August 7, 2023

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to Desert Ridge Middle School and 7th & 8th grade Special Ed. Science.  I am looking forward to working with your child as part of a productive and rigorous learning experience.  Student will be expected to have their APS Chromebook with them daily, as they will be used in many of their classes.

My goals this year are to help your child to become successful student, and to provide them with the skills necessary to understand several principles of science.  This the 7th graders will be returning to their focus on Life Science, which includes Cells, Genetics, Evolution, Diversity of Living Things, and Ecology.  The 8th graders will continue to work on the spiral idea of teaching Physics, Energy and Waves, Genetics and Evolution.

Expectations:  It is expected that all students will come to class prepared with all materials and ready to engage in classroom activities.  They are to be respectful to others and responsible for their assignments and materials. Students will be expected to be in class daily, as that is the best way to learn. 

Grading Procedures:  Grades will be based on homework, class work, projects, group work, quizzes and tests.  I grade using a point system rather than percentages or weighted grades. Your students will know the point value of various assignments and tests when assigned. There will seldom be assigned homework, but any assignment not completed in class is expected to be completed as homework and returned the next day.  It is expected for homework/assignments to be handed in on the due date, which is one day after assigned, unless otherwise stated.  I do not count assignments late/missing until after I have graded the assignment, not according to due date.  Large projects and reports will be broken into manageable chunks of work so that your student can experience the satisfaction of completing a project without too much stress.  Extra credit is built into the curriculum and is not assigned separately. As of the time of this letter, APS is requiring a Final Assessment at the end of each semester, which will be worth 10% of the students’ semester Grade. 

I have a teacher website located at . As time goes on, this will be the best place to get the latest information.  Please check it regularly, and you may want to bookmark this site for the easiest access.  Assignments are posted on a weekly basis on the website, with most related worksheets.  Students have an active email account through the district, and will be expected to use it on a regular basis. I will not have a Google Classroom. 

I look forward to working with your child this year.  If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at

Please return the bottom portion as receipt of this parent letter with the information listed below.  This will be your child’s first grade for the semester worth 10 points. 


Mr. Shannon Massey

7th & 8th Gr Special Ed Science

Science Dept. Chair