Course Expectations for Biology

Course Overview

This course introduces the student to biological concepts, focusing on biological processes and principles.  The goal of this course is to prepare students for further study in the life sciences as they come to understand the importance and relevance of biology and biological principles in life. As part of this course, students will

  • evaluate biological systems and their interactions
  • analyze the human role in ecology
  • explain the basic concepts of heredity and its role in natural selection and evolution
  •  relate and apply each of these concepts to ‘real world’ situations


My expectations of you include:

  • Appropriate, mature, and respectful behavior
  • All safety procedures will be followed
  • Meaningful contributions and cooperation in class and group discussion, and during lab activities.
  • Come to class on time and turn in assignments on time.  See "Late Work."
  • Assume responsibility for seeking additional help outside of class when necessary

You should expect that I will:

  • treat you with respect
  • make you aware of safety procedures for each activity
  • come to class prepared with an agenda for the day
  • return assignments in a timely manner
  • be available to meet with you after school on most Tuesdays and by appointment 

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about?  It just makes me feel glad to be alive-it's such an interesting world." -L.M. Montgomery

Laptop Issues

Laptop Organization

Laptops usually help us to be more organized and work best when you have a system. Each of your classes should have its own folder on your laptop. In the folder titled “Biology,” create additional subfolders:

  • Labs
  • Notes
  • RPS

You will also need a physical folder or small binder to hold paper notes and your graded short answers from your lab quizzes.


Laptop Guidelines


Games should not be played at anytime in my classroom – not before, during, or after class or during any ‘down’ time.  Excessive gaming can cause your laptop to fail and uses a tremendous amount of resources, both on your computer and – if you are playing peer-to-peer – on the network.  Misuse of the laptop for gaming or any other off task behavior can result in a detention and/ or removal of laptop privileges in my room – temporarily or permanently.


Internet use should be limited to academic purposes, specifically only what is needed for this class.  To clarify this point, keep in mind that some activities are completely off-limits: shopping, surfing for music, looking up sport scores, and gaming ( including peer-to-peer games).


If you don’t know whether or not it’s okay, on the computer or in class in general, please follow the “LARK” rule.

Legal: Is it legal?
Appropriate: Is it appropriate for your grandmother and/or your kindergarten sister to see/know about?
Responsible: Are you treating this item as if it is your own?
Kind: Is it kind?



Your grade will be determined by how well you accomplish a variety of tasks:  homework, quizzes, laboratory reports, projects, and tests.  On a 100% scale, these tasks will carry the following weights:

Assessments Items (lab quizzes, RPS quizzes, projects)


Daily Work (labs, classwork, homework)




The grading scale used in this class follows will be as follows (also listed in the Upper School handbook):

A+    (97-100)

B+    (87-89)

C+    (77-79)

D+    (67-69)

F       (59 and below)

A      (93-96)

B      (83-86)

C      (73-76)

D      (63-66)


A-     (90-92)

B-     (80-82)

C-     (70-72)

D-     (60-62)



Honor Code

The Honor Code will be strictly enforced.  All graded work will include the Sayre Honor Pledge, written and signed by the student.  “I hereby pledge my honor that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on this work and will not discuss this work until all students have completed it.”   See Honor Code tab in this website.

Late Work/ Absenses/Tardies

Late Work: All assignments are due at the start of class and should be placed on the portal in the appropriate DropBox Folder by the deadline.  Class will not be delayed to wait for students to submit assignments and the Dropbox will be closed to submissions at the start of class. • Assignments received on time will earn 75-100% depending on completion. Full credit will be awarded if a student attempts to answer all questions thoughtfully. • Late assignments will earn 50-75% depending on completion. For more than 50% credit, late work must be turned into the Late Work DropBox before the answers to the assignments are posted. • Any work not turned in before the quiz will receive a 50%.

NOTE: If assignments are discussed in class on their due date, and answers are given, these assignments CANNOT be turned in late. 

Absences: Make-up work is the student’s responsibility. It is due after the student has returned from school as outlined by school policy.

  • My website contains an agenda of the day’s activities, due dates, and homework assignments. Students should make every effort to retrieve and complete assignments using this resource. 
  • If a lab was completed during the student’s absence, the student should ask me about making up the lab ASAP. Some labs can be made up before or after school, other labs may be difficult to make up therefore an assignment of equal value may be given.

You are expected to be present for every test or quiz.  If you know you will be absent the day of an assessment, you are expected to make arrangements to take the test before the assigned test date. 

NOTE: Until absent work has been turned in, graded, and entered in the grading software, missing assignments will be assigned a grade of zero.

Tardies: As stated by the Upper School Handbook, students are allowed only two tardies per class per term and on the third tardy you will receive a detention. If you are at your locker when class begins then you will be counted tardy, even if you have placed your backpack in my room.


Extra Help

We will be available to answer questions and discuss items of interest to you during free periods and after school. Please do not hesitate to seek us out, during your study hall or by email ( or Also keep in mind that we encourage appropriate discussion and questions in class.

Every Tuesday from 2:30 to 3:00 we will be available in my classroom for extra help on laboratory assignments. If you miss a lab period, expect to stay after on Tuesday to complete the experiment.


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