Dear parent/guardian and student,

Please take a moment to review the grading policies and syllabus for Mesa Public Schools SC49, Biology.  Parent/Guardian, I have a brief survey for you to fill out to give me information about you and your student.

The goal of this class is to foster understanding of the characteristics of living things, the diversity of life and how organisms change over time in terms of biological adaptation and genetics, the interrelationships of matter and energy in living organisms, and the interactions of living organisms with their environment.

Supplies for Success

  • 1 College Ruled Notebook - Spiral or composition book, your choice. Minimum 70 pages.  This is for Bio ONLY.
  • Pen or Pencil - Colored pencils will be helpful but some will be provided in class. Quality not guaranteed.
  • Lenovo Computer (See Technology Do’s and Don’ts in Student Handbook p. 14)

It is critical that students have his or her computer charged and with them in class every day. 


Semester grade                                          Includes                                          Overall Grades

Practice                            15%                   Homework, In-Class work           90-100%             A

Formative Assessment    25%                   Warm-Ups, Labs, Projects           80-89%               B

Summative Assessment  60%                   Quizzes, Tests                              70-79%                C

                                                                                                                           60-69%                D

                                                                                                                           Below 60%           F


There will be at least two biology related projects that students must complete outside of class during this school year.

Course Outline

Semester 1

  1. Cells and Organisms
    1. Macromolecules/Molecules of Life
    2. Cells/Cell Transport
    3. Homeostasis
    4. Mitosis
  2. Photosynthesis
  3. Cellular Respiration

Semester 2

  1. Ecology
  2. Genetics
  3. Evolution


Students are expected to attend class daily. Students have one day to make up assignments for each day that has been missed. Note that students will be allowed to make up work for excused school – approved absences. It is the student's responsibility to get any missed assignments. Please look at the calendar and get any handouts from the absence bin that were passed out while you were absent before class starts.  Do not come to me while I am trying to get class started.  It is requisite to attend class daily in order to be successful. You may be put on audit status at Skyline High School for non-attendance if you accumulate more than 9 absences per semester. Prior notification due to special circumstances will not be counted for withdrawal purposes. Students who are absent for one day on the day of a test, will make-up the test the NEXT day in class.


All assignments should be titled with name, date, period, and be free of spiral notebook fringe.

If absent, it is the student’s responsibility to check the calendar in the room, on the canvas website, or ask a peer.

  • Excused – The student is given the number of days they were absent to complete the assignment
  • Unexcused – The student is given no extra days for the assignment and should be turned in the next time they return to class.


Quizzes will be given periodically throughout each unit. Tests will be given at the end of every unit. These will be announced ahead of time.

If a Quiz or Test is missed, arrangements must be made with the teacher to make it up.

Summative Assessments may be retaken/corrected so that a student has additional opportunities to demonstrate Mastery of the unit standards.  If a student would like to correct a summative assessment, they must first come in for tutoring and/or peer assistance.  All corrections should be completed in a reasonable time frame, typically within one week of the first summative assessment.  No retakes will be allowed during the final exam week, and retakes of final exams are not allowed. 


Plagiarism Warning

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling or sharing of term papers or other academic materials. Information gathered from the internet and not properly identified is also considered plagiarism. We expect every student to produce his/her original, independent work.  Bottom Line: The work you turn in must be your own.  “Working with a friend” does NOT mean turning in identical papers.

Extra Help

I am always happy to provide any extra help before and after school and will do what I can to help all my students succeed. Talk to me to schedule a time for extra help so we can all be prepared. If you have trouble with any section or concept there are many resources available:

  1. Ask questions during class (someone else has your same exact question!)
  2. Refer to your notes (this means you should take thorough notes during class)
  3. Come in for extra help before or after school, except Wednesdays, or by appointment.
  4. Ask a friend or family member for assistance

This is a sample of resources - You have the world at your fingertips.  Use your powers for good.

Class Expectations
Promote respect and safety for all people and uphold the educational values that result from a diverse community.  All behaviors or comments must be racially, sexually, ethically, and religiously appropriate and respectful.  Proper language needs to be used in the classroom - no swearing or derogatory language.

Remind: For classroom updates and reminders please text “@405Bio” to 81010.

Parents & Guardians

I encourage all parents and guardians to contact me whenever they wish to discuss their child’s progress in my class. I answer emails within 24 hours, but most often I answer them by the end of my school day. Please include your name, the student’s name, class period, and any other information you would like to leave. We are both on the same team for wanting your student to achieve their goals and be successful. Let’s work together to make that happen!



Mrs. Brittany Burchard