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Grant HS Biology Syllabus 2014-2015

INSTRUCTOR: Mr. Joe Ferguson Email:

Class website: Phone: (503) 916-5160 ext. 74242
Cell Phone: (775) 354-7705

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will take an intensive look at Biology as a tool
for interdisciplinary inquiry focusing on the microscopic and macroscopic living world
by using projects, labs, activities, field trips, critical readings, research, and class
discussions. It will examine global issues and problems through the critical lens of
Biology, including the function of cells and organisms, the biological nature of life, and a
wide range of current issues that relate to Biology. This course meets the Next
Generation Science Standards and prepares students to use science as a tool in careers,
higher education, and life.


The Nature of science
Cell Energy

DNA/Protein Synthesis
Cell Division/Mutation

GRADES: Graded material falls under two primary categories, formative and summative
assessments. Letter grades are determined by student performance on formative assessment
(11%) and on summative assessments (89%) and will stress proficiency in the science standards.

Formative Assessments: Assignments aimed at providing skill development, practice, and
Warm-ups, HW, and Practice: 11%

Summative Assessments: Assignments aimed at testing and identifying student mastery of
key skills and content.
Major Projects/Labs: 30%
Quizzes and Exams: 61%

Final letter grades will be interpreted using the standard scale:
A= 100-90% B= 89-80% C=79-70% D=69-60% F=59% and below *

*Fs will result in no course credit.

Test & Quizzes: Grades in this class are proficiency-based. You must earn a grade of 80% or
higher on each summative assessment. Each test will be divided into two parts. If you earn below
an 80% on the first half you will be considered non-proficient in that content and receive a score
of 0% on the quiz or exam. Students who do not pass will be required to retake the failed portion
during the next tutorial period. The second part of the exam or quiz consists of more difficult and
in-depth questions that will be worth up to 20%. Passing the first and second portions of the
exam will be considered as having exceeded the standard proficiency objectives for the unit (like
earning an A or B).

RETAKES: Students will have multiple opportunities to retake exams and complete projects, but
must provide evidence that they have reviewed and prepared for these additional opportunities.
This means all summative assessments leading up to the exam or project must be completed
and you must have attended a tutorial or seen the teacher for additional help and feedback in
preparation for a retake. If you are eligible for a retake you will not be permitted to retake the
second portion of an exam.

Labs/Projects: Because science is hands-on and collaborative, the class will be doing a lot of
labs, projects, and group work. I ncomplete labs and projects will not be accepted. I cannot grade
or provide feedback on what is not there. If you cannot complete the work in class or on time you
are required to see me to set an agreed upon deadline prior to the start of the next grading period
and complete the work on your own time.

*There will be several labs and projects throughout the course that may contain novel
and/or time sensitive materials. As such, some labs will be difficult to recreate if missed.
Make every effort to be here every day on time. If you have to miss a day or anticipate an
absence for school or health related reasons see me ahead of time.

You are expected to adhere to the behavioral expectations of GHS outlined in your student
handbook. In our learning community, we want to make sure that all students have the ability to
be successful. Be sure to respect air-time, stay focused in class, help others stay focused by not
distracting them, keep negative thoughts to yourself, and refrain from using racist, sexist, on
homophobic remarks. Phones and other electronic devices should not be out in class unless
instructed by the teacher. If they are out, they will be taken and held until the end of the school
day when you can come get them. Repeat offenders will need to have a parent/guardian come
pick up the device. No food or drink is allowed in class aside from water in a clean closable
bottle. Please leave the room clean and throw away/recycle any trash.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Express your own ideas and writing skills even when collaborating
on group projects unless shared expressly given permission to do otherwise. Students caught
cheating on any assignment will be assigned an academic violation and will receive a zero for the
assignment. This includes copying homework, plagiarizing work, and/or excessive lack of
citation in research projects.

Effort and participation are keys to your success, therefore, do your best to be here and be on time
(this means in your seat, with paper/pen/assignment, starting the daily warm-up when the bell
rings)! Please bring your notebook, binder/folder, and something to write with to class every day.
After two tardies, students will serve detention after school and parents notified. Please use the
restroom during passing time if possible. You will receive 5 hall passes per semester for use in
class. If all passes are used, students owe 10 minutes of detention for each hall pass used
thereafter. School attendance policy will be followed and parents notified of unexcused absences.
If you have to miss a day or anticipate an absence for school or health related reasons see me
ahead of time, be proactive, check the website or handout crate for any work or assignments you
need prior to and after any absence. Our class website will be updated frequently. Use it to access
class notes, assignments, reviews, and tutorials! I will also update grades frequently on Synergy.
It is also considered professional and good practice for students to email their teacher when
absent to arrange any necessary make-ups.


*Detach and return the box below and retain the previous pages for your records.

Student-Teacher Contract

Instructor: Mr. Joe Ferguson Email:

I have read and understand the attached course description. I understand that:

I need to be in my seat starting the days assignment when the bell rings,
I must pass all exams and projects in order to earn credit,
I need to attend class, participate, and complete class work and homework to
be successful,
Being tardy will result in missing the warm-up and can result in detention,
All regulations outlined in the Grant Student Handbook will be enforced,
I must look for opportunities to show Mr. Ferguson what I know and
communicate with him when I am unsure or need help.
Mr. Ferguson is available for extra help and it is my responsibility to
schedule available time.
Mr. Ferguson has confidence in me, will listen to me, cares about me,
believes that I can be successful, and will do everything in his power to help
me maximize my potential in this class and beyond!


Students Full Name: ______________________________

Students Signature: ______________________________

Family Members Full Name: ______________________________

Family Members Signature: ______________________________

Phone Number at Home or Work: ______________________________

Is there any information Mr. Ferguson should know about this student?