Biology Syllabus 2018-2019

    Mr. Szarvas


    Contact Information:

    szarvasl@bcsc.k12.us (best for quick response)

    Phone number: 812-376-4431


    Course Description Biology is an introductory course that focuses on fundamental concepts in biology.  The following basic biological themes will be covered; nature of science and biology, ecology, biochemistry, the cell, genetics, microbiology, evolution, and biology’s connection to other disciplines and the world.  In addition to conceptual learning, emphasis will be placed on critical analysis of scientific work, project design, collection and interpretation of data. Throughout the year we will analyze issues in bioethics, and our roles and responsibilities as knowledgeable people in the scientific and larger world.


    Instructional Goals:  At the conclusion of this course, students should have a broad understanding of the field of biology and be prepared to continue on in more specific biological sciences or other sciences.  Most importantly, students should have an understanding of the current issues in the field of biology and be prepared to make educated decisions as local and global citizens. 


    Outline of Topics and Order to Be Covered:

    Unit #1            The Nature of Science (1 weeks)

    Unit #2            Cells and molecules of life (8 weeks)

    Unit #3            Genetics (9 weeks)

    Unit #4             Biotechnology (3 weeks)

    Unit #5            Ecology (6 weeks)

    Unit #6            Evolution and Biological Classification (7 weeks)

    Unit #7            Immune System (2 weeks)



    Textbook:   HMH SCIENCE DIMENSIONS       Online Book Link   https://www.hmhco.com/api/external-sso/access?sp=ed&connection=bcsc-k12-in-us


    Notebook:  Students will be required to keep a folder and keep the guided notes of class lectures, daily assignments, and documentation of laboratory work.  These folders will be collected and scored intermittently throughout the year. 


    Participation:  Labs, group-work, is an important part of this class.  Many of these types of experiences cannot be recreated.  Be in class!




    Assessment Procedures

    Students will be assessed from their participation in class, labs, activities and discussions.  Grades from homework, quizzes and tests will also contribute heavily to the overall course grade.  A rough outline of the grading weights is given below:



    Labs and Smaller Projects                  (35%)

    Participation                                       (10 %)

    Tests                                                    (55%)


    Grade Ranges:

                90-100%=A      80-89%=B        70-79%=C        60-69%=D        below 60%=F

    Tardy Policy

    Be on time.  Information is presented at the beginning of the period; tardiness is disruptive and can impact your grade.  Three or more tardies may result in a phone call home to parents,  detention and administration notification and action. 


    Attendance Policy

    Absences should be kept to a minimum.  It is very difficult to keep up with the content covered in this course without being present for lectures, labs, and class activities.  Please avoid scheduling outside appointments during class time.  Make-up work will not be accepted for unexcused absences.  Make-up tests will not be administered to students for unexcused absences.


    Excused Absences:  Work that is late due to an excused absence will not be penalized but should be made up immediately upon return.  For each day that you are absent, you will get one extra day to turn in your missed work.  If you miss a test due to an excused absence, you should plan to take the test within one day of your return.  Scheduling the time of the make-up will be based on the teacher’s availability. 

    Late Work Policy:  I DO NOT ACCEPT ANY LATE WORK

    Personal Electronics Policy

    Personal electronic devices (i.e. cell phones, mp3 players, gaming devices, etc) will not be allowed in the classroom.  Students will be asked once to put any electronics away.

    Classroom Expectations





    Follow all guidelines on the class safety sheet, and teacher instructions. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. 




    Due to safety issues food is not allowed in the science area unless it is a designated special occasion. 


    Most importantly, show respect for yourself, others, and the environment.  Biology class should be an enjoyable endeavor.  The less frequently the teacher needs to discipline individuals and the class as a whole, the more fun class will be for all involved.




    Student Name___________________________________________________(printed neatly)  Period _________


    Please sign and date this portion of the Course Description and return it to the instructor.


    Biology Class Contract- The student agrees to:

    1.      Respect the ideas, rights, and differences of all other individuals at all times and in all activities.

    2.      Work cooperatively and productively within small groups and participate within class activities.

    3.      Follow all safety procedures.  THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS.

    4.      Turn in all assignments on the day they are due.  Homework cannot be turned in late.  In addition, students are to complete assigned readings in a timely manner.

    5.      Comply with the guidelines as identified in the course description/syllabus.

    6.      It is the student’s responsibility (not the teacher’s) to obtain the assignments that are missed due to absences.  TESTS MUST BE MADE UP WITHIN 48-HOURS OF THE STUDENT’S RETURN TO SCHOOL.  Extended absences will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

    7.      Try his or her best.  Seek help when needed.  (This one is critical – seeking help does not mean you are not trying your best!!)

    8.      Utilize materials on the Internet in appropriate manners.  By signing this contract, parents grant their students permission to utilize the Internet for class-related activities.

    9.      Monitor his/her status in the class by regularly checking the online grade book.

    10.    Follow all CNHS rules and policies including those regarding cheating and plagiarizing.

    11.    Maintain the confidentiality of all testing materials; refrain from discussing the content of tests with other students who have not taken the test, and to return all written test materials to the teacher prior to leaving the classroom.

    12.    Abide by all appropriate teacher requests pertaining to the class including arriving to class on time.

    13.    Maintain a positive attitude and will strive to foster a positive attitude in others with respect to this class.




    I have read the Course Description and understand                           I have read the Course Description and understand

    what is expected of me in this course.                                                    What is expected of my student in this course.                           


    ___________________________________________                    ____________________________________________

    Student Signature                                                Date                                       Parent/Guardian Signature              Date

Last Modified on November 7, 2018