Course Syllabus

Arvada West High School    •   2021 Spring Semester


Instructor: Ms. Maren Blair Biology Classroom: Room 133


Voicemail: (303) 982-1336       


Schoology Codes:
Block 1: WZD5-9R7P-5FKMN
Block 3: W2G3-239P-BQ99V
Block 4: QS88-PJ2V-FMXKD
Block 5: 5FHM-W8XF-JQ9R3

Course Description

The biology curriculum is a one-year laboratory-oriented course designed to foster an understanding of the many areas of life science.  The pace and amount of material in this course is demanding and will require motivation and discipline from each student. The content and structure of this course is in accordance with the Colorado Academic Standards.


The following items are required for Biology and will be used daily:

  • Approved face mask/face covering

  • Chromebook and Chromebook charger
  • 1” 3 ring binder with college-ruled lined paper OR notebook to be used just for Biology (your preference)
  • Pencil and pen
  • Earbuds/headphones that work with Chromebook (occasional use)

Learning Expectations 

While this year may be a bit different, there will still be learning expectations in both the remote and in-person learning environment. 

In-Person Learning

  • Wear your face mask appropriately -- covering your mouth and nose.

  • Remain 6ft distance from others when possible.

  • Come prepared for class with all materials listed above.

Remote Learning

  • Log in for a video conference at the time that class is regularly scheduled.

  • Find a productive place to work that meets your learning needs. Try to build a workstation in your space to make learning at home easier.

  • Abide by school dress code.

  • Mute yourself when not speaking

  • Use appropriate language at all times

  • Be present and participate with online discussions.

  • Communicate respectfully and professionally in all forms of media including, but not limited to video chats, side chats within conferencing apps, providing peer feedback, etc.

  • We never take a picture or record anyone without permission

  • Keep other technology not being used for the lesson away such as cell phones, tablets, video games, airpods, etc.


Our classroom will run based on this idea:

“With full effort and full attention, it’s okay to make a mistake.”

Full effort means:

  • Attend class, be on time, be prepared, have a positive attitude, and do your best given any situation. 

Full attention means:

  • Listen without interrupting, value input from classmates, limit distractions, and protect class property.

It’s okay to make a mistake means:

  • Keep an open mind, be gracious and kind to each other, and be patient with yourself. Everyone learns in different ways and at different paces. Have confidence based in your (not your classmates’) preparation. 

Classroom Routines

  • Be in your seat and have materials out and ready by the time the bell finishes ringing.

  • Start to work on the daily question immediately after the bell.

  • Opportunities to leave the classroom during class will be limited. Make every effort to take care of personal needs before the start of class.

  • NO FOOD or BEVERAGES in the lab areas of our classroom at any time.

Technology Expectations


We (AWest Staff) commit to holding all students accountable for:

  1. Bringing the AWest issued device (not a personal chromebook or laptop)

  2. Bringing the device charged. A charging station is available in the library

  3. Maintaining a charge throughout the day (if listening to music or watching movies is draining your battery, STOP)

  4. Devices are for educational use only (teachers commit to ensuring this is happening either through active monitoring or through use of Securly)

  5. Devices being kept in excellent condition

Cell Phones

We (AWest Staff) commit to holding all students accountable for:

  1. Placing cell phones in their assigned sleeve when asked

  2. Silencing or turning off cell phones to limit class distractions

  3. If a phone is a continuous distraction, the phone will be confiscated and sent to the office

  4. Only using cell phones for music or educational tool when approved by the instructor 

  5. Being respectful of other people’s property by leaving others’ devices alone.


If you miss class for any reason you should:

1. Check Schoology for missed assignments, class activities, labs, and notes.

2.  Virtually check in with your instructor on Fridays during your class period for extra help and makeup work.  In-person assistance can be scheduled if needed. Please reach out to your instructor to request this option as space is limited.

It is your responsibility to determine what work you missed and to make it up in a reasonable amount of time.  You are responsible for your success.  I understand that emergencies and unique situations may arise; please communicate with me.

Excused Absences: For each excused absence you have two days to make up work. Work can receive full credit.

Unexcused Absences: Policy is the same as the district policy. Refer to the Jeffco Conduct Code Manual.


Coming to class late is disruptive to the academic environment and unfair to your fellow students.  Please make every effort to be on time!  The tardy policy will be the same as the school wide policy which will include after school detention and/or in school suspension.

Academic Integrity

I expect each student to produce high quality work that demonstrates their best effort and is a true reflection of their strengths and skills. Although discussion with your peers is a very valuable part of the learning process, your work should be a reflection of your own thoughts. It is unacceptable to:

  • Use another student’s paper to copy work or answers

  • Allow another student to copy your work or answers

  • Have “wandering eyes” in a test situation

  • Copy/use material directly from a resource without citation (website, textbook etc.)


In general, there will not be a lot of assigned homework. Unfinished classwork, however, does become homework that is due the next class period. 

Late Work and Corrections

All assignments have a due date, at which time you are expected to turn in your work. However, all work that is honestly attempted (not left blank or massively incorrect) may be corrected on your own until the day of the unit test. All work for a given unit must be completed by day of the unit test. If you do not attempt the assignment by the first due date, you are still expected to complete the assignment and may earn up to 100% as long as it is turned in by the unit test. 

On Time -> day of unit test (including corrections) =  Full Credit

If the assignment is digital or the grade has been entered into Campus, fill out the Late Work Submission Form to tell Ms. Blair that you are done, and it is ready to be graded. Corrections and late work are graded once a week. 



You must have a signed safety contract in order to participate in labs. Attendance on lab days will be crucial to your success in Biology.

Test Retakes

Because you may correct almost all class work and quizzes, you may NOT retake or correct the test itself. There may be a reflection assignment after the test that will be part of the “tests” grading category. 


Grading Categories

  • Summative assessments (40% of overall grade)

End of unit exams 

End of unit projects or culminating projects

  • Common Formative assessments (10% of overall grade) 


CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) 

Checks for understanding 

  • Daily Work and Labs (45% of overall grade)

  • Quality Worker Points (5% of overall grade) 

    • Students will receive 20 points for every 6 weeks of the semester

    • If students are not following classroom expectations they will lose points

      • Examples: Being late, having a phone out, not following virtual or in-person norms established by the class, turning in assignments late. 

It is your responsibility to use Portal to check your current grade and make sure that it corresponds to your returned graded assignments. Keep all returned work as it is the only way to verify your grade in the grade book.


I’m a Scientist Enrichment

Grades will be a reflection of learning. Extra credit may be awarded to those who are following class expectations on unspecified days. I may also reward students who exceptionally employ a scientific practice.


Tech Tools

Please access Schoology on a regular basis. Class notes, assignments, worksheets, review sheets, multimedia and additional resources will be available on Schoology. 


In addition, general information about your instructor and this course can be found on the website on the Arvada West High School website. (Directions: Arvada West High School Homepage→ Academics→ Departments→ Science → Select Your Instructor)

Your instructor reserves the right to use Securly to see your chromebook screen at any time during class.

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