Welcome to Pre-AP Biology

  • Introduction

    Biology is the study of living organisms, their origins, how they survive, reproduce, change over time, and interact with each other and their environments. The Pre-AP Biology curriculum is an introductory course taught in two semesters of high school.  The primary objective of the course is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of modern biology and scientific processes, building a foundation for success in the college level AP courses to follow.


    Topic Coverage

     pre-AP Units


    • Details to access the online textbook will be given in class, on Canvas, and in OneNote.



    • 2-3 Composition notebooks for Biology, set up using provided guidelines. NO spiral notebooks.
    • Your HISD laptop, fully charged
    • Writing materials (pencils and pens)
    • Book: The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (ISBN: 9780385495226) *will be read in the school year



    Notebooks are an important tool for organizing information and your thoughts. Notebooks may be graded at least once during the six-week period, and there may be several spot checks. Your notebook will be organized using the provided instructions.


    Grading Policy

    60%     Summative Assignments – Unit Exams, Projects 

    30%     Formative Assignments – Labs, Reading Quizzes, Activities

    10%     Minor Assignments - Homework, Notebook Checks, all other assignments not listed as summative or formative

    All assignments and grades are cumulative.


    It is vital that you follow instructions for properly submitting your work to receive full credit. Houston ISD emphasizes not only the TEKS but also the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (TCCRS). These standards are based on cognitive skills that will increase students’ college preparedness. Every assignment should have a complete header (full name and date), be completed in blue or black ink (unless otherwise instructed), have ALL questions attempted, show ALL work, and have correct spelling and capitalization. I can’t grade what I can’t see and we cannot find where a student has gone off-track if work is not shown.


    Classroom Culture

    • Be courteous to others.
    • Be prepared with all the needed supplies and work.
    • Be on time and on task. On time is defined as being seated at your desk before the tardy bell rings. (You will be counted tardy if not seated by the bell.).
    • Cell phones are placed in assigned pockets on the wall.
    • Always ask if something is not clear.
    • Leave the room the way you found it (Leave No Trace).
    • Be respectful. Be appropriate. Be kind. Be present.
    • We are in a science lab - no eating in the classroom without the instructor's permission.
    • Not everything we do will be for a grade. Some things are just to help you improve in biology.



    1. Come into class quietly, place your cell phone in your assigned pocket on the wall, sit in your seat before the tardy bell rings, and prepare for class. Tardiness is not acceptable - you will be counted tardy if you are not in your seat when the bell rings.
    2. You may not eat or drink anything but water during class without my permission.
    3. You may use any writing tool (pencils, pens, etc.) for your notebooks, but all written work that is to be turned in must be done in a standard blue or black pen. Please try to write neatly and legibly. Work that cannot be read cannot be graded and will be returned as incomplete.
    4. All major projects are due by 8:30 am of the due date. You will be told in advance which projects are due at the beginning of the day. If your bus is late, please bring the project to me, then proceed to your first period of the day.
    5. Talking or distracting other students, intentionally or unintentionally, during a test or quiz is not tolerated. You are now in high school and should conduct yourself as such. Disrupting a test or quiz will be considered a violation of academic integrity. You will receive a score of “0” and reported.
    6. All proper PPE should be worn, and safety precautions should always be followed during labs.


    Cell Phones

    Cell phones are not permitted for use in class unless directed by the teacher. All cell phones will be placed in the provided cell phone pocket chart hanging at the front of the classroom before class starts and will be “parked” there until class is over. Students caught with a cell phone will have their phone taken up and given to the Assistant Principal.


    Consequences Any/all of steps 1-4 may be skipped, dependent on the severity of the incident.

    1. Verbal warning.
    2. Personal conference with teacher.
    3. Lunch detention and parent(s) contacted. (detention only applicable during in-person instruction)
    4. Parent/teacher/student conference.
    5. Referral to Administration.


    Headings ALL assignment submissions must include the following information

    Full Name (first AND last name without initials or abbreviations)

    Class and Period (example: Bio P4)

    Date of submission


    Assignment Calendar

    A cycle calendar will be posted in the class Canvas and posted on the class whiteboard. This calendar will have all assignments, projects, daily objectives, quizzes, and tests for the cycle clearly outlined. This calendar is subject to adjustment based on student progress or unforeseen events. You should regularly check the cycle calendar for any changes!



    When you are involved in a lab, you MUST act accordingly. Participating in lab is a privilege, one that can be taken away if the proper procedures are not followed.


    If you do not follow the rules of the lab then you will not be allowed to participate and will receive a zero for that lab as well as a zero for your lab skills grade. In order to participate in lab you must make at least an 80% on the safety test and turn in a signed safety contract.



    • You are expected to attend class every day. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to promptly gather the assignments that you missed. I will not remind you of missed assignments, you must take the initiative to find out what you missed by looking at the OneNote cycle calendar. If you miss a test or quiz, YOU must schedule a make-up, 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/Missing Assignments

    • All assignments are due ON TIME. Late work will be accepted up to two days late and no later. An academic grade on late work is up to 70% for two day late and 0% thereafter.
    • If you are on campus the day an assignment is due, you are required to turn it in, even if you miss your biology period. If possible, notify your instructor of unforeseen circumstances.



    I am available to help you better understand information in a small group or individually. Tutoring is available by appointment at lunch and during SSEP. The National Honor Society also offers peer tutoring. If you are having difficulty in this course you should ask for help early!


    Extra Credit

    I do not offer extra credit.


    Assignment Resubmission

    Resubmissions are permitted at my discretion. The following are general guidelines for resubmissions and are subject to additional requirements:

    • Original assignment must have been turned on time or within the 2-day late window.
    • You must show all work and explain how you came to the new answer/conclusion.



    The policy for my class is outlined below. Please review it carefully.

    • Maximum of 2 retakes per grading cycle
    • Maximum retake score is 70 (score of 70 to 100 = 70); higher grade between original/retake counted
    • The student, not the parent, must request the retake using the provided form in the course OneNote Notebook.
    • Student must request the retake within 24 hours of the grade posting on PowerSchool and complete the retake within one week of grade posted.
    • Retakes are for tests only. A reading quiz is an extension of homework and not eligible.
    • Retakes will be held at the beginning of lunch on the Thursday following the date of the completed retake request. If you have multiple retakes on the same day, it is your responsibility to reschedule in advance.
    • “No show” counts as a taken retake. You will be considered a “no show” if you arrive 15 minutes or later from the start of your scheduled retake time.
    • Final Exams are not eligible
    • Missing assignments fall under my late policy not the retake policy.


    Academic Integrity

    Cheating, copying, plagiarizing, and falsifying documents will not be tolerated at CVHS. Any student displaying academic dishonesty will be reported and referred to the Assistant Principal. The student will receive grade of “0” on the assignment and there will not be an opportunity to make up the assignment. This includes exams and quizzes. Any disruptions, intentional or unintentional, or use of a cell phone during a test or quiz will be perceived as a violation of academic integrity in the classroom. Student will receive a score of “0” and be reported to administration.


    Conduct Grades

    Conduct grades are a reflection of the students’ positive and negative behavior. To earn an “E” the student must participate on a regular basis and follow class procedures. Participation is necessary for class. Participation should be meaningful and add to discussion, not detract.


    Study Techniques
    Studying for classes involves more than just "cramming the night before a test." The following are suggestions to improve your grade in biology:

    1. Write all assignment due dates in your planner.
    2. Read over your notes soon after you have written them.
    3. Review the vocabulary list as you go.
    4. Do all in-class assignments, homework, worksheets, study questions, etc.
    5. Keep your handouts, lecture summaries, and study questions organized in your notebook.
    6. Always read assigned material and make a graphic organizer to help you summarize main ideas.
    7. Participate in class.
    8. Study frequently and in small doses. 
    9. Set up a study group and study with friends.
    10. If you are having trouble with the material, get help early. Do not wait until the end of the grading period and/or test day!!!


    *Anything not covered here is subject to the rules and regulations of the Student Handbook and/or my discretion.