Accelerated Biology Course Description and Policies 2006/2007

Mrs. Groch  552-5580 voice mail 2919 or

Dear Students and Parents:

Welcome to the 2006-2007 school year at San Ramon Valley High School.  This letter will provide you with valuable information that will give you and your parents a clear understanding of what is expected of each student enrolled in this course.  Please take a moment to read this letter and review these expectations.  A "signature slip" will be sent home within the first  day of school and must be returned within the first couple of days of school, indicating you have read the policies. For your convenience all assignments are listed on the class web page calendar.  Please bookmark this site on your home computer.    Grades are posted approximately each two weeks. Grades are also available via email and now online at WEB GRADE ACCESS (you will need your student ID and a password that I will provide in class). Please make sure your parents email their email addresses directly to me at

Parents, feel free to browse the web site for the calendar assignments. Mrs. Groch Website:   click on Accelerated Biology.

TEXTBOOK: Biology Concepts & Connections, 4th Edition, Campbell et al, 2003 (Please NOTE: Online Textbook support for tutorials, practice quizzes etc:  is password protected I will email you the initial password when school begins. This is the link to that site  After you have registered you can go directly to the login site at:

To access Campbell/R/M/T Biology C&C 4e Stu go to
and log in using your Login Name and Password.

There is also  a related textbook FREE site


Lab Manuals:  1) included in the textbook    2)  produced & published by the teacher on CD-ROM.  Replacement cost $5.00

REQUIRED MATERIALS:   binder, quad ruled lab journal, red & blue/black ink pens, highlighter,  #2 pencil, calculator,

Lab Fee Donation:  A lab fee $50.00 donation is requested by the 2nd week of class; the district provides approximately $50 of instruction money per class  for the entire year, therefore your donation is vital to our ability to keep this a hand-on science course. These monies will purchase your lab materials used during the year ( with the exception of materials you'll need for your own science fair project). Kindly make checks payable to SRVHS Science.


  • Parents are strongly encouraged to plan family vacations, doctor's appointments, and other social activities (Educational code considers these "unexcused" absences) for times when it will not adversely affect a student's educational progress.. It is impossible to replicate the science lab and  classroom experience with paper and pencil activities. 

  • Cuts  and Tardies greater than 30 minutes (State Educational code considers these "truancy" ) will not be eligible for make up credit on any assignment or class activity nor will credit be given to assignments/tests/quizzes due the day of a "cut".  20 pt. academic responsibility deduction/per cut. Five points will be deducted for each tardy. See academic responsibility section for more details. Be aware that three tardies = 1 cut; 3 cuts may result in being dropped from the class (see student handbook).

  • Absences due to illness are allowed up to three days by district policy to make up missed assignments,  otherwise the work is considered to be late.  Please see me  if you need to make personal arrangements, due to special circumstances. You are encouraged to e-mail ,or a classmate when you are absent to get an update on the material you may have missed. Check the web page calendar , and check your email account regularly for messages from me. 

  • Missed tests are to be made up within 3 days unless extraordinary circumstances exist.  The exams must be made up at lunch or during tutorial (Tuesday and Thursday after school). It is your responsibility to make sure you make up your missed exams.

  • Missed Labs will be made up after school on lab make up days (Tuesdays and Thursdays after school).  All labs must be performed…no dry lab data collection will be accepted (this means you may NOT collect data from another person).  

  • LATE WORK is not accepted (beyond the two "the dog ate it" oops passes/per semester will not be accepted beyond the 3 day from the due date), only absent work is accepted according to the above written guidelines.  Try to email work if your printer dies BUT if you do you must remind me to print the work out.

  • NOTE:  NEW SCHOOL DETENTION Program will be held 1/2 before school starts Tuesday thru Friday.  Not attending detention will result in a 4 hour Saturday School (assigned by Administration). Parents will be notified by email or phone prior to detention dates. Detention may be assigned for tardies, cuts, failure to turn in homework on time, etc.


  • Homework must be typed (#10 font) with the correct heading otherwise credit will not be received. IF you have computer problems, please attach a signed parent note. Lecture notes, pre-labs and chapter homework go in your journal. Lab write ups and PBLs will be typed.

  • Homework is corrected with a red ink pen during class discussion unless otherwise noted on the assignment board. and receives a stamp.  Students will keep an Assignment Tally Sheet for stamped work. Tally sheets will be collected bi- monthly or as needed to update the grade book. Corrected assignments will be collected randomly to insure that corrections are being made during class discussions.

  • Average 4 assignments per week.

  • Homework or Lab Quizzes will generally be given weekly.

  • All graded/recorded/returned/ stamped  assignments are to be kept in the student binder by theme/unit of study, until after the final exam.

  • Absent work must be accompanied by a Absent Work Slip signed by a parent or guardian.

  • Unused "oops" passes (5 points each) and Brainiac coupons (1 point each)  may be turned in at the end of the semester and count on your final exam scores.


  • Safety is a priority in the lab. Each student will take a safety exam and sign a safety contract prior to being allowed into the lab.  

  • Lab notes, diagrams, and data are to be written in the lab journal. All diagrams and data are to be in pencil.  Begin a new page for each lab. (You may write on the backside of the pages) . Lab title and date must be written on the first line of the page. e.g. (Lab: "Who's on First" 12/1/04).  Write this same information on the Assignment Tally Sheet  to receive a stamp.

  • Lab write ups are to be typed (#10 font).

  • Lab procedure packets from the web page or CD-ROM, will be the student's responsibility for printing the lab pages as needed prior to each lab and kept in the binder in a special section. 

  • Breakage,  damage or loss of equipment and glassware will be charged to the student on a replacement cost basis.

  • All graded/recorded/returned/ stamped  labs are to be kept in the student binder by theme/unit of study, until after the final exam.

Journal Entries: Save the first page of the journal for  table of contents. Entries include all chapter homework, class notes, warm up activity/daily questions, video and guest speaker notes, lab notes/data. Begin a new page in your journal when a new topic is introduced.  The topic e.g. ( Lecture: homeostasis, 9/14/04)  must be written at the top of the page

Daily Class Procedures: Class starts when the bell rings. Look at the overhead for updates to the web calendar. Copy the warm up activity/daily question into your journal, write an answer.

*If you are tardy to class, place the note on my keyboard and sit down.   See academic responsibility contract at the end of this policy.

GRADING: Semester grades will be determined according to the following:

Grading Policy:  

Semester Grades will be approximately based on the following criteria**:

100-92 A 91.99-90 A-

45% Quizzes and exams

89.99-82 B 81.99-80 B-

25% Labs and science fair research  project 

79.99-70 C 69.99-65 C-

14% HW Assignments, PBLs, projects

64.99-62 D 61.99- 57  D-

14% Final exam

  56.99 -> F

2% Academic Responsibility

* *Students must earn a minimum of 60% on the comprehensive semester final exam to earn a C or higher semester grade. 

Enrichment Credit: Enrichment credit may be offered periodically during the semester. These opportunities will be announced in class and generally posted in the classroom. Enrichment credit points cannot exceed 2% of the total possible points. Extra credit is linked to units and no more than 4 articles can be turned in on the Friday before finals WHICH is the last day that extra credit or any work will be accepted.

Students and parents,

             In conclusion, I thank you for taking the time to read this policy.  Carefully read  the science departmental citizenship policy that follows. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail or call me 552-5580 voice mail 2919.  The academic success of the student is of the utmost importance.  Any problems or concerns require urgent attention. Kindly sign and return the form that will be sent home, within the first 10 days of school. 



Students: You alone are responsible for your learning; no one else can learn for you.  You are also responsible for your own behavior and attitude. You are responsible for attending class and participating fully.

Parents:  Are responsible for providing a home environment in which students are able to learn.  Are responsible for monitoring the student's progress and attendance via online calendar and email progress updates.  Should act as a positive advocate for the student with teachers and school administration. 

Teachers and schools: Are responsible for providing an environment in which students are able to learn.  High academic and behavioral standards shall be maintained.  An atmosphere of trust and caring will be promoted at all times.


Read the policy carefully. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail, or call me. The academic success of the student is of the utmost importance. Any problems or concerns require urgent attention. Please read and return the bottom portion of sheet sent home with the student. In addition, please read the Academic Responsibility and Accountability Grade information and kindly sign the acknowledgement on the sheet provided and returns it to class tomorrow.

Academic Responsibility and Accountability Grade 3% (40 points):

The purpose of this grade is to encourage accountability by rewarding students who are responsible and participating appropriately (e.g. journal out at the beginning of the period shows academic responsibility, turning assignments in on time, obtaining make-up assignments, etc). This is not extra credit.

These points will be added on to your grade at the end of the semester.

For example: you can lose* the points in the following ways:

1. Tardy: 5 points and a point per minute after 5 minutes tardy

2. Cut: 40 points

3. Hat: 5 points

4. Food, candy, drinks or gum: 5 points

5. Disruptive behavior, inappropriate language: 1-10 points

Note: if you're asked to leave the room with a referral, 40 points

6. Leaving the classroom early or without permission: 40 points

7. Leaving the lab tables dirty. 20 points

8. Academic dishonesty (see below) loss of points for the assignment, no points may be made up.

**You may recover points by serving lunch detention in class during the quarter that the points were lost, 1 point =1 minute, it is your responsibility to make up the points if you choose, no one will remind you.


Academic dishonesty:

Defined as cheating of any kind, including misrepresenting one's own work, taking credit for the work of others without crediting them and without appropriate authorization, and the fabrication of information.

Common examples of academically dishonest behavior include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Cheating - intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials to improve one's grade; use of a cellular phone during testing, copying from another student's work; submitting same work for an assignment in more than one class without prior permission of both instructors; representing material prepared by another as one's own work; inappropriate test taking conduct; violating rules of academic conduct relating to this course.

2. Fabrication - intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any data, information, or citation in an academic exercise.

3. Plagiarism - intentionally representing the words, ideas, or sequences of ideas of another, as one's own in any academic exercise; failure to attribute any of the following: quotations, paraphrases, or borrowed information.

4. Falsification and forgery - knowingly making a false statement, concealing material information or forging another's signature. 

5. Facilitating academic dishonesty - intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

6. Use of cellular phones (photos, text messaging, etc) during exams- the use of any cellular phone for any reason will result in a zero on that test.

Any of the infractions mentioned in this section will result in a discipline notice to the appropriate assistant principal. This will be entered on the student's discipline screen. Student will be dropped from a course with an "F" on the second academic dishonesty violation which takes place in any class during the school year.

All rules and policies in the San Ramon Valley High School Student Handbook 2004/2005 will apply if not addressed in this class policy.

Success Tips:

1. Attend class daily. Turn in all work on time, neat and legible.

2. Take pride in your work. Make every effort to do all of the assignments, especially for days you have missed. Even though you receive reduced points for late work you are still responsible for the subject matter covered. It will help you on the Final exam in the long run.

3. Participate in class discussions: ask questions; take notes; get notes when absent.

4. Maintain communication with your teacher by phone, fax or e-mail.

5. Cooperate and participate during labs. You will be expected to know how to use equipment and how to do certain procedures.

6. Review for quizzes and tests.


  Amended 8/06