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updated 8/19/2018 @ 8:49pm

Lone Peak High School

Instructor: Mark Berrett

Room: 222

Phone: (801) 610-8810

Email: mberrett@alpinedistrict.org

Web: http://www.mrberrett.com

Dear Student and Family,

Welcome to Biology. I look forward to an enjoyable, educational year. Below you will find important information regarding this class.

Course Description: Biology is the study of life. During the school year we will be studying a wide variety of topics from the cellular level all the way up to how organisms interact and adapt within their environment. We will be completing many hands on activities, one (or more) of which will include a dissection.

Teacher Availability: Most every morning I will be in my classroom before 7:00 am for student consultations. I am very rarely available during lunches without prior arrangements. After school I am available until 2:45 pm (usually though I am here till 3:00 pm). If you need to come earlier or stay later please talk to me ahead of time so that I can adjust my schedule to make it work.

Text: The textbook we will be using is a great textbook and does an excellent job of presenting and explaining biological concepts. We will also be using the Utah Biology OER (open education resource) text book:

Biology: Miller, K. R., Levine, J. S. © 2010, Pearson Education, Inc.

Biology: OER. © 2018, Utah State Office of Education.

In years past we have found that more than 50% of students never take their textbooks home, and of those that do take them home many never use them. We as teachers have decided to keep a classroom set of textbooks. If you wish to have one at home, there will be some physical textbooks for checkout on a first-come, first-served basis through the book-depository/library. You may also optionally purchase the textbook for your iPad if you so choose (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/biology/id490038442?mt=13).

The Biology OER can be downloaded from the Utah State Office of Education website:


Materials: Students should come to class each day prepared to learn. Students should organize their material in a way that best helps them learn and STAY organized. If you like a 3-ring binder, use it. If you prefer folders, use them. Please come each day with a pen, pencil, and note taking paper. A calculator will be occasionally, but students are not required to have one. Colored pencils will be provided, but if you want to bring your own, great.

Dress Code: I enforce it. Please refer to the student handbook for a description of the handbook. Any students apparel that I perceive as violating dress code will be referred to the administration. The administration will be the final judge of dress code violations.

Electronic Devices: There is a time and place for all things. Part of life is learning the appropriateness of all actions. Electronic devices can be both beneficial to student life as well as a distraction. Please do not use your phones/iPods/music listening devices/computers in my class, particularly during lectures and activities. Many students keep their calendars on their phones or iPods, so the final 5 minutes or so of class will be set aside for calendaring time (not texting). Games, videos, twitter, instagram, snapchatting, and facebooking should not be done in my class. If I see electronic devices out, I will ask you to put them away. Saying “just a sec” is not an appropriate response if I ask you to put your device away. If I continually see a student’s electronic device out, I will refer them to the administration. Parents, please help your student by not texting them during class time, and by being patient if they do not respond immediately.

Hall Passes:Use them at your discretion. You don’t need to ask. Be quick. Time spent out of class means you are missing learning material. Only use once per class. I reserve the right to revoke hall pass privileges if its use is being abused.

Class Rules: Class rules are intended to help all students reach their potential. Please follow them. Failure to follow them may result in a loss of participation points, a call to parents, and/or a referral to the school administration. I reserve the right to modify these consequences depending upon the need and situation.

  3. No student leaves class until dismissed.
  4. Do not line up at the door.
  5. Use respectful and appropriate language. Profanity, vulgarity, and name calling is not allowed.
  6. Respect the classroom, materials, supplies, and specimens.
  7. The word “stupid” is not accepted in class, nor are other derogatory or demeaning words.
  8. Water is allowed. Food and gum are at the teacher’s discretion. Clean up after yourself.
  9. Students are responsible for their own work and actions.

Advisory time: Advisory time is provided during class to help students learn how to improve their grade. Each class period advisory time will be the final ten minutes of class.

Absences: Parents and students are responsible for the student being to school and ready to work. Parents are responsible for calling in and excusing any appropriate absences, while students are responsible for collecting any missing assignments. NO assignments or tests can be made up if the student’s absence is unexcused or truant. Any student leaving prior to the end of class bell will be marked truant. YES, 1 minute early is 1 minute before the bell rings to excuse you and will result in your student being marked truant. Students arriving after 15 minutes of class have passed will be marked as absent per school policy.

Tardies: Tardy students must sign in upon arrival. Failure to sign in may result in your attendance remaining marked as an Absence. On time is in your assigned seat. One foot/two feet inside the door is NOT on time. SITTING in your seat is on time. DO NOT announce to the world that you are “ON TIME” as you walk in the door as the bell rings. ON TIME IS IN YOUR ASSIGNED SEAT. Hint: If you enter the class as the bell rings or just a bit tardy, quickly AND quietly sit in your seat, I may not notice you. Hint #2: being late is my biggest source of irritation. Students arriving after 15 minutes of class have passed will be marked as absent per school policy.

Grading: Grades will be earned based upon the scale below. Your grade is determined by math. Skyward calculates your percentage (%) of points earned to the nearest hundredth of a percent. I do not curve the class. If everyone scores above a 92%, then all will receive an ‘A’. But if no one scores above a 92% then no one will earn an ‘A’. You will EARN the grade you receive. I DO NOT ROUND UP. There is no such thing as close enough. Begging, pleading, requests for extra credit, prior grade point averages, current grade point averages, and other such flimflam will not be used to improve your grade.

Grade Scale:

Biology 2018-2019

Tests: Tests are written displays of your knowledge/mastery of the material. They may consist of multiple choice, matching, vocabulary, short answer, long answer, or other types of questions. All tests will be closed book. Tests can be retaken once, but must be completed before the late work deadline.

Quizzes: Quizzes will be given regularly throughout the unit. They may be given online, as a take-home assignment, or in class. Quizzes can be retaken during flex time, or before or after school.

Participation: All students start with 0 participation points. Points may be taken away for violation of class rules, tardies, unexcused absences, and other actions that distract from the learning environment as determined by the teacher. Participation points can NOT be recovered.

Late Work: I will have late work deadlines posted in my class for each unit. All assignments turned in by the late work deadline will receive full points. Any work turned in after the late work deadline, will earn a maximum of 70% of the points possible.

Extra Credit: I do NOT offer extra credit. If you are not earning the grade you desire then you will need to make up quizzes, tests, and assignments.

Cheating: Any student caught cheating will receive a 0 score on the assignment and may be referred to the administration. Plagiarism is cheating. Having your phone out during the test (even if you are done and turned it in) is considered cheating.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It is best to email me any questions that you may have, as I am quicker to respond to emails than to phone calls.


Mark Berrett