• Biology:  The Living Environment     Valley Central High School

    Course Guidelines                                 Meisel



    Welcome to high school level biology.  During the coming year you will be challenged by one of the most difficult courses you have encountered in your educational career.  This course is designed to provide you with an intensive look at high school level biology, as well as prepare you for taking the New York State Regents “The Living Environment” Exam in June.  There are 4 main components to this course:  class lecture, laboratory, out of class work (homework, studying, research, projects, etc.), and tests/quizzes.  Each component is important and success in this course is dependent upon how much effort you devote to each area.




    1.)     Lecture Notebook:  A notebook is required for lecture notes.  A 2-inch 3-ring binder is recommended.  This type of notebook will allow you to insert and save various handouts and assignments that are distributed during the year. 


    2.)  Safety Goggles (optional):  In school store.  Shared, sanitized safety goggles are provided in class.


    Assignments/Class Work/Absences:


    1.)     All assignments should be done in your best work and must include your name, the date, and assignment (Ex.  Pgs 123-124…) on the top of the paper.


    2.)     All work is due on the assigned day.  If you are absent, be sure to show your assignment to the teacher on the first day you return to class.


    3.)     It is a student’s responsibility to make up missed instruction.  Missed instruction/work receives a grade of “0%’ until made up.  Students exceeding 18 periods of missed instruction in a full-year course will NOT receive course credit.  Periods of missed instruction may be made up during post session.


    4.)     Make up missed instruction/work/day as soon as possible after an absence, generally within 5 school days of the absence.


    5.)     Post Session Schedule:  Room 208     Tuesday



    Class Rule:


    Simply stated:  You are here to learn.  I am here to teach you.  Any behavior that interferes with the educational process (students’ responsibility to learn, teacher’s responsibility to teach) will NOT be tolerated. 




    1.)     Homework:  Homework will be assigned weekly. All homework will be collected on Wednesday and Friday of each week.  All homework assignments must be written out or answered in complete sentences.  Late assignments will be penalized.  (10-20 points each)


    2.)     Labs: Regents Biology: Living Environment has a New York State mandated laboratory requirement.  To successfully complete this requirement, a student must demonstrate proficiency at certain laboratory skills (safety, microscope work, dissection, measurement, etc.)  Additionally, satisfactorily completed reports of lab experiments must be prepared by the student and remain on file at school.  Only students who have satisfactorily met the laboratory requirement will be admitted to the Living Environment Regents Exam in June.  If a student is barred from the Regents Exam, he/she will receive a “0” as an examination grade.  This grade will be averaged with his/her previous quarter grades according to school policy.  NOTE:  Any lab receiving a “-“ will NOT be counted toward fulfilling the NYS lab requirement and must be corrected and resubmitted until a satisfactory grade is achieved.  (15-100 points each)


    3.)     Quizzes:  Written and oral quizzes, both announced and unannounced, will be given throughout the course.  They will cover homework, classwork, labs, and notes.  (10-80 points each)


    4.)     Exams:  An announced exam will be given one or two times during each unit.  (80-150 points each)


    5.)     Extended projects:  Each student must complete the extended projects assigned during the academic year.  Details will be provided.  (100 points each)


    6.)     Classwork/Class Participation/Notebooks:  These DO count.  Notebook checks will occur and will count as a grade. (10-100 points)


    7.)     Quarterly Exams:  A cumulative exam will be given at the end of EACH marking period. (100 points or 20% of quarter grade for required midterm exam)




    1.)     Keep a well-organized notebook.  Good note-taking is a valuable asset to you, not only now, but in future courses.  Take thorough and complete notes, file all handouts and returned papers, etc.


    2.)     In order to succeed in this course, you must establish a pattern of studying smart.  Make a decision to do this NOW!!  Studying smart isn’t the same thing as studying for a long time.  Research shows that students learn better studying in short bursts:  studying your notes just 10-15 minutes each day is a much more effective way to learn than cramming the night before a test.


    3.)     Do all readings and assignments.  There is little chance of passing this class, let alone learning biology, if you do not do assignments.  Do assignments as they are given.


    4.)     Study smart.  Work smart.  Seek extra help as needed.  Students who desire to do well eventually succeed.  It’s not a matter of brains.  We all have the mental ability to perform well in school.  It’s a matter of attitude- a matter of desire.  Ask Questions.  Attend review sessions.  Get involved.


    5.)     The responsibility for your success or failure in this course lies with YOU!!  You are in the driver’s seat.  You can make this course an opportunity or a burden.  As always, the choice is with you.