• Welcome to Pre-AP Biology!


    Welcome to my classroom! This will be my eighth year teaching Pre-AP Biology at Carnegie Vanguard High School. I hold a Bachelor of Science from Tarleton State University with a degree in Animal Science and a Biology minor. I will work hard to foster the life skills of asking questions, finding alternative avenues to solve problems, never giving up, and academic independence as we master content.


     Topic Coverage:

    ·    Lab Safety & Nature of Science

    ·    Cell Structure and Function

    ·    Cell Growth and Differentiation

    ·    Viruses

    ·    Biomolecules

    ·    DNA Structure and Function

    ·    Protein Synthesis

    ·    Mutation and Changes in DNA

    ·    Genetic Combinations

    ·    Natural Selection

    ·    Evolution

    ·    Biological Classification

    ·    Homeostasis

    ·    Processes in Animals & Plants

    ·    Systems in Animals & Plants

    ·    Matter & Energy Flow

    ·    Variations & Adaptations

    ·    Ecosystem Relationships



    Classroom Culture:

    • Be courteous to others.
    • Be prepared with all needed supplies and work.
    • Be on time and on task. On time is defined as seated at your desk before the tardy bell rings. (You will be counted tardy if not seated by the bell.). Cell phones placed in assigned pocket on the wall.
    • Always ask if something is not clear.
    • Leave the room the way you found it (Leave No Trace).


     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) are contacted.

    4) Parent/teacher/student conference.

    5) Referral to Administration.



    • Composition notebook – 2 notebooks, each at least 100 sheets, size 9-3/4” x 7-1/2” , student should write page numbers on the top corners of each page of one notebook (NO SPIRAL)
    • Pencils, pens (standard blue and/or black, red ONLY), markers, and colored pencils
    • Glue sticks
    • Index cards – one pack of 100, size 3” x 5”
    • Highlighter (any color)
    • A box of tissues
    • Book: The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (ISBN: 9780385495226) *will read in the Fall semester


    Grading Policy:

    40%     Tests / Projects – Unit exams, grading cycle projects, etc.                                                    

    25%     Labs/ In-Class Activities – Lab reports, lab quizzes, conclusion questions, lab skills, etc.           

    25%     Quizzes – Reading quizzes for textbook chapters (extension of reading assignments)

    10%     All Other – Homework and all other uncategorized items    


    It is vital that you follow instructions for submitting homework and class work. 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.


    Headings:  All papers turned in must include the following information

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

    Class and Period (example: Bio P4)

    Date of submission


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


    Assignment Calendar:  A Month-At-A-Glance printout will be taped on the class whiteboard. This calendar will have all assignments, projects, daily objectives, quizzes, and tests for the month clearly outlined. You should take a photo with your phone to use as a reference when outside of class.


    Textbook:  HISD has transitioned to all online textbooks for Biology. You will assigned an e-textbook by HISD and given instructions on how to access it during the first week of school.


    Labs:  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.


    Absences: 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. If you miss a quiz or test 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 quiz or 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 one day late and no later. Maximum score for late work without late form submitted is 70% for one day late and 0% thereafter. Late forms can be submitted online here: https://www.houstonisd.org/Page/170515. 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. Late work is submitted in the late work basket, not placed in the homework drawers.


    Tutorials:  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 class ask for help early!


    Retakes: 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); highest grade between original/retake counted
    • The student, not the parent, must request the retake through my school webpage.
    • Student must request the retake within 24 hours of the grade posting on Gradespeed 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.
    • Student must fill out an online retake form http://www.houstonisd.org/Page/116612.
    • 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 lunch.
    • Final Exams are not eligible
    • Missing assignments fall under my late policy not the retake policy.


    Extra Credit:  I do not offer extra credit.


    Assignment Resubmission:  Resubmissions are permitted at my discretion. Any assignments allowed resubmission will provide students an opportunity to recover half of the credit lost. The following are general guidelines for resubmissions and are subject to additional requirements:

    • Original assignment must have been turned in on time.
    • You must show all work and explain how you came to the new answer/conclusion.


    Academic Integrity:  Cheating, copying, and plagiarizing 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, during a test or quiz will be perceived as a violation of academic integrity in the classroom and will be reported.


    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. A parent must then come to pick up the phone and will be charged $15 for recovery.


    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.



    • Come into class and 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 and you will be counted tardy if you are not in your seat before the bell rings!
    • You may not chew gum, eat, or drink anything but water during class without my permission.
    • You may use a pencil or pen for your notes section, but all work that is to be turned in must be done in 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.
    • All major projects are due before 9:00 AM on 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 1st You must show me a late pass from the office to submit your work. This does not apply to non-bus riders.
    • Talking or distracting other students, intentionally or unintentionally, during a class assignment, 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 and will be reported.


    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 warm-ups, homework, worksheets, study questions, etc.
    5. Keep your handouts, lecture summaries, and study questions organized in your composition 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!!!