• Welcome to AP Biology!


    Course Overview (Source: CollegeBoard)

    A. Course Outline

    AP Biology course is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes, energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions.

    This AP Biology course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course and has been endorsed enthusiastically by higher education officials.

    B. Science Practices

    A practice is a way to coordinate knowledge and skills in order to accomplish a goal or task.  At the end of the course, each student will be able to –

    • Explainbiological concepts, processes, and models presented in written format;
    • Analyze visual representations of biological concepts and processes;
    • Determine scientific questions and methods;
    • Represent and describe data;
    • Perform statistical tests and mathematical calculations to analyze and interpret data;
    • Develop and justify scientific argumetns using evidence.

    Big Ideas

    The key concepts and related content that define the course are organized around a few underlying principles which encompass the core scientific principles, theories, and processes governing living organisms and biological systems.

    • Big Idea 1: Evolution.  The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
    • Big Idea 2: Energetics.  Biological systems use energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.
    • Big Idea 3: Information Storage and Transmission.  Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.
    • Big Idea 4: Systems Interactions. Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions exhibit complex properties.


    The AP® Exam:

    The AP Biology exam is scheduled on the morning of May 11th.  The exam is three hours long - 90 minutes to answer 60 multiple-choice questions and another 90 minutes to answer six free-response questions (2 long and 4 short).  Calculators are allowed on both the multiple-choice and free-response sections since both sections contain questions that require data manipulation.

    Textbook and Other Resources:

    • AP Biology Investigative Labs: An Inquiry-Based Approach. New York: CollegeBoard, 2012.
    • Urry, Lisa A. et. al. Campbell Biology in Focus: AP Edition. 1st Pearson, 2014.


    Grading Policy:

    Students earn a grade based on the quality and accuracy of their completed work.  

    • Tests.....................40%
    • Labs / Projects.....25%
    • Quizzes................25%                         
    • All Others.............10%


    Tests are patterned after the AP Biology exam and are thus a mix of multiple-choice and free-response questions.

    Labs related to the topic will be completed throughout the year. You will be required to write a pre-lab report prior to doing a lab.  Once the lab is done, you will have one week to submit the rest of the report.  Not all labs will require a formal lab report and you will be told when one is required.

    Projects are long-term assignments and include presentations to the class as part of the grade. These are mostly done outside of the class period.  You will have at least one project per cycle.

    Quizzes typically follow reading assignments. Lectures may not come until after the quiz.

    All Others include classwork, homework, participation, and other similar short-term assignments.


    Classroom Expectations:

    • Be respectful
    • Be on time and on task
    • Be prepared
    • Be responsible


    • Verbal warning.
    • Student-Teacher conference
    • Lunch detention
    • Parent-Student-Teacher conference
    • Referral to the office



    Practice safety rules at all times! Violations of safety rules will result in a maximum grade of 70.  Depending on the severity of the offense, you may be timed out from the activity. Once that happens, you automatically get a zero for that particular activity, a conduct grade of “P” for the grading cycle, and a referral to the Principal for administrative sanctions.  In order to participate in labs, you must make at least an 80% on the safety quiz and turn in a signed safety contract.



    Upon your return from an absence, YOU are responsible for promptly gathering the assignments that you missed. I will not remind you of missed assignments, you must take the initiative to find out what you missed. If you miss a test YOU must schedule a retest, but keep in mind that the format of the retest is at the teacher’s discretion. It is your responsibility to reschedule your missed test in a timely manner. Any assignments not made up from an absence will result in a zero. Please do not disturb the teacher during class to get missed assignments, wait for a quiet time or come by outside of class time.


    Late Work:

    Work may be turned in up tp ONE class day late and must be handed in before school starts. The highest possible grade on late work is 70%.  If you are absent or not in class on the day that it is due, you are responsible for finding a way to get it to me in a timely fashion.  Should you turn in a late assignment, you MUST fill out and attach a Late Form, and submit your work directly to me.



    You may retake up to two in-class assessments per grading cycle.  The retake will be an alternate test/quiz on the same content and the highest grade to be entered into the grade book is 70.  To be eligible for a retake, you must fill out this online Retake Form within 24 hours that grades are posted.  You forfeit your chance if you do not show up during the assigned retake date.


    Academic Integrity:

    Demonstrate academic integrity by being obedient to Carnegie’s Honor Code.  Cheating, copying, and plagiarism are major offenses in any academic setting.  You will not get credit for that work nor will you be able to make up the assignment.  Additionally, you will automatically get a conduct grade of “P” for the grading cycle and you will be referred to the Principal for administrative sanctions.



    I am available for classroom tutoring either during SSEP or by appointment. To request tutoring, please see me to make arrangements for a convenient time to meet.  The National Honor Society also offers peer tutoring and can be requested online. It is highly recommended that if you are having difficulty in this class that you take these opportunities to get help.  


    Class Culture:

    1. Come to class on time, sign in, place your cell phone in your assigned cell phone pocket, and be in your assigned seat BEFORE the tardy bell rings.
    2. Always be prepared and ready to work. Part of being prepared means bringing your school materials to class every day
    3. Always write your name, date, and period in order to get credit for any and all work that you turn in. Five percent (5%) will be taken off your grade for incomplete or missing header information. 
    4. There is always a seat plan to follow. Be in your assigned seat unless you have permission from me to be out of your seat.  If you have poor vision or hearing or if you have any other physical condition that affects your learning, let me know so I may assign you a proper seat.
    5. Food, drink, gum/candy, cell phones, music/video/game players and other such non-school related items are not permitted. Confiscated items will be returned to you only through your parent/guardian.
    6. Leave the room as clean or cleaner than you found it.


    Anything not covered in the syllabus is subject to the rules and regulations of the Student Handbook and/or the teacher’s discretion.