Course Description/Overview/Welcome Statement
Biology is the study of living things and their interaction with their environment. Students will learn to think scientifically and evaluate data, learn about the social and historical aspects of science, and learn how science works as a discipline.
In order to earn credit, students will need to master each standard in the course. Standards, with accompanying learning targets, are included in both the printed course materials and on the Biology Canvas course. Students and parents can access Canvas at provo.instructure.com. When a student does not achieve proficiency, it is expected that they will work with their teacher during intervention time to relearn material and work towards retesting. Proficiency is defined by achieving a minimum of 3 on a 4-point scale. See the “Assessment of Progress and Achievement” section for details.
Assessment of Progress
Formative and Summative Assessments
Students, teachers, and parents can monitor student progress on Canvas and PowerSchool. Student understanding of each standard in the course will be assessed through a variety of assessments, including formative quizzes and assignments, as well as summative assessments such as multiple choice tests and performance assessments. Summative assessment scores, as well as many formative assessment scores, will be reported on Canvas and PowerSchool. Accommodations for students with an IEP, 504, or ELL classification will be made on an individual basis.
Students will achieve a minimum level of proficiency (at least a 3) on essential formative assessments before attempting to show proficiency on summative assessments. All summative assessments are broken down into multiple standards. Each student will achieve a proficient score (at least a 3) for all standards. Both formative and summative assessments can be attempted multiple times until the student shows proficiency. Scoring guides with success criteria for various assessments are included in Canvas.
Students need the following items for class:
colored pencils (recommended)
Students will be using chromebooks each day in class. They will be using Canvas, their district google account, and other online materials as directed by their instructor. Please see the “Technology” section below for more detailed information.
Students have the right to learn in a safe and productive environment. No student has the right to take this right away from others. The following expectations are established to ensure these rights:
- Respect others.
- Be prepared for class.
- Be on task.
- Be a contributing member of your group.
- Follow all lab safety rules.
- Follow technology expectations.
Students who choose not to follow classroom expectations will be reminded once. If the student continues behaving inappropriately, a parent or guardian will be notified and a log entry in the school system will be made. If the student continues behaving inappropriately after parent contact, he or she may be referred to administration.
With the exception of water, neither food nor drinks are allowed in class. Students will be asked to throw away food items brought to class.
Biology students will use chromebooks during class on a daily basis, accessing the internet through their school assigned email account. We expect students to adhere to the district Acceptable Use Policy (http://provo.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ti-acceptusepol.pdf). Students who abuse technology will be reported and lose schoolwide access to the devices according to policy.
Electronic devices (iPods, MP3 players, cell phones, etc.) are not allowed in class, except when used for instructional purposes at the teacher’s discretion. If students use these items inappropriately during class, they may be confiscated and given to school administration as per school policy. Parents must come to the school to retrieve confiscated electronics.
Assignments & Late Work
The purpose of assignments is to help students learn the concepts needed to prepare them to achieve mastery on the assessments. Most assignments will be submitted digitally through Canvas. Most work should be completed during class time, but some homework may be necessary to complete work that wasn’t finished in class. Time should also be spent outside of class time to study and prepare for assessments. Students should plan on about 1 hour of homework per week, but that figure will vary depending on the individual and the topic. Assignments will not be included in final grades; however, assignments that are designated as essential must be mastered (at least 80%) in order to take summative assessments, which are included in the grade. Students have the opportunity to redo assignments until they reach mastery. Final deadlines for all term work is the last day of the term. If a student needs to retest, additional work will be required to help improve their understanding of the standard. Accommodations for students with an IEP, 504, or ELL classification will be made on an individual basis.
A report based on the student’s citizenship in the class will be reported in PowerSchool, but will not be used in determining the final academic grade.
Lab Behavior and Equipment Care
Students must follow safety procedures when participating in labs. The safety guidelines are outlined in the Science Laboratory Regulations and Safe Laboratory Practices section below. If students do not follow safety and appropriate behavior standards during a lab, including lab equipment care and cleanup, the student will be removed immediately from the lab and/or lose the opportunity to earn credit for the lab.
Students are expected to be on time and in class every day. Short, timed quizzes are administered at the beginning of each class period to help students prepare for summative assessments. If students are tardy or absent, they lose the opportunity to take the on-time quiz. This will not directly impact the grade, but represents a lost learning opportunity. If a student is absent, information on what they missed can be found on the Canvas calendar. If absent on a test day, students will be required to use the school testing center to take their test.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, students needing special accommodations may contact me for alternative arrangements.
Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments
During the term, both formative and summative assessments can be attempted multiple times (summatives can be retaken up to 3 times per standard) until students are able to show proficiency of that standard. In order to earn credit for a term, proficiency of all standards must be achieved by taking/re-taking all assessments for that term by the last day of the term. (Term 1: October 16th, Term 2: December 20th, Term 3: March 13th, Term 4: May 22nd)
Progress Reports and Report Cards
Student grades will be based on proficiency of standards. Proficiency is demonstrated by achieving at least a 3 on each standard in the assessments. Assessments may include multiple choice or performance assessments. Current standard scores can be monitored on Canvas and PowerSchool, and scores are updated weekly. Final term grades will be based on the following criteria:
An A means the student has shown proficiency (a score of 3) on all course standards and advanced proficiency (a score of 4) on at least ½ of the standards.
A B means the student has shown proficiency (a score of 3) on all course standards and advanced proficiency (a score of 4) on less than ½ of the standards.
A C means the student has shown proficiency (a score of 3) or higher on at least ½ of the standards and at least approaching proficiency (a score of 2) on the rest of the standards.
A D means the student has shown to be at least approaching proficiency (a score of 2) on all of the standards and has fewer than ½ of the scores at a proficient (a score of 3) level or higher.
An F means the student has shown a basic understanding (a score of 1) on any of the standards or has not shown any evidence of proficiency on a standard.
Proficiency score definitions are in the table below.
No Evidence Shown
This grading system reflects our philosophy that the essential standards are, in fact, essential and must therefore be mastered. See the chart below for example assessment scores and the resulting final grade.
Grading of Assessments
In order to pass Biology, students must demonstrate proficiency of all class standards by taking assessments including those standards. The grades for the course come from the proficiency standards not the assessment score itself. If any standard scores are below a 2, the student’s final grade will be an F until the student demonstrates a minimum proficiency on all standards. In order to improve their grade, students must 1) work with their teacher to re-learn material, 2) have the teacher authorize an additional testing attempt (up to a maximum of 3 retakes), and 3) retake the assessment in the school testing center or during in-class intervention time.. Students may only attempt one assessment per day until the end of the term, and may repeat this cycle until they are content with their proficiency level.
Accommodations for students with an IEP, 504, or ELL classification will be made on an individual basis. Students with an IEP, 504, or ELL classification have the option to negotiate requirements with the teacher to receive a “P” for the term which grants full class credit.
Connecting Home to School
E-mail is the best way to contact me:
For Resources and study:
Personal Statement and other items (optional)
Science Laboratory Regulations and Safe Laboratory Practices
The following regulations have been compiled for the safety of students performing laboratory work in a science class. All students in a science class are required to follow these regulations.
Students and parents must read the Science Laboratory Regulations And Safe Laboratory Practices, sign the Science Laboratory Regulations And Safe Laboratory Practices Acknowledgement/Consent Form and return the signed form to the teacher. This procedure must be completed before a student can begin any laboratory activity. The student should keep a copy of the regulations in his or her notebook for future reference.
General Guidelines for Laboratory Safety
- Behave appropriately in the laboratory. No fooling around.
- Be aware of your classmates’ safety as well as your own.
- Listen to and follow all directions and safety protocol.
- Do not perform experiments not specifically approved by your teacher.
- Use required personal protective equipment as directed by your teacher (lab apron/coat, safety glasses/goggles protective gloves, etc.)
- Tie back long hair; remove long hanging necklaces, bulky jewelry and adjust/fix loose or bulky clothing.
- Know the location of all safety and emergency equipment used in the laboratory (eye wash station, safety blanket, safety shower, fire extinguisher, first aid kit chemical spill kit, and disposal containers).
- Immediately report any accident, incident, or hazard to your teacher.
- Immediately report any spill to your teacher.
- Report any laboratory equipment not working properly.
- Be familiar with the proper school emergency drill procedures. Identify all emergency exits.
- Keep your work area neat and uncluttered.
- Clean and organize your work area at the conclusion of each lab period.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after each lab period. During the lab, keep hands away from face.
- Do not eat or drink in the laboratory.
- Wear approved safety glasses/goggles as directed by your teacher.
- Always wear eye protection when you are working with a chemical or a solution, a heat source, or a mechanical device.
- In case of eye contact, do the following: Go to an eyewash station immediately, and flush your eyes (including under the eyelids) with running water for at least 15 minutes. Have another student notify the teacher.
- Do not wear contact lenses in the laboratory. If your doctor requires that you wear contact lenses instead of glasses, then you must wear safety goggles.
- Be aware of the chemicals being used in the laboratory. Check labels and know where the safety data sheets (SDS) are located.
- Always handle chemicals and solutions with care.
- Do not return unused chemicals or solutions to their original containers.
- Do not mix any chemicals unless specifically instructed to do so by your teacher.
- Do not taste, touch, or smell any substance or bring it close to your eyes, unless specifically instructed to do so by your teacher.
- If you are directed by your teacher to note the odor or a substance, do so by waving the fumes toward you with your hand.
- Do not pipette any substance by mouth; use a suction bulb as directed by your teacher.
- Do not pour water into a strong acid or strong base.
- Inspect glassware before use; do not use chipped or cracked glassware. Report any unusable glassware to your teacher and follow the teacher’s directions for proper disposal.
- Do not attempt to insert glass tubing into a rubber stopper without specific instruction from your teacher.
- Immediately notify your teacher if a piece of glassware breaks.
- Do not attempt to clean up broken glassware. Your teacher has the proper equipment to clean up the glassware.
Sharp Object Safety
- Use extreme care when handling all sharp and pointed instruments, such as scalpels, shape probes, and knives. Pass them with handles extended when handing them to another person.
- Do not cut objects while holding them in your hand. Always cut objects on a suitable works surface and in a direction away from your body.
- Be aware of any source of flames, sparks, or heat (open flame, electric heating coils, hot plates, etc.) before working in the lab, especially if working with flammable liquids or gases.
- When heating chemicals or reagents in a test tube, do not look into the mouth of the test tube or point the test tube toward anyone.
- Use tongs or other appropriate, insulated holders when heating objects. Hot glass looks the same as cool glass.
- Us a fire blanket to extinguish any flame on a person. Remember to STOP, DROP, and ROLL.
- Do not use equipment with frayed electrical cords or loose plugs.
- Adjust electrical cords so as not to trip over them.
- Do not use electrical equipment near water or with wet hands or clothing.
- Hold the plug base, not the cord, when you plug in or unplug equipment.
Proper Waste Disposal
- Clean and decontaminate all work surfaces and personal equipment after each laboratory period.
- Be sure all glassware is clean before use and after use.
- Dispose of all sharp objects (chipped or cracked glassware, toothpicks, razor blades, scalpel blades etc.) and other contaminated materials (biological or chemical) in special containers as directed by your teacher.
Note: Persistent or willful violation of the laboratory safety regulations will result in the loss of laboratory privileges and possible dismissal from the class.