•                                    Dr. Robert Scavetta                                          email: robert.scavetta@dvusd.org

    Biology - Pathways


    Course Description:

    This course exposes students to the fundamental concepts of biology.


    Course Standards:

    By the time the student completes the course of study he or she will be able to:

    1) Develop and use models for the transfer or sharing of electrons to predict the formation of ions,molecules, and compounds in both natural and synthetic processes.

    2) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate about the positive and negative ethical, social, economic, and political implications of human activity on the biodiversity of an ecosystem.

    3) Develop and use models that show how changes in the transfer of matter and energy within an ecosystem and interactions between species may affect organisms and their environment.

    4) Ask questions, plan, and carry out investigations to explore the cause and effect relationship between reaction rate factors.

    5) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate data showing the relationship of photosynthesis and cellular respiration; flow of energy and cycling of matter.

    6) Construct an explanation of how the process of sexual reproduction contributes to genetic variation.

    7) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate evidence that describes how changes in frequency of inherited traits in a population can lead to biological diversity.

    8) Gather, evaluate, and communicate multiple lines of empirical evidence to explain the mechanisms of biological evolution.

    9) Engage in argument from evidence that the net change of energy in a system is always equal to the total energy exchanged between the system and the surroundings.

    10) Engage in argument from evidence that changes in environmental conditions or human interventions may change species diversity in an ecosystem.

    11) Ask questions and/or make predictions based on observations and evidence to demonstrate how cellular organization, structure, and function allow organisms to maintain homeostasis.

    12) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the causes and implications of DNA mutation.

    13) Construct an explanation for how cellular division (mitosis) is the process by which organisms grow and maintain complex, interconnected systems.

    14) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate the ethical, social, economic and/or political implications of the detection and treatment of abnormal cell function.

    15) Engage in argument from evidence regarding the ethical, social, economic, and/or political implications of a current genetic technology.

    16) Engage in argument from evidence regarding the ethical, social, economic, and/or political benefits and liabilities of energy usage and transfer.

    17) Engage in arguments from evidence about the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, changes in climate, and human activity and how they influence each other.

    18) Engage in argument from evidence regarding the ethical, social, economic, and/or political implications of a current genetic technology.


    Classroom Expectations: In addition to strictly following the DVUSD "Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, I expect the following to occur in my classroom:

    1. Be There – It is important that you are in class regularly and on time. Not only should you physically be in class but also mentally. Students should take advantage of time with the instructor to pay attention and ask questions as needed. Make sure you come prepared for class with supplies and assignments done such as notes, reading, pre-lab etc. If you are not prepared for class you may not be able to participate in the activity that day which will impact your success in class.

    2. Choose your attitude – You have no control over the things that other people do. You only have control over your reactions. Make a conscious effort to have a positive attitude. It is not always easy but if you are aware that only you can control your mood every day can be a great day.

    3. No food or drinks in the classroom – We might be using substances that may contaminate what you put in your mouth. This is for your own health and safety.

    4. Listen and participate- A lot of the learning for this class takes place when I am talking with you or you are collaborating in your groups! So, please be sure to truly and actively listen and when appropriate, participate.

    5. Don’t procrastinate- If you put your work off it will continue to build up and will one day become overwhelming. Save your time and do it on time.

    6. Get Additional Help (tutoring) ASAP: In addition to the Academic Prep times built into our schedule each week, additional assistance/tutoring is provided on a weekly basis both by MRHS and individually by me. My weekly availability will be posted in the classroom at the start of each week. I will demonstrate to the students how to find availability each week. I also encourage your son/daughter to write down my availability each week in their planner so that you too are aware of my weekly availability.


    Grading: Grades will be composed of 2 areas: class assessments (tests, pop quizzes & long term projects), and assignments (homework, labs and class work). Assessments make up 70% of the student’s total grade and assignments make up 30%.. The percentages will be rounded to the nearest whole number, a 79.5% will be rounded to an 80% and a 79.4% will be rounded to a 79%.


    Grading Scale:

     90% – 100% = A

     80% – 89% = B

     70% – 79% = C

     60% – 69% = D

    0% – 59% = F


    Report Cards: In an effort to conserve resources and harness the capacity of our electronic grade reporting program (PowerSchool) district schools will no longer print hard copies of report cards unless requested by individual parents. To request a hard copy of your student’s report card, please contact the front office at 623-376-3000. To receive your PowerSchool login, please stop into the office with a valid photo ID.


    Power Schools On-line Access: Grades and attendance may be accessed 24 hours a day online with your Power School access code. Access codes are available in the Counseling Office or Front Desk Monday – Friday 7:00 AM– 3:30 PM. You may check student progress regularly on the PowerSchool site using the same login for one or more students. For Mountain Ridge parents/guardians without home computer access, a computer with guest log-in capability is available in the Counseling Conference Room.


    Academic Assistance/Office Hours: In addition to the Academic Prep times built into our schedule each week, additional assistance/tutoring is provided on a weekly basis both by BGHS and individually by instructors. These office hours will be posted in my classroom, website, and/or Canvas at the start of each week. I will demonstrate to the students how to find my availability each week.


    Policies and Procedures

    • Homework assignments on paper are collected at the beginning of class. A majority of the assignments in this course will be submitted digitally via Canvas. Those assignments will be due by 7:30am on the due date. Assignments are not accepted via email, canvas message, remind or any other method, they must be submitted to Canvas for credit.

    • All assignments are given a due date, and a zero is filled in once the due date is passed. Although assignments can be turned in after that date the point of assignments/homework/labs and projects are to expose students to content and help them obtain mastery of that content through timely practice so that they are successful on high stakes final exams. Not completing assignments as assigned and submitting them late, hurts the student’s abilities to achieve mastery as they may go into assessments without feedback and practice. Having late work also causes students to have to play "catch up" which causes additional stress on the student. 

    • Communication is very important in this class and every other. The primary mode of communication for this class is Canvas Inbox and should be used when contacting your teacher. It is also a good idea to remember when your teacher is likely able to return your messages. Do not wait until the weekend to reach out with a question that you need answered promptly, as they may not see your message until Monday morning. Likewise, do not message late at night because you will not receive a response until the next day. Communicating efficiently and promptly with your instructor is a key component to your success in this class.

    • For all district summative assessments, students will be allowed one retake per assessment as long as the student was present and took the original exam. No retake is available for students who miss the scheduled/announced exam and are taking a make-up test. (No retest for a make-up test) After the original, announced exam students will have up to 1 week after scores are announced to complete a re-take.

    • Students who are absent the day before a scheduled/announced assessment are expected to take the assessment as scheduled/announced the following day.

    • Use of supplemental resources is not allowed on any assessments.

    • If a student is absent on a scheduled/announced exam day, multiple retest options are announced and occur during AcaPrep or afterschool. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the teacher as to which day they will attend. If a student commits to an appointment and does not come in, or notify in advance, he or she will lose the opportunity of making up that assessment.

    • On occasion, in order to re-enforce content mastery, PG and PG-13 science based video clips and science based instructional videos will be shown.


    Absences: After an absence, a student has one school day for each day missed to make up work/tests, regardless of the number of days absent. A student can not miss 3 days on Pathways.  Upon the 3rd day missed, they will be automatically withdrawn from the program.


    Late Assignments Policy: Barry Goldwater students have within the current unit of study to turn in assigned work for full credit, as determined by the teacher, level, and department on campus. The length of the unit of study and due dates will be clearly communicated to students by the teacher. Any assignment less than a week old at the end of a unit will have a one-day submission period.


    Classwork Policy: In-class assignments may be due by the end of the class period.


    Plagiarism and Cheating: Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s work and reporting it as your own, or the giving of your work to another student to use as their own. Both instances are considered cheating and will not be tolerated. Any assignments that are plagiarized, or copied will not be accepted and the student using the copied work as well as the original author of the work (if the cheating is “peer to peer”) will both receive a zero for the assignment and may both face additional consequences at the school level in accordance with the BGHS Student Handbook. There are also strict “no talking” and “no technology access” during all assessments (tests, quizzes and final exam). Any violation of these policies, regardless of the reasons/motives will result in the assessment being confiscated and a score of zero entered into the grade-book on the assessment. In addition, consequences at the school level may also occur in accordance with the BGHS Student handbook.


    Daily Device Use (iPads): Students should come to school with their iPads charged and ready to use in each class every day. Devices may not be used to record or take photos of other people without their consent. Consequences for classroom disruptions and misuse of devices will follow a progressive discipline model, beginning with a phone call home and progressing to office referrals for repeated or more serious offenses. See the Student Rights and Responsibilities consequence chart in the handbook for more specific descriptions of infractions and consequences.


    BGHS Laboratory Breakage Policy: The Barry Goldwater Science Department has a policy regarding the damage or breakage of laboratory equipment. In the event a student breaks any laboratory materials, that student will be responsible for paying the replacement cost of each item. A complete list of all laboratory materials and their costs are posted in each classroom. The students are taught proper procedures and laboratory etiquette to ensure the safety of our students during lab activities. This policy helps hold the students accountable for their actions and reinforces careful laboratory procedures.


    Suggested Materials: Some sort of paper in an organized binder for which notes can be written and kept for frequent reference. A way to organize and keep handouts, pen and pencil and a basic function calculator are essential materials to have access to. If you have any issues obtaining these materials, contact me immediately.

    The Deer Valley Unified School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. For any inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies contact the DVUSD District Office, 20402 N 15th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85027 (6285027 (623) 445-500


    This syllabus is subject to change. Any changes will be announced using the LMS system.



    Sign and submit this page to Canvas.


    By signing below, I (parent/guardian and student) acknowledge that:


    • I have read and understood the guidelines listed in the syllabus. I know the syllabus is subject to modification as determined by the instructor.

    • I will follow all safety guidelines in the class and lab. I realize not following lab safety guidelines will result in being removed from the lab and earning a zero for the assignment and potentially having future lab privileges revoked.

    • I realize I will need to pay for any materials I break/misuse. I understand a passing letter grade CANNOT be given until all materials, books, etc. are returned and/or fines paid.

    • Because this is a biology class, I realize that topics such as diseases, predator-prey relationships, anatomy, physiology, reproduction, cancer, life, death, genetics, environmental issues, and many other topics will be discussed and seen in lectures, slides, videos (including PG-13), guest speakers, labs, etc.

    • I understand the Daily Electronic Devices Use. I am aware of the potential consequences of misuse as mentioned in the syllabus.


    _______ _____________________________ ____________________________

    Date       Student name (print)                            Student Signature

    _______ _____________________________ ____________________________

    Date       Parent name (print)                            Parent Signature



    Sign up for Canvas alerts!

    I will send these out frequently for missing assignments, upcoming events, test retakes, and reminders about class activities.  Any information entered into Canvas will not be visible by me, but will help keep you in the loop about class events.

    1) Log in to dvusd.instructure.com using your students log-in. This should be the website and not the app. Feel free to email me if you don’t know what that is.

    2) In the upper right click on the icon that says account when hovered over.

    3) Click Settings – You may need to log in again with the same log on.

    On the far right, add email addresses or cell phone numbers. I will not be able to access this information, only Canvas will use it to send notifications.

    5) On the far left, click Notifications.

    6) Canvas can go a little overboard with these, so to not get alert fatigue I recommend you turn them all to X Do not send me anything expect for these items:

    a) Submission Comment – This will tell you when I leave feedback on your students’ work.

    b) Added To Conversation & Conversation Message – This will let you know when I send a message about missing work or updates to your student.

    c) Announcement – Will let you know if an announcement is posted in the class, this is usually about test re-takes or make-ups.

    d) Grades – This will tell you something was graded and gives you the option of also sending the score for the assignment.