Course Syllabus

Arvada West High School    • 2019-2020 School Year


Instructor: Ms. Maren Blair Office Hours: Room 113

Email: Connections:  Room 133

Voicemail: (303) 982-1336


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:

  • 1 inch binder  for science journal (to be left in classroom)
  • lined notebook paper
  • Pencil and pen
  • Calculator

Classroom Expectations and Norms

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. 

*Specific classroom norms for each period will be added after they are determined by class


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 LanSchool)
  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 you enter the room
  2. Silencing or turning off cell phones to limit class distractions
  3. Keeping cell phones in the sleeve during the entire class (even if you leave to use the restroom)
  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 other’s devices alone.


If you miss class for any reason you should:

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

2. Come in to Office Hours or Connections with questions and to make up any in-class work. Labs must be made up during the first Connections period following your absence.

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 may be corrected during Office Hours or Connections 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, but will only earn up to a 50% and cannot correct the work.



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. 


Grade Breakdown: Grading Scale

    Unit Tests/Final:    40% *NOT correctable 89.5% <  A < 100%

 Daily Work/Labs/Quizzes:    60% *correctable 79.5%  < B <  89.49% 

69.5%  < C <  79.49%

                                      59.5%  < D <  69.49%

      F < 59.49%

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. 

Carbon TIME 

Biology teachers at Arvada West will be using parts of the Carbon TIME curriculum. The curriculum is a well-established, research-based method of teaching students the overarching concepts of Biology that follows Jeffco science standards and is coordinated through the Colorado School of Mines and Michigan State University.


Google Classroom 

Please access Google Classroom on a regular basis. Class notes, assignments, worksheets, review sheets, multimedia and additional resources will be available. Parents may sign up to receive Google Classroom activity reports. Email Ms. Blair if interested. A calendar of events and assignments is also always kept up to date. This calendar can be found in Google Classroom under the “Calendar” topic or under Ms. Blair’s (in the Science Department) page on the Arvada West website. 

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.