Ms. Ryals

Pre-IB/Honors Biology Course Syllabus

Pensacola High School

Ms. Ryals

Course Goals

Welcome to Pre-IB/Honors Biology. The purpose and goals of this course are to 1) present an in-depth level study of the biological sciences, 2) help students develop critical thinking skills and study habits, and 3) prepare students for success in future AP and IB Biology courses. To achieve this goal, class will involve detailed investigations of all the major areas of modern biology with a special focus on the cellular and molecular basis of life. This class will be very difficult. You will need to allocate the sufficient time to reorganize and/or edit your lecture and reading notes, read your text and other materials, create study guides, and make connections between the concepts we will be studying.

The IB/EOC places great emphasis on a student’s ability to make connections between syllabus topics. You must NOT compartmentalize your learning. You must retain all the knowledge you acquire from week to week and semester to semester. You will be expected to understand why and how a topic covered the first week of class relates to one covered the final week of your freshman year.

You must save all your notes, quizzes, exams, etc. We will frequently re-visit previous topics in the process of adding new levels to your knowledge.

Course Requirements

Pre-IB/Honors Biology will be challenging and rapid paced. You must come to each class prepared to discuss assigned readings and be ready to undertake assigned activities.

You must bring the following items to class everyday:

  • Your Biology Binder: A 3-ring binder or spiral notebook designated only for Pre-IB/Honors Biology lecture notes, reading notes, handouts and graded papers. (1 ½” size) This binder can also be digital using OneNote or EverNote.
  • Pen and/or Pencil
  • Your textbook if no class set

Optional items: colored pencils. Ms. Ryals has colored pencils for student use, but is often criticized for a paucity of available colors.

You will not be allowed to have other materials out nor should you expect to be able to study for other classes during biology. The expectation is you work on biology in biology class; you can always review, revisit, re-read, or revise.

Attendance Policy

The PHS/ECSD attendance policies will be enforced. Below is a summary of these attendance policies. Please see the student handbook (Rights and Responsibilities) for the complete version or for clarification of what follows.

Only students with excused absences will be allowed to make up work. Passes for excused absences must be presented within three school days of the student’s return. Unexcused absences will result in a zero being assigned for any work missed. This missed work includes exams and quizzes.

If absent on the day a quiz or major test/exam is given, you will be required to take the specific make-up test after or before school. Do not ask to take the test during a class (yours or another) or lunch, because proctoring an exam while other activities are occurring is difficult. If possible, avoid missing a(n) test/exam. If you know you will be out on an exam day, arrange well in advance to take the exam early.

If tardy, on the first occurrence of each grading period, the student will be warned. On the second tardy, parents will be notified by letter. On the third tardy, parents will be called. On the fourth and subsequence occurrences, the student will be sent to the dean for disciplinary action.

You cannot afford to skip or be late to my class. You will be considered late if you are not in the classroom at the tardy bell. Your classmates and I will not wait on you. Be on time.

I do not accept passes for late arrival to class from anyone but administrators. If you are not in my room during the assigned period, you are absent. Do not ask me for a pass to another class; the answer is no. Do not come late to class and ask a teacher to email or call me about your late arrival. In my room, asking forgiveness is not preferable to asking permission.

No Pass Policy

Students may use the restroom once during the week while in class; you will get one opportunity per week. You will sign in and out and I will be checking to make certain you are not taking too much time in the restroom. Since restrooms are next to this classroom, four minutes should be enough time to use the restroom. If an issue arises, I am capable of determining if immediate attention is needed. If you have a medical reason why you need to go to the clinic or the restroom more than once a week during class, please be sure to have the information provided to the office. If the information is not available in Focus, I cannot allow you to leave the classroom more than once a week except for emergencies.

Course Topics/Unit Schedule

1st 9 Weeks

Lab Safety; The Nature of Science; Microscopes, Tools and Technology

Biochemistry; Enzymes; Properties of Water

Cell Biology: Theory, Structure, and Function

2nd 9 Weeks

Cell Energy Transformations, Cell Respiration and Photosynthesis; Plant Biology

Molecular Genetics: DNA Replication, Mutation, Transcription of RNA and Translation

Cell Reproduction, Mitosis and Cancer

District Semester Exam

3rd 9 Weeks

Cell Reproduction: Meiosis

Mendelian Genetics



4th 9 Weeks

Ecology (continued)

Human Biology: The Brain, Cardiovascular System, Human Reproduction, Immune System

End of Course Exam (EOC) 30% of Biology final grade for 2017-2018 school year.

Note: Specific topics are shown as being taught as discreet units within 9-week quarters. We will return to key elements like the “Nature of Science” again and again throughout the year. So, consider the sequence as a guideline detailing when major concepts and terminology will be initially discussed in depth, so they can be applied over the course of the school year.

Course Assignments

This course has many required in-class and extra-curricular activities; pre-IB/Honors Biology is a work intensive class. You are responsible for submission of all assignments when due. For full credit, assignments must be neat, complete, and submitted on time. Any assignment not handed in on the due date will be considered late. If you should miss a class due to excused absence or illness, you are responsible for the work, notes, or assignments due during your absence. You will always have the number of days absent to submit your work with no penalty. If you know in advance you will miss class, you are expected to check your assignments before you go. Extra Credit assignments will not be accepted until all other assigned work is done.

Note: All assignments will have a specific due date. A portion of every grade is an “on-time” grade that will be awarded for each assignment.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS (1 DAY): The completed assignment will receive a 50% reduction in credit.

NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR CREDIT 2 OR MORE DAYS PAST THE DUE DATE AND WILL RECEIVE A SCORE OF 0%. However, assignments more than two days late may be submitted for extra credit.


Several platforms will be available to students and parents regarding assignments and class activities. Google Classroom, the IB Calendars, and Focus will be utilized to help students and parents to monitor progress in class. Also, a Remind app will be available where Ms. Ryals can send text messages to students and parents regarding upcoming assignments. To participate in the Remind app, please send your phone number to or (305) 393-9561.

Grading Scheme

All assignments will have a point value. Exams will be worth 100 points. Quizzes will usually be worth 20 points and will be cumulative until 100 points is reached; however, certain topics need to have separate quizzes. Those quizzes will be announced well in advance and will be required for all students. Lab reports will count 20 points; a rubric will be provided. Homework will count 10 points and bio-binder checks will be worth 10 points during the first semester. Each grading period, grades will be determined by dividing the total number of points earned by the number of points possible.

If you keep a running total of the points you have earned versus the possible points, you will not need to wonder where you stand in terms of your grade. You can do the math. The county grade scale is A = 90-100, B = 80-89.9…, C = 70-79.9…, D = 60-69.9…, F <60. The examples above show that you need to do all the work and not pick and choose what you will do. We will talk about ways to manage your time and energy. I will show you ways that work for me and for others.

My Schedule

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
7:40am Planning Planning Planning Planning Planning
8:20am First Bell First Bell First Bell First Bell First Bell
8:25am Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology
9:25am Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology
10:20am Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology
11:15am Pre-IB/Honors Biology Pre-IB/Honors Biology Pre-IB/Honors Biology Pre-IB/Honors Biology Pre-IB/Honors Biology
12pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
12:35pm Pre-IB/Honors Biology Pre-IB/Honors Biology Pre-IB/Honors Biology Pre-IB/Honors Biology Pre-IB/Honors Biology
1:25pm Planning Planning Planning Planning Planning
2:20pm Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology
3:10pm Planning Planning Planning Planning Planning

 Classroom Rules and Procedures

 I have three basic rules. All other rules fall under these three basic rules.

  • Be here. When the tardy bell rings you should be in your seat preparing to begin the day’s work. Leave the drama outside the classroom; be fully present. Cell phones should be out of sight, hearing, and mind. With a Chromebook, you have no need for your cell phone. If a cell phone is out, you will be asked to put it away. The second time the cell phone is out, you will be sent to the dean with a ticket.
  • Be courteous of your classmates and all members of the PHS Staff. During discussions, raise your hand and wait to be recognized. Do not waste your valuable time with violations of dress code, cell phone use, disrespect toward adults and peers, and repeated lateness to class. Be helpful when you understand or have mastered a concept that others find difficult. Dress code violations will not be tolerated. I will check every period for dress code violations; any student in violation will be sent to the dean with a ticket. Disrespect and defiance will not be tolerated, nor will argumentation about policies and procedures. I will model how to approach an adult or authority figure about a difference of opinion.
  • Be prepared. Be an active participant in all class activities. Be curious. See honor code below for preparation for class and cheating.

The Honor Code

Each student is expected to perform all work, including classwork and homework. Even when working in a group, an individual assessment will be taken. Cheating on any assignment will result in the assignment being scored as a zero, including exams. A referral will be forwarded to the appropriate dean, and parents will be notified. In addition, the IB honor code specifies penalties for cheating, up to and including dismissal from the program. Electronic devices are to be kept turned off and out of sight during the school day unless being used such as an online exam. The appearance of cheating is as devastating as the act. Just do not cheat.


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