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Course Outline 08’-09’
Instructor: Mrs. Brook
Contact Info: abrook@glnd.k12.va.us
            (804) 556-5322 ext 4844
Blog: http://blogs.glnd.k12.va.us/teachers/abrook/
Office Hours: Tuesdays – 3:15 -3:45 pm
              Fridays – 7:45 – 8:15 am
              Other times will be scheduled as needed

Other Important Websites:
              www.turnitin.com: Turn It In
              www.brvgs.k12.va.us: BRVGS homepage

IMPORTANT: We will be working in online communities frequently this year! Proper
online etiquette is required at all times.

Course Description:
Biotechnology has brought us to the brink of a world of ‘engineered’ products that are based in
the natural world, rather than on chemical and industrial processes. Biotechnology is not new!
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) defines biotechnology to be ‘the application of
biological knowledge and techniques to develop products and services.’ Today, our new
understanding of many aspects of cell function and our ability to manipulate their genetic
content is being used in medicine, agriculture, criminal justice, the pharmaceutical industry
and many other areas. This year-long course offers the student an opportunity to experience
the basics of microbiology, human genetics, biotechnology, and exploration of bioethical

Text: Holt Biology (2004 Edition) - possibly new text later this year

Common Readings:
      Prey, Michael Crichton
      Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton
      Lab 257, Michael C. Carroll
      The Hot Zone, Richard Preston
      Survival of the Sickest, Sharon Moalem
      Demon in the Freezer, Richard Preston

Course Content:
         This course meets and exceeds the requirements set forth in the Virginia Standards of
Learning for Biology. Topics of study include the following:
    Bioethics and Biotechnology                        Cell Structure and Function
    Scientific Method and Investigations               Medical Applications
    Biochemistry                                       Adaptation and Diversity
    DNA and Protein Synthesis                          Ecology/Agriculture
    Genetics
Field Trips: Several field trips have been planned for the upcoming school year. Attendance
for all field trips is mandatory! These trips are a part of the curriculum for this class and will
count towards class participation. Some field trips planned for this school year include the
        Semester-Long Project Kick-Off, Zion Crossroads Best Western – September 4th
        Semester-Long Project Workday, LCHS library – October 7th
        Stream Monitoring Study, Fluvanna County – October 21st (tentative date)
        Semester-Long Project Presentations, location TBA – week of November 10th
        Arabidopsis Plant Genetics Project Kick-Off with Virginia Tech – spring
        Arabidopsis Plant Genetics Project Workday with Virginia Tech – spring
        Arabidopsis Plant Genetics Conference with Virginia Tech – spring
        Forensic Science Day, LCHS – spring

      Grade Distribution                                          Goochland Grading Scale
                                                                        A 93 – 100
              Tests and Projects…………………50%                              B 85 – 92
              Quizzes, Labs and Writing……..30%                                C 77 – 84
              Participation ………………………..20%                                    D 69 – 76
                                                                        F 68 and below

Check System: The participation category includes homework, class work and general
participation that is graded on a check system.

  √+ (100%)            √ (93%)            √- (86%)             ~ (73%)           X (no credit)
 Perfect Work         Good work         Average work                          cheating/plagiarism
                                                                              OR <50% complete

Classroom Ethics
       During the year the class will work to become a vibrant community of learners. You are
expected to always work to the very best of your abilities at achieve the goals set for you in the
class and I will work to the best of my abilities to assist you in reaching those goals. Cheating
and/or plagiarism will not be tolerated in this class, as they do not demonstrate your
independent best work. Cheating will be addressed according to the BRVGS cheating policy
outlined in the BRVGS student handbook. In all classroom interactions, respect, courtesy
and patience are essential.

Classroom Behavioral Expectations
       2. Demonstrate respect for yourself as well as your classmates, school facilities and
          teacher at all times.
       3. No food, gum, candy or drinks in the classroom unless provided by the teacher.
          Water in clear bottles is the ONLY exception.
       4. Go to the bathroom and your locker before class – class time is for learning!
       5. NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES visible or audible for any reason.

Positive Consequences
Students who comply with the rules and participate effectively in class may receive any/all of
the following: Praise, Positive call or note home, Homework exemptions, Extra credit

Negative Consequences
Students who do not meet the classroom expectations may receive
        1. Warnings
        2. Teacher conferences after class
        3. Referrals
Extreme circumstances, such as physical violence, verbal threats and blatant disrespect, result
in an immediate referral. Students may be sent to TOP whenever their behavior is significantly
inhibiting other students’ ability to learn in the classroom. Parents may be contacted whenever
it is deemed necessary.

         Homework is assigned to prepare you for upcoming lessons and help reinforce what has
been taught in class. It helps students develop responsibility, self-discipline and organizational
skills. Homework is NEVER accepted late. Homework is late if it is not handed in whenever I ask
for it in class. Copying another individual’s homework or giving homework to someone to be
copied IS CHEATING and will result in an automatic zero for the assignment as well as a parental

Late Work Policy
      All late work except homework will be docked 10% points per class day late.

Absence Procedures
         YOU are responsible for getting assignments missed due to absence on the day you return
to school. There is file folder in the room containing classroom handouts and make-up information
for you to pick up when you return. You have two class periods to submit missed work for full
credit. If you are unsure about what you need to make up, ask for clarification. Any assignments
due on a day when you are absent are due on the first day you return to school for full credit.
         Tests, quizzes and labs must be made up within one week after an absence during office
hours or at an individually scheduled time. It is up to YOU to schedule time to make up these items
and keep track of due dates. Tests and quizzes will not be made up during class time. It is essential
that you not miss additional class time after an absence.

BRVGS Technology:
       Students will be required to access and turn in assignments and information using their
BRVGS Google Apps accounts and Mrs. Brook’s GHS Blog. Many assignments must be turned in
using turnitin.com. It is crucial for students to remember their login IDs and passwords for these
accounts and to check the course websites/blogs on a regular basis. Students are reminded to
save all digital documents in more than one place! They may use their network folder,
Google docs, or a USB storage device. ‘Cyber-excuses’ will not be accepted. Students must plan
ahead to avoid technological pitfalls.

Required for class every day:
            o   3 ring binder                                    o   red pen or pencil for grading
            o   loose-leaf paper                                 o   calculator (4-function is okay)
            o   GHS agenda                                       o   flashdrive (highly
            o   pencils and blue or black pens                       recommended)

To have at home:
           o 3 ring binder (specifically for Writing Portfolio)
           o materials for projects (specifics will be given with each assignment)

Return this Page!

I am looking forward to working with all of you this year. I hope you enjoy
your rigorous introduction to biology and biotechnology! Your signatures
below indicate that you have read and understand my classroom policy and
agree to meet the expectations that are outlined.

Parent/Guardian Signature

Student Name (printed)

Student Signature

Thank You!

Mrs. Brook


Parents and Guardians,
      Please provide as many ways to contact you as possible but put a STAR
next to the option(s) that you prefer.


Home Phone

Work Phone
Cell Phone


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