Course Syllabus

Arvada West High School   • 2018-2019 School Year

Instructor: Ms. Maren Blair                                                              Office Hours: Room 113

Email:                                                Connections:  Room 131

Voicemail: (303) 982-1336

Course Description

The biology curriculum is a one-year laboratory-oriented course designed to foster an understanding of the many areas of life science.  The pace and amount of material in this course is quite demanding and will require motivation and discipline from each student. The content and structure of this course is in accordance with the Colorado Academic Standards.


The following items are required for Biology and will be used daily:

- 1 inch binder  for science journal (to be left in classroom)

- lined notebook paper

- Pencil and pen

- Calculator

Classroom Expectations and Norms

The rules in our class are simple and focus on respect.

  • Respect for yourself: Attend class, be on time, be prepared, have a positive attitude and demonstrate integrity. Give 100% effort.

  • Respect for others: Listen without interrupting and value input from classmates. Degrading comments and harassment are not tolerated.

  • Respect of property: Check equipment for damage before using it and report any damage to the teacher. Do not deface property that does not belong to you. Follow directions carefully, especially during labs.

  • Respect for learning: Everyone learns in a different way and at a different pace. Help each other learn.

*Specific classroom norms for each period will be added after they are determined by class

Classroom Routines

  • Be in your seat and have materials out and ready by the time the bell finishes ringing.

  • Start to work on the daily question immediately after the bell.

  • Opportunities to leave the classroom during class will be limited. Make every effort to take care of personal needs before the start of class.

  • NO FOOD or BEVERAGES in the lab areas of our classroom at any time.

  • The bell does not dismiss you from class. I will dismiss you once the room is clean and organized.

Technology Expectations


We (AWest Staff) commit to holding all students accountable for:

  1. Bringing the AWest issued device (not a personal chromebook or laptop)

  2. Bringing the device charged. A charging station is available in the library

  3. Maintaining a charge throughout the day (if listening to music or watching movies is draining your battery, STOP)

  4. Devices are for educational use only (teachers commit to ensuring this is happening either through active monitoring or through use of LanSchool)

  5. Devices being kept in excellent condition

Cell Phones

We (AWest Staff) commit to holding all students accountable for:

  1. Placing cell phones in their assigned sleeve when you enter the room

  2. Silencing or turning off cell phones to limit class distractions

  3. Keeping cell phones in the sleeve during the entire class (even if you leave to use the restroom)

  4. Only using cell phones for music or educational tool when approved by the instructor

  5. Being respectful of other people’s property by leaving other’s devices alone.


If you miss class for any reason you should:

1. Check Google Classroom and Calendar  for missed assignments, class activities, labs, and notes.

2. Come in to Office Hours or Connections with questions and to make up any in-class work. Labs must be made up during the first Connections period following your absence.

it is your responsibility to determine what work you missed and to make it up in a reasonable amount of time.  You are responsible for your success.  I understand that emergencies and unique situations may arise; please communicate with me.

Excused Absences: For each excused absence you have two days to make up work. Work can receive full credit.

Unexcused Absences: Policy is the same as the district policy. Refer to the Jeffco Conduct Code Manual.


Coming to class late is disruptive to the academic environment and unfair to your fellow students.  Please make every effort to be on time! The tardy policy will be the same as the school wide policy which will include after school detention and/or in school suspension.

Academic Integrity

I expect each student to produce high quality work that demonstrates their best effort and is a true reflection of their strengths and skills. Although discussion with your peers is a very valuable part of the learning process, your work should be a reflection of your own thoughts. It is unacceptable to:

·         Use another student’s paper to copy work or answers

·         Allow another student to copy your work or answers

·         Have “wandering eyes” in a test situation

·         Copy/use material directly from a resource (website, textbook etc.)


In general, there will not be a lot of assigned homework. Unfinished classwork, however, does become homework that is due the next class period.

Late Work and Corrections

All assignments have a due date, at which time you are expected to turn in your work. However, all work that is honestly attempted may be corrected during Office Hours or Connections until the work cutoff date. All work for a given unit must be completed by the work cutoff date. The work cutoff date will be far enough in advance from  the unit assessment for me to grade your work and return it with feedback if appropriate. If you do not attempt the assignment by the first due date, you are still expected to complete the assignment, but will only earn up to a 50% and cannot correct the work.



You must have a signed safety contract in order to participate in labs. Attendance on lab days will be crucial to your success in Biology.

Test Retakes

Because you may correct almost all class work and quizzes, you may NOT retake or correct the test itself. There may be a reflection assignment after the test that will be part of the “tests” grading category.

Grading Categories

  • Labs/Activities/Homework/Classwork

  • Quizzes

  • Tests

  • Final Project

Grades will be a percentage based on number of points earned out of total points. Letter grades will be assigned according to the following scale:

A = 90% and up

B = 80% - 89%

C = 70% - 79%

D = 60% - 69%

F = Below 60%

It is your responsibility to use Portal to check your current grade and make sure that it corresponds to your returned graded assignments. Keep all returned work as it is the only way to verify your grade in the grade book.

Carbon TIME

Biology teachers at Arvada West will be using parts of the Carbon TIME curriculum. The curriculum is a well-established, research-based method of teaching students the overarching concepts of Biology that follows Jeffco science standards and is coordinated through the Colorado School of Mines and Michigan State University.

Google Classroom and Google Calendar

Please access Google Classroom on a regular basis. Class notes, assignments, worksheets, review sheets, multimedia and additional resources will be available. A Google Calendar will also be kept up to date. This Calendar can be found under the “Calendar” topic in Google Classroom. or under Ms. Blair’s (in the Science Department) page on the Arvada West website.