Course deadlines, accommodations, and extensions policy for PHY197F (2022)


Accessibility Services

I happen to be a human being who lives with disabilities, and I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of physical and mental health ableism. My general policy is to grant requests from UofT Accessibility Services (AS). If I do not think I can provide what AS says a student needs, then I will seek extra support from UofT to help make it happen. Please show this webpage to AS staff before they send me an accommodation request, to give them an idea in advance of what accommodations are likely to be feasible in my courses. I would really appreciate it if AS accommodation requests could be made at least one week before the pertinent due dates of graded work, to allow sufficient time for logistical planning.

Illness or injury

Standard UofT policy is that students needing accommodations for illness or injury should see a Dentist, Nurse/Nurse Practitioner, Physician/Surgeon, Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Social Worker registered and licensed in the Province of Ontario in person, and have them fill out a Verification of Illness or Injury (VOI) form. Note that the form concentrates on only the timeline and severity of the illness/injury. The reason for this is that those are the only two factors that matter for the creation of altered grade weighting (for missed homeworks) and/or appropriate make-up work (for missed exams) to cover the exceptional circumstances. Private medical details are none of my business, and you should not have to disclose them in order to get accommodated fairly.

COVID-19 update: the VOI requirement is temporarily waived. see here for details.


The Instructors' Handbook makes clear that we must turn back a certain percentage of the final grade to the whole class before the drop deadline. I adhere to that rule, with time to spare, because it provides important academic transparency for students. The only exception may occur if a student has obtained an incompatible extension on term work.

Depending on the professor, deadlines can be scary. I encourage thinking about my deadlines as scaffolding for your learning through time. It will be significantly easier to handle course milestones if you learn as you go along, rather than leaving reviewing course material until the last dying minute. It will also be easier to complete assignments if you start working on them as soon as they are given out. I encourage taking advantage of my regular weekly office hours to get tips on understanding concepts, figuring out how to do assignments, and studying generally.

Procrastination is an enemy of many: delays tend to build up like a rolling snowball. Facing a blank page the night before the due date and pulling an all-nighter rarely yields great results. Sometimes you can even end up too embarrassed to hand in what you have managed to write, feeling that it is not enough and therefore worthless. Instead, I recommend handing in whatever you have anyway, because that allows me to award you at least some marks. Then, for the next assignment, try reaching out for help earlier on. I do not judge students negatively for seeking assistance from me -- on the contrary, I am impressed by it. It is my job to help you learn! In twenty years of teaching at UofT I have never penalized a student academically for seeking my assistance, and I do not plan to change this policy in future. Reaching out and asking for help takes courage, and that should be met with encouragement.


In the spirit of further transparency, here are my rules on extensions.

  1. Assignments (homeworks, essays, etc.) are due on the date specified at the beginning of class. The lateness penalty per day is 5%, up to a maximum of seven days. Assignments handed in more than one week after deadline will normally not be graded.
  2. Each student gets a bank account of seven Grace Days per semester, which allows handing in specifically designated assignments late without penalty. You may use all seven on one assignment, or spread them out differently. My only rule is that you must inform the TA (or me, if there is no TA) by email that you will be using a specific number of Grace Days at least 24 hours before the original due date.
  3. The maximum extension for any given assignment is normally one week. Assignments turned in late will be graded late.
  4. Assignments submitted more than one week late cannot normally be counted. Re-weighting remaining term work to cover the missing grade is the primary remedy available; the other is to re-weight onto the final exam.
  5. Extensions beyond Grace Days or AS requests may be granted in exceptional circumstances. I will not ask intrusive questions about private details.

I hope this information helped. Let me know what else I can do to support you in reaching your academic goals.
-- Prof. Peet.