• Hello and welcome to Biology!  In this course we will study the science of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution and how they react to their environment.  We will use observation and experimentation to explain science and how living things work.  We will discuss how science affects our every day life and how science is changing through new discoveries in Biology and other scientific fields.  I am looking forward to a year of learning, experimenting and discovering in our classroom.




    1.     AttendanceStudents are expected to attend class and to be on time. An unexcused tardy will be given to any student who is late for class. Disciplinary action for being tardy will follow in accordance with Broad Run High School’s tardy policy.


    2.     Materials:  We will be keeping a Biology Binder in class; therefore students need a 3-ring binder. There will be specific directions on how your notebook will be kept. You need to bring your notebook every day. 

    *Supplies needed each day in class:

    Ø 3 ring binder – at least 2 inch

    Ø Notebook dividers (5 dividers: to include class policies, warm-ups, notes/handouts, homework and quizzes/tests)

    Ø Loose leaf paper

    Ø One subject spiral notebook to be used as your lab notebook

    Ø 3X5 index cards

    Ø #2 pencils and pens (colored pencils are also recommended)

    Ø Biology book (keep in locker or at home unless asked to bring to class)


    3.     Grading: Each assignment (homework, class work, labs, activities, projects, tests, quizzes etc.) will be assigned a point value. Grades will be based on the percentage of total possible points.


    Grades are based on the Loudoun County Public School’s grading scale:

    A+   =   98% - 100% B-    = 80% - 82% D+ = 67% - 69%

    A     =   93% -   97% C+   = 77% - 79% D    = 63% - 66%

    A-    =   90% - 92% C     = 73% - 76 % D-   = 60% - 62%

    B+   =   87% -   89% C-    = 70% - 72% F     = 59% and below


    4.     Homework will be started in class and must be completed and ready before you come into the next class. Homework will be reviewed in class right after individual homework has been checked for completion. Therefore, no credit will be given for homework turned in after the in-class review. Homework will be graded as follows: 5 points for completion, 2 pts for partially completed, 1 pt for less than 50% complete and 0 pts for only completed what was assigned in the previous class or none completed. 


    5.     Assignments: You need to keep up with all assignments, as science is a subject where topics build on each other. All assignments are expected to be turned in on time in the assigned folder. All assignment due dates, etc. will be listed daily on the classroom board, on the unit syllabus and on my website. Therefore, there is NO excuse for not turning in an assignment on time.



    6.     Late work: Late lab and activity assignments can be turned in the next class. It must be labeled late and put in the “late” folder up front. There will be a 10% penalty.  Some credit is still better than no credit. Special projects will be subject to a 10% penalty for every class that it is late. Projects will not be accepted one week past the project due date. There is no penalty for late homework assignments, but they will not be counted towards your final grade.


    7.     Absences/Makeup work: Work that is missed due to an excused absence must be made up promptly. Students with an excused absence will be given the same number of days to make up the work as they were absent. If you are absent it is your responsibility to find out what assignments were missed. You can find the assignments that you missed on the web, and pick up the handouts in the extras bin. Work due the day you were absent must be turned in the day you return. Homework, class work and labs should be labeled “absent” and turned in to the bin. Students can make up tests and quizzes most days before or after school or during Study Hall with a pass. If you do not make up your work within the allotted time you will receive a zero.


    8.     Tests/Quizzes: Students should expect quizzes throughout the unit that is being covered. Each unit test may contain a few questions from the previous unit tests. This will help students prepare for the SOLs at the end of the year. Students need to hold on to all test and quizzes all year.


    9.     Labs : We do several labs a quarter in this class. A formal lab report will be due for one lab a quarter. All safety rules must be obeyed during a lab exercise. It takes effort and time to prepare for a lab. If you miss a lab you are expected to make up the lab during your study hall or before school and it is your responsibility to schedule that the day your return. 


    10. Classroom: In order to keep our classroom clean for all, eating and drinking are not allowed in the classroom at anytime. Water will be permitted as long as it is in a container with a top. According to the Broad Run handbook, CD players, iPods, and other musical devices are NOT allowed in the school.  Cell phones must be turned off during school hours and kept in your bookbag. They can be confiscated if seen.  For further information consult the Broad Run handbook.


    11. Restroom break: Wait until after lecture or ask for permission. You must use the SIGN IN and SIGN OUT sheet and take a pass with you. There are no breaks permitted the first 15 and last 15 minutes of class.


    Lastly, students who are experiencing academic difficulties are strongly encouraged to meet with me or another Biology teacher as soon as possible. There is never a problem that cannot be solved, as long as you are willing to work with us to find a solution.


    Once again, welcome to class. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at Broad Run High School 571-252-2300 or e-mail me (karen.swanchara@lcps.org). I look forward to working with all of you this coming year.