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Point Loma High School

Course: Biology Phone: (619) 223-3121 x4151


Teacher: Emily Cullen Room 151
Email: ecullen1@sandi.net
Website: emcullen.weebly.com

Textbook: Biology: The Human Approach In class text: Biology: The Dynamics of Life

Department Philosophy
The biology department would like to share our excitement for this particular branch of learning. It is
our goal to have students appreciate and have some understanding of the biodiversity of organisms that
exist in the world. We would like to have our students understand the interdependence among
organisms and the evolutionary and ecological relationships that all living things have with one another.
Lastly, we want our students to have an awareness of the environmental problems facing the earth and
be made aware of their responsibility to protect our planet.

Course Content and Performance Standards


The state of California has established standards that are to be met in high school biology classes, which
can be viewed or obtained at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/sciencestnd.pdf

Some of the topics to be covered in this course include:


The interdependence of organisms, including an understanding of the principles of ecology,
and the impact of human activities on the environment
Cell structure and function of cell organelles
The flow of energy through different levels of organization and photosynthesis
The process of evolution, including such concepts as speciation, biodiversity and natural
selection
The molecular basis of heredity which would include DNA, genes, chromosomes, and
mutations
The function of systems of complex organisms such as the digestive, nervous, circulatory,
muscular, and skeletal systems
The role of biology in careers and daily living

Expected Student Learning Results (ESLRS)


Complex Thinkers: Students will use the scientific method to develop higher level thinking skills.
Students will demonstrate this skill by writing laboratory reports.
Effective communicators: Students will develop writing and oral communication skills while taking
biology.
Documents supporting this ESLR will be laboratory reports, written essays and reports.
Responsible Self-Directed Learners and Workers: Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for
their own learning. Documents supporting this ESLR will be completed individual assignments.
Involved Citizens: We will discuss environmental problems and ways students can become involved.
Documents supporting this ESLR will be essays and letters written about the environment.
Healthy Life Style Advocates: During the human biology unit we will discuss healthy life styles.
Documents supporting this ESLR will include reports on human biology.

The Hows of a Biology Classroom


In biology class we use direct instruction, guided practice, independent practice, group work and whole
class discussion. The course also includes the following activities:
*Laboratory activities *Reading and discussion
*Review questions and study guides *Audiovisual presentations
*Special projects

Student Assessment: Student grades and assessment will consist of class work, laboratories,
projects, tests and quizzes, and homework. The point value given for each assignment will be
based on the time required to complete the task and the difficulty of the task. Work-in-
progress is inspected and questioned daily. In addition, grades will also be determined by
completing warm-up assignments, taking notes, working cooperatively with group members
and participating in class. Participation may raise a borderline grade.

Grades will be determined on a percentage basis. The grades will be determined by percentage
of total points possible/total points earned.

Scholarship Grades: Citizenship Grades:


90 - 100% A Citizenship grades are determined by behavior and cooperation
80 - 89% B with the teacher and others, having all necessary supplies,
70 - 79% C participation and attendance. The schools tardy and truancy
60 - 69% D policy will be followed.
0 - 59% F

Cell Phones: Students may not use cell phones in class, unless given explicit permission by the teacher
to do so for an assignment.

Absences, Late Assignments and Missed Tests:


Students must turn in all assignments on the due date. It is the students responsibility to obtain
assignments missed due to absence. In the case of an excused absence due dates will be extended one
day for each day of absence. In the case of labs, which cannot be made-up due to equipment or supply
difficulties, it is the responsibility of the student to obtain an alternate make-up assignment. Students
are expected to plan to take a missed test on the first day of return to school. Students who are absent
the day prior to a test are required to take the test on the day given.

Academic Honesty: Cheating on a test or an unexcused absence on a test day is an automatic 0 on


that test (no make-up.) The Academic Integrity Policy in the student handbook will be upheld.

Supplies Needed: Students should be prepared for class by bringing a pencil or pen, a notebook with
lined paper, and a folder or binder to hold and organize study materials.
Classroom Policies and Practices:
Students and teacher have compiled and agreed upon expectations during each period, which are
displayed in the classroom. In addition, students are expected to follow all rules and procedures
printed in the student handbook. If, at any time, a student is acting in a way that compromises the
dignity or safety of any student or teacher, the following measures will be taken:
1. Verbal warning
2. Student-teacher conference
3. Phone call home + lowered citizenship grade
4. Referral to office

Laboratory Safety: We will be using expensive equipment, which can be dangerous if not used
correctly, throughout the course of the school year. Safety rules must be followed always.
Reckless or dangerous behavior will result in immediate removal from the lab and a zero grade for
the lab activity.

Tutoring:
Biology tutoring is offered during advisory periods (most Tuesdays and Wednesdays) in room 151.
Students must check in with their advisory teacher to be counted present before reporting for
tutoring. This time can also be used to complete classwork and homework.

Communication:
The most efficient way to reach me is via the Remind App, or by email. I will usually respond within
24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. You may schedule an appointment to meet with me
after school any day except Wednesdays. I will strive to communicate with parents early and often

Students and parents/guardians can connect with me via Remind in two ways:
1. Download the Remind App to your smartphone, or computer and create an account. Enter
the applicable class code. You must include the @ sign.
2. With your standard messaging service, text the applicable class code to the phone number
81010. You must include the @ sign. Reply to the confirmation text with your full name, or
the name of your student + parent. (E.g., Joseph Hsu or Joey Hsus Dad).

Period 2 students Class code: @msemcul


Period 5 students Class code: @msemcull
Period 6 students Class code: @msemculle
Period 2 Parents/Guardians Class code: @p2pare
Period 5 Parents/Guardians Class code: @89f4da
Period 6 Parents/Guardians Class code: @3ecc7a

I truly look forward to spending this academic year with all of you!
-Ms. Cullen