• AP Biology Prep

    Mr. DuRoss

    Course Goals

    The goal of this course is to offer an in depth overview of biology.  The material in this course will provide a base upon which future science courses build on, including Ecology, AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology and AP Environmental Science.  This course will prepare students to achieve mastery levels on the NY State Living Environment Regents Exam. The aim of this course is to also ask more of students in terms of their knowledge of the process of science, experimental design and data analysis. The pace of this course will be brisk and students will be required to do a significant amount of work outside of class  in order to be successful.

    Course Units

    • Scientific Inquiry
    • Evolution
    • Cellular systems
    • Genetics
    • Ecology

    Attendance/Missed Work

    Upon return from an absence, students are responsible for completing all missed notes, homework, labs and quizzes.  If a student is absent for a lab, that lab must be made up immediately, often the required materials for a lab are not available after a period of time.  School policy allows 1 day for each day missed to make up assignments. Any graded assignments that are completed late are penalized 10% for each day late.  Homework assignments that are reviewed in class are not eligible to be handed in late.

    Required Supplies

    • 3 ring binder (2 inches in width) used only for science
    • Calculator
    • Tab dividers


    Question of the day

    Each day when you come into class there will be a question on the board.  Each day you will come into class, open your binder and on your QOD sheet, write the date, the question, and your answer to the question.  You will do this without me telling you, after a few days of reminding it should become automatic. If you do not know the answer to the question of the day, you should just copy the question.  These QOD sheets will be graded periodically.


    Each graded assignment will be worth a certain number of points.  You can earn any number of points on an assignment up to the maximum.  The more points an assignment is worth, the bigger impact it will have on your grade.  To determine your grade for the course, simply add up the number of points you earned, divide by the total number of possible points, and multiply by 100.  Graded assignments will come from a variety of sources such as quizzes, tests, labs, essays, presentations, etc. All graded tests must stay in the room in individual test folders.  Students may review the tests, but they must remain in the classroom.

    I will try to grade your work quickly and enter the grades into our SchoolTool information system.  You can view your grades and check for missing assignments in the student or parent portal.

    If you have a homework assignment that is not completed and present in class, you will be required to fill out a “homework pink-slip”.  I will keep this on file so that I have a reference that I can refer to when speaking with your parents.

    NYS Lab Requirement

    The State of New York requires 1200 minutes of lab activities with accompanying satisfactory lab reports.  There are also 4 required NY State lab activities, questions pertaining to these labs will be included on the NY State Regents exam.  Students that do not complete the required 1200 minutes by May 31st are not eligible to take the Living Environment Regents Exam.  Labs which receive a failing grade can be corrected to meet the lab minute requirement; however the original grade will stand.  Lab reports will stay in the classroom in a folder that each student will maintain to keep track of the lab minute requirement.


    Each quarter we will have benchmark assessment that will cover all of the material from the previous 10 weeks.  At the end of the school year, students will take the NY State Living Environment Regents Exam, the exam will count as 10% of the students’ final course grade.

    Cheating and Plagiarism

    As stated in the Perry Jr. High handbook, instances of cheating or plagiarism will be dealt with according to school policy.  This includes, copying or sharing answers to lab questions, homework, quizzes, etc. Lab partners may work together to collect data, but must answer lab questions alone, failure to follow this rule will result in a zero on the lab for all students involved.  “Plagiarism is the use of someone else's words or ideas without acknowledgement of the source. It can occur accidentally or deliberately (Perry Jr. High Student Handbook, 2009)”.  You must not use someone else’s words in your work, unless you quote them.

    Classroom Conduct

    Respect is the foundation upon which a successful classroom is built.  I will require everyone in the classroom to respect each other. All of our classroom rules can be traced back to respect.  I will not allow anyone to put-down, make fun of, or disrespect someone else in my presence.

    Extra help

    If you are having a difficult time with certain topics or questions you can get extra help in a variety of ways.  If you have a study hall and would like to go over some material with me you can get a pass to come to my classroom.  My availability varies by day, but it will be posted in the classroom. If you would like to stay after school for extra help, see me to arrange a day.

    Online materials

    • I use technology extensively in class.  There will be a variety of resources available to parents and students online.  There are two places that you will find these materials:


    • http://www.newhartfordschools.org/duross
      • this is my page on our school website.  Here you will blank copies of note packets, hard copies of notes and class calendar.
    • YouTube Channel
      • I record a screencast each time that we complete notes in class.  These videos can be viewed and it will be like a replay of our class notes.  Students can hear my explanations while seeing the presentation of our notes on screen.  Students can view these videos via my YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/ScienceDuRoss/


    Students will sometimes be required to do online computer work outside of class.  This can be done at home if students have a computer and Internet connection available.  They can also use the school computer lab during lunchtime, or every day after school until 3:20.  In addition the New Hartford Public Library has computers available for public use in the evening.