs. Cusack's Science Website: Welcome!

Salem High School Schedule

Block 1: 8:00am-8:45am

Block 2: 9:00am-9:45am

Block 3: 10:15am-11:00pm

Block 4: 11:15pm-12:00pm

Important Grading Information

Earth and Space Science Competencies:


Competency 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices Students will understand how scientists work and that scientific knowledge develops by engaging in the practices of science and engineering.  

Competency 2: Earth’s Place in the Universe Students will understand the overall structure, composition, and history of the universe, the forces and processes by which the solar system operates, and Earth’s planetary history.


Competency 3: Earth’s Systems Students will understand the processes that drive Earth’s conditions and its continual evolution. Students will also understand the planet’s large-scale structure and composition, describe its individual systems, and explain how they are interrelated. They will also understand the mechanisms driving Earth’s internal motions and the vital role that water plays in all of the planet’s systems and surface processes.


Competency 4: Earth and Human Activity Students will be able to explain how Earth’s processes affect people through natural resources and natural hazards and describe the ways in which humanity in turn affects Earth’s processes.


Grading Policies:

Grading is weighted based on summative and formative assessments. Formative assessments are worth 25% of the overall grade and summative assessments are worth 75%. Grades will be updated weekly in Infinite Campus. Grades are in-progress for the entire year!  Each grade will be attached to a competency as they are covered throughout the year.  It is important to note that the competencies are not in line with quarters because they take different amounts of time to cover properly.

Formative Assessments: The goal of a formative assessment is to monitor student learning while providing student feedback to improve their learning. Formative assessments help students identify their strengths, weaknesses, and target areas that may need additional work. Formative assessments include, but are not limited to:

  • Introductory laboratory investigations
  • Classwork, guided practice, reinforcement/review, and practice problems
  • Quizzes
  • Homework

Summative Assessments: The goal of a summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of a lesson or an instructional unit; summative assessments include, but are not limited to:

  • Laboratory investigations
  • Lesson-based quizzes and  unit tests
  • Projects

Throughout the course, students will be assessed using both formative and summative assessments based on instructional units relating to the Course Competencies described above. As Earth and Space Science is a year-long course, the degree of emphasis on each Competency varies. Below is the weighting for each Competency:


Competency 1:

Scientific & Engineering Practices

Competency 2:

Earth's Place in the Universe

Competency 3:

Earth's Systems

Competency 4:

Earth & Human Activity



25 %




Midterm and Final Exam:

Students will have both a midterm and final exam that factor into their final course average.

Midterm Exam: The midterm exam is comprised of two components: performance tasks and a multiple choice exam. The midterm exam is worth 10% of the overall final average.

Final Exam: The final exam is comprised of two components: performance tasks and a multiple choice exam. The final exam is worth 10% of the overall final average.

Final OVERALL Grade:                   

In-Progress Grade: 80%                               

Midterm Exam: 10%                         

Final Exam: 10%


Welcome to Salem High School and your freshman year. I look forward to having you in class and having a great school year! Please find the following LibGuide a helpful resource throughout the year!

-Mrs. Cusack 

Important Dates at SHS

Please refer to Google Classroom for future updates! 

Important Freshman Contacts

Matthew Barry: Freshman Dean


Liza Bartlett: Freshman Secretary 


Maureen Fabrizio: Freshman Guidance Counselor A-K


Shawn Brown: Freshman Guidance Counselor L-Z 


**Guidance counselors are assigned by last name