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American Democracy Online

Mandatory Orientation Meeting

Students registered for Online American Democracy MUST attend one mandatory face-to-face orientation meeting. 9 out of 10 students who miss the orientation meeting fail the course. You will be dropped from the course if you do not attend the entire orientation meeting. Parents, guardians, siblings or anyone else can not attend for the student.

Check your email for the time and place. 

Contact Information for Mr. Hiles

21st century kids can now ask their teacher questions via text messaging or voice mail - (714) 712-0375. And  you can use old-fashioned email - You can also contact me with School Loop or the Haiku course mail system.

The URL for the online class is

Final Grades

It’s important to remember that a grade is not a Christmas or birthday gift that can simply be exchanged for a different color or a larger size. A grade is also not a measure of how much effort has been expended. There’s no way for a teacher to know how much time and energy someone put into an assignment. Even if there were, tying a grade directly to how “hard” a student worked would mean that someone who easily mastered the material should fail, which makes no sense at all.

A grade is an indicator of achievement, like an Olympian’s medal or a salesperson’s commission. Grades on individual assignments are based on how well they meet the guidelines and grading criteria. I am only available to discuss grades before school, at 6:30am. Understand that I will make a change only if I have made an error in my computations. To do so for any other reason would be unfair and dishonest: unfair because I would be treating one student differently from all the others, and dishonest because I would be recording a grade that had not been earned. That would be roughly the same as an employee padding a timesheet to get paid for more hours than they actually worked. I would hope you would neither violate your conscience by doing such a thing, nor ask me to violate mine by assigning a grade that I know is not a true representation of your work.

Assigning a last-minute, grade-saving assignment to all students would also be unfair. It would diminish the value of previous course work. It would be unplanned extra work for students who are studying for finals. It would create an extra burden for the large number of students who are content with the grade they have earned. And it would unfair to the teacher with a scarcity of valuable time that hadn’t budgeted time to grade them all.


Mandatory Orientation Meeting

All students must attend a mandatory orientation meeting. Past experience has proven that over 90% of students that do not participate in the orientation fail the course. Students have the option to attend one of the two following dates: 

Date 1: September 12, 6:55-7:50AM (zero period) Room #231 (Mr. Emme's room)

Date 2: September 18, 4:00-5:00PM, Room #232 (computer lab)


All students are required to stay for the entire hour orientation. 


If you have a conflict with the orientation meeting due to athletics or extracurricular activity you must email me at with your name, sport/class, contest/practice information AND CC your coach and/or teacher. I will schedule an alternative orientation for you. You will be dropped from the course if you fail to send me an email about your absence. 

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