August 26, 2019
I am looking forward to working with your child in Honors Biology 2. I will strive to challenge your child to achieve his/her potential, to pass on my passion for the subject matter, and to get to know your child’s interests outside of the classroom. I believe that it is important to maintain open lines of communication with parents/guardians in order to ensure the success of students in the classroom. Thus, I want to introduce myself and to provide an overview of Honors Biology 2.
Honors Biology 2 is a full year elective course designed for students interested in continuing their study of the biological sciences. This course is conducted in partnership with the Brain Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. The theme throughout the year will be neurological disease with an emphasis on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Authentic laboratory research and field experiences are integral aspects of this course (including a trip to the Brain Research Center). Throughout the course, students will participate in small groups to help tackle research questions posed by our partner researchers at Pitt, to explore special topics in the field of neuroscience, and to participate in literary circles to discuss books written by ALS patients and their families. My goal is for students to gain an understanding of neuroscience through a variety of learning activities. Participation in classroom activities and completion of homework assignments are expected. Regardless of whether or not a formal homework assignment is given, it is highly recommended that your child review his/her notes every night. Marking period grades will be determined using a weighted system based on performance on summative assessments (60%), homework (15%), and other (25%). The “other” category includes laboratory assignments, projects, class activities, etc. The final grade for the course combines the four marking periods (20% each), the midterm exam (10%), and the final exam (10%). Please use SKYWARD to track your child’s progress. After marking an assignment, I will enter grades on SKYWARD. Please refer to the Honors Biology 2 course syllabus for more in-depth information regarding course material, grading policies, and class expectations.
Again, I am excited to have your child in class this year. I have high expectations for both my students and myself. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s progress in ecology class via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (610-889-1900 ext: 22089).
Christina S. Medvec