Ms. Sylvie Kasztan
SC49 Biology

Teacher:  Sylvie Kasztan

Phone:  (480) 472-8066


Welcome to Biology! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  I look forward to working with your student to make this a successful year at Skyline High School.


  1. Basic calculator (I do not support students using cell phone calculators in class.  This policy is in place to support the State standardized testing policies in which a student’s test and possibly the entire school may have their tests invalidated for violating testing protocol.)
  2. Colored Pencils (Some handouts will require color coding this year.)
  3. Highlighter
  4. Pencil
  5. Ruler
  6. Glue Stick


  1. Bring materials and your Lenovo to class
  2. By the time the bell rings students should be in their seats
  3. Stay in seat until I dismiss the class
  4. Take care of grooming needs before coming to class or after leaving class.  This includes brushing hair, putting on make-up, lotion, fragrance of any kind, hairspray, or deodorant.  Please keep in mind that you may be sitting near someone who struggles with asthma .  Strong scents of any kind can trigger a potentially fatal asmatha attack. 
  5. Electronic devices such as phones and music players are NOT to be used in class.



The use of cell phones in the classroom is an issue which can become problematic.  If you are reading this as a parent, I ask for your support.  When a student is texting their friends, updating Facebook or even texting their parents, it takes away from instructional time and may pose a safety risk when the disruption occurs during a lab or when a student is being prepped for lab.  It often becomes an instructional disruption, drawing in other curious students.  My policy is to issue an initial warning.  If a student refuses to cooperate, they may be removed from class for the period.  A student who chooses to challenge me on this issue will be dealt accordingly.  A contract will be drawn up which requires the student to check in their cell phone with me at the beginning of the period each day if they wish to return to class.  The cell phone will be returned at the end of the period.  Please keep in mind that if you need to contact your student during the course of the day, messages can be delivered directly to your son/daughter to their class by calling the office. 



The State Standards for Biology are used to provide instruction on a variety of topics over the course of two semesters.  Instruction will be provided through a series of lectures, worksheets, labs and demonstrations.



While formal homework is minimal, students are asked to review the current day’s lecture, notes, lab and/or worksheet for at least 10-20 minutes each night before going to bed.  Worksheets not completed in class are ALWAYS considered homework unless otherwise directed.


 I maintain a somewhat self-paced learning environment during the course of a UNIT of instruction.  In other words, there is a fairly flexible timeframe established to complete assignments during the week.  All assignments are due by Friday of each week, unless the class was given an assignment on Thursday, which in most cases extendsthe due date to the following Friday.  This allows student who are struggling with content to benefit from the additional time by coming in for tutoring.  It also allows my athletes, band members, etc. and students who are ill to progress at a comfortable pace.  I also provide additional activities for students who progress at an accelerated pace.

Classwork, Labs, Participation = 40%

Quizzes, Unit Exams =  60%



Late work is not accepted unless a student has an excused absence or a scheduled school function/event.  When a student returns to class, they have one additional day for every day they were absent from class.  A student who chooses to ditch will not have an opportunity to retake a test, make up a lab or submit an assignment due that day.


Roughly half of the sophomores taking the test will pass the science potion of the AIMS test this year.  My goal is to increase that percentage considerably by integrating an AIMS prep component into the curriculum.  Students will have a regular testing schedule to prepare them for the April testing.