• Living Environment

    Course Expectations

    Mrs. Houle

    Course Objectives:

    1. To acquire a clear understanding of important biological concepts and ideas.

    2. To master important scientific processes and safety skills through laboratory investigations.

    3. To foster a growing appreciation and interest in science as it relates to your everyday life.

    4. To understand how society influences science and technology as well as how science and technology influence society.

    5. To help you distinguish between scientific evidence and personal opinion.


    Course Descriptions:

    Honors Living Environment: Honors Biology offers students a challenging program of labs, discussions, projects, and reports to teach students about living organisms and their environment. Students study cell structure and function, biochemistry, modern genetics, modern evolution, reproduction and development, and ecology in accordance with the NYS Standards and Core Curriculum Guide for the Living Environment. Emphasis is on student centered research skills and projects.

    Regents Living Environment: Students taking Regents Biology will learn about living organisms and their environment in a course designed to teach all topics in the Core Curriculum Guide for the Living Environment. The topics taught in this course are the same as in Honors Biology, but emphasis is placed on the laboratory component of the course and on developing reading and writing skills to convey the student’s knowledge of biology concepts.

     Required Materials:

    1. 3” 3-Ring Binder to be used for Biology only.

    2. Folder for current unit/evening assignments.

    3. Writing utensils: Pen (blue or black ink only) and Pencil. All tests must be done in pen. All labs must be done in pencil.

    4. A highlighter

    5. Biology Review Book (To be purchased in the bookstore). The cost will be approximately $14.  All students will be expected to purchase a Review Book. Please inform me in writing by if this will be a problem.

    6. Biology Laboratory Guides – to be left in classroom

    Grading Policy:

                   Tests/Projects:                                           45%

                Labs:                                       30%

                Daily Work:                              25%



    • All assignments must be handed in ON TIME to receive full credit. Late assignments turned in one day late will be penalized by ½ credit. Assignments turned in two days late will receive no credit.

    • Class participation includes:

      • Listening to the teacher and classmates

      • Actively participating in class discussions

      • Working quietly on assignments


    Course and Grade Resources:

    Please Contact the Guidance Department to gain access to PARENT PORTAL. This is a great tool that lets you keep track, on a daily basis, of your child’s grades on each assignment and their attendance in class. This tool is very helpful to parents!



    If you are absent, you are expected to hand in any homework, project, or lab work that was due during your absence on the day you return. You will be given one day for each day you were out to complete make-up work. If you have an unexcused absence, you will not have the opportunity to make-up the work you have missed.


    It is your responsibility to make arrangements with me to make up any tests, quizzes, or labs the day you return to school.


    Laboratory Reports:

    Lab reports must be completed within a marking period to receive Regents credit for the lab. Labs handed in after the conclusion of the marking period will not be accepted. Lab reports make up 30% of your grade in Biology. You must satisfactorily complete all lab reports to be eligible to take the Living Environment Regents Exam in June. New York State REQUIRES several of these labs.


    Good attendance in lab is critical to your success. If you are absent for a lab period, it is very important that you arrange to make up the class period with me when you return. We will complete two or three lab activities per week. A particular lab activity set up will remain for about one week before being put away to make room for more. Many of the supplies for lab are perishable or are needed by other lab instructors.


    Lab reports that are handed in one day late will be penalized by ½ the lab credit. Lab reports that are handed in more than two days late will receive zero credit towards their grade, but will receive “regents credit” for handing in the lab. Any student who has more than 1 (one) outstanding lab will be required to make an appointment with me to make up the lab.


    Progress Reports:

    At mid-marking period (approximately Week 5), I will give you a progress report to bring home to your parents or guardian. These are to be signed by your parent or guardian and returned to me the next day.


    I will be calling or emailing your parents at various times throughout the course to inform them of your progress. Parents can also utilize PARENT PORTAL to check your grades on a daily basis.


    Extra Help:

    I will be available after school each week from 2:30 – 3:00 on Mondays and Thursdays for extra help. If this time is inconvenient, please see me so we can try to set up a time to meet during the school day. Anytime you feel you need extra help or clarification of an assignment, be sure to see me as soon as possible to set up an appointment. 


    Classroom Behavior Expectations:

    I expect my students to come to class ready to learn. To facilitate this, I have set up some guidelines as follows:


                Students will:

    1. BE PREPARED for class by:

      • Being on time and ready to learn

      • Bringing their notebook, review book, and a pen or pencil

    2. BE ATTENTIVE learners by participating in class discussions, Cooperative Learning activities, and any required help sessions.

    3. BE COURTEOUS and respectful of themselves, their peers, the teacher and the classroom. Off-topic discussions during class are not an acceptable use of class time. No off-topic discussions or banter are allowed during instructional time. 

    4. Hand in all assignments and labs on time


      You can expect that I will:

    5. Be on time and prepared to teach

    6. Treat you fairly and respectfully

    7. Hand back assignments promptly

      Appropriate behavior is expected at all times. Lapses will be handled with and appropriate response with increasing severity as follows:

    8. Verbal warning/discussion with parents.

    9. Lunch detention or after school detention with me.Discipline referral