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Learning about the Living Foundations of Science

Biology is the study of living things, and this course will focus on
the dynamic processes of life. We will learn how
our survival as a species is dependent upon the understanding of
biological principles such as the chemical
basis of life, cell processes, evolution, ecology, genetics, and
biotechnology. This class will be a full-spectrum leap into the
study of life and will challenge students to make connections and decisions that may affect the
future of all living things and the world that encompasses them.

Class Rules:
It is imperative that students treat each other, their instructor, and their surroundings with respect
and common courtesy. (Manners are a must!)
Students need to come to class on time (in your seats when the bell rings) and prepared (notebook,
textbook, writing utensil, etc.) If you are late for class, it is YOUR responsibility to inform me so
that I may mark you tardy. Failure to contact me may result in an absence.
No food, drink, or gum is allowed in class. No hats, please.
Students are expected to behave in accordance with Reno High School and Washoe County School
District rules.
Honesty is EXPECTED!

Materials Needed:
---A hardback, three-ring binder with at least three dividers.
---A composition-type notebook where pages cannot easily be detached (this means NO spiral
bound notebook). This will be your Learning Log. It must have 100 pages or more, and the
pages may NOT be removed without your teachers permission. The pages MUST be
numbered throughout the entire notebook in the lower outside corner, in ink, on both sides of the
page. Write your name on the front in ink and put our room number (E11) so that it may be
returned if found. A table of contents will be at the beginning, and you must number every line
in the left margin until you reach 200 or how ever many pages are in your learning log. On the
three outside edges of your notebook, write you name in a bold felt tip marker to prevent others
from trying to claim or use your hard work. Your learning log must be brought to class
---Both a pen and pencil are needed for this class along with a calculator of your choice.

Make-Up/Late Work:
If you are absent, it is YOUR responsibility to find out what you have missed. I will not seek you
out. As young adults, you need to learn to keep yourselves on trackyou can do this by checking
the calendar up front and looking in the Snooze You Lose file cabinet for extra copies of work.
You will be allowed TWICE the number of days that you were absent to make up the work. After
this window of time, your work will be considered late and points will be deducted. If your makeup work requires my assistance, an appointment may be made where we can get together and
complete it. You may have one week to make up any missed tests or quizzes with the use of your
learning logafter that time, no notes may be used to make up the test.
All assignments, labs, and projects should be turned in on time. Late work will be accepted;
however, a certain percentage will be deducted for every day that the work is late, i.e., 1 day late =
20%, 2 days late = 40%, 3 days late = 60%, and 4 days late = 80%. After four days, your work
will not be worth any points. There is an exception for review worksheets as they will not be
accepted late since they are graded in class. Work completed on schedule will result in better
scores on homework quizzes and tests, so please get it in on time!

Project Points and Extra Credit:

Each student is required to achieve 120 Project Points. These points may be attained through a
variety of sources including passes, class activities, and out-of-class projects (please read the
Project Point Idea sheet for more details).
Extra credit may be accrued only when the 120 point requirement has been met for Project Points
and will be included in the Project Point category. There is not a set amount of points awarded;
however, extra credit is limited to changing your grade a maximum of one full grade. For example,
your grade can not be changed from a C to an A.
The catchextra credit will NOT be given if a student has missed a test or quiz and has neglected
to make it up during the grading semester of the class. Extra credit will be added to your grade on
the last day of class for each semester.
---A $10.00 lab fee is required at the beginning of the first semester to help with the small expenses
of running an effective class. There is a limited time to turn this in, and it can be paid to the
bookkeeper at the front office.

Road Runner Passes:

Four passes will be issued at the beginning of every 9-week grading period. Each one will be filled
out and signed by you in ink and kept in your possession AT ALL TIMES for this class. When you
need to leave class, simply write the date, time, and destination on one pass, have it signed by me,
and quickly go take care of your business. Consider using your passes wisely for they can only be
used once, and no more will be issued until the next nine weeks. Also, ONE PASS WILL BE
FORFEITED FOR EACH TARDY. Passes may also be forfeited for misbehavior, and THE

ON A LIGHTER NOTE---at the end of each grading period, I will $buy back$ any unused passes
with Project Points. This could be very beneficial for those who are striving for that higher grade
at the end of the nine weeks.

Your grade in this class will be assessed on many different aspects, some of which include
tests/quizzes, nightly homework, labs, and participation.

Homework Quizzes will be given frequently to assess student comprehension of the reading and
as a way to check for completed homework and note-taking capabilities. As long as you read the
material carefully, take good notes, and get your homework done on time, homework quizzes
should be beneficial to your grade. If work is not completed in a timely manner, not only does your
homework grade go down, but your homework quiz grade suffers as well.

Participation is a crucial part of learning. You will be automatically assigned full participation
credit at the beginning of each day (5 points) if you show up on time and are prepared for class.
Points will be deducted according to students lack of adhering to the class expectations, i.e.,
tardiness, no materials, food/drink in class, talking or misbehaving, etc. If you are not in class
participating, you will not receive participation points. Because attendance is so important, lab
days and test days will be worth more participation points than regular days (10 points).
Participation points can be made up at lunch time if you have an excused absence.
The grading scale is as follows: 100-95 (A), 94-90 (A-), 89-85 (B), 84-80 (B-), 79-75 (C), 74-70
(C-), 69-65 (D), 64-60 (D-), and below 60 is an F.

I adhere to the school policies on tardies and absences.
Tardies--forfeit of Road Runner passes-one per tardy
lowering of citizenship grade
loss of participation points
3rd tardyparent notification
6th tardy and aboveoffice referral

Absences--students are allowed 9 unexcused absences for the semester.

If he/she brings a note for an absence and it is accepted by
the front office, then it is considered excused and does not count against the 9 allotted
absences for the semester. If a student accrues 10 unexcused absences or more,
he/she will not pass the class.

Misbehavior--verbal warning
phone call home
lowering of citizenship grade
loss of participation points
possible loss of Road Runner passes
invitations for lunch with Mrs. Porter (this is actually a lunch detention)
gum removal, aquarium cleaning, etc.
possible removal from class

Truckee River Trekking:

If the occasional "trekking" need arises, we will try to escape to the northeast corner of Idlewild
Park on the shore of the Truckee River. This habitat sanctuary will provide us with our own
outdoor classroom where we may gather materials, data, or take part in different projects.

Students will be notified well in advance of these trips and need to dress appropriately. The class
will be in constant contact with the school, for a cellular phone will be present at all times.
The school district requires a parent signature as consent to this trip.

My expectations for "trekking"-1.


Stay on the sidewalk and cross the street intersection together as a group.
Walk as a group (don't lag behind) and make the trip in 10 minutes each way.
Do not walk on rocks surrounded by water.
Work diligently the entire time at the river.
Understand that misbehavior or the violations of the above expectations will result in lowered
academic and citizenship grades and the individual loss of river trips.

Dear Parent (Guardian) and Student:

If you need to get in touch with me, my prep. period is 4th period, and my classroom is E11. If you
would like to make an appointment for a conference or would just like to speak with me, simply email me at . I ask that you please read this syllabus carefully and
discuss it with each other. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Please sign the
following page concerning your understanding of the class and our trips to the river. I am also
attaching an honesty contract to be signed. I am looking forward to a great year!
Thank you for your time---Mrs. Porter
Porter Disclaimer: This syllabus is a work in progress. If any changes are made, I will bring
them to your immediate attention.

I have read and understand the syllabus containing class rules, consequences, and
expectations for Mrs. Porter's Biology class.

Parent (Guardian) Signature

Student Signature

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Truckee River Trecking
I hereby consent to __________________________ participating in the occasional class
(Student's name)
trips to the northeast corner of Idlewild Park along the shore of the Truckee River.
I hereby expressly relieve, indemnify, save and hold harmless the Washoe County School
District. The Board of Trustees of the District, and all agents and employees thereof from
and against any and all liability or claims arising from injury or damage to person or
property or both caused by or resulting from the child's acts, omissions, or conduct while
under the supervision of the assigned teacher. I also relieve the aforementioned district
and personnel from any and all liability or claims as a result of the acts, omissions, or
conduct of any person other than the negligence of said district or personnel. It is further
understood that I shall have the responsibility of advising said child of the risks which are
known or should be known of the Truckee River Study Area. I further agree to assume
the responsibility of seeing that my child cooperates and conforms to the fullest extent
with the directions and instructions of the school officials in charge.
Parent or Guardian Signature ____________________________
Date ____________________________
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Honesty Contract
Any form of unethical behavior (cheating) will not be tolerated. If this behavior takes
place, the student will receive a failing academic grade on the assignment/project and will
receive an F in citizenship for the nine weeks. If this behavior occurs again, I will confer
with the students parents, refer the matter to the VP, and have the student removed from
the class.
Student Signature
Parent/Guardian Signature