Course Syllabus

Biology Syllabus

Mr. Nicholas Gaetano, F109


Phone: (704) 292-7662 

County website: 

Course Description: Biology is the study of Life. High school biology is an introduction to life science. Like any introductory course, we will cover the key areas in biology such as Biomolecules, cell, and genetics, to name a few. 

                  What to Expect:

  1. Nightly review/study of the notes from class is a necessity to be successful in the course.
  2. Tutoring will be available, as needed.
  3. I send home progress reports to every student every three weeks. 

End-of-Course Exam: Biology is required to graduate and receive a diploma from the state of North Carolina. ALL students are expected to complete their work, study nightly(~10minutes), attend tutoring when needed, and develop strong study habits in Biology from day #1. The Biology EOC exam will count as 25% of your final grade. The remaining 75% of your grade will come from your three six-week grades.

Goals and Objectives

You can follow the links below for a detailed outline of the state standards in biology and the county pacing guide.

 NC State Standards in Biology (Links to an external site.) 

Supply List:

  • #2 Pencils & Blue/black pens
  • Colored Pencils (not mandatory, but helpful)
  • Chromebook every day

Grade Calculation:

    • 25% for summative tests
    • 25% for “other” assessments (i.e. daily quizzes/performance-based assessments)
    • 50% for assignments/participation

Resources: My canvas page, biology textbook & virtual book, EmpowerED Family Portal” link (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.), Powerschool parent portal and student portal for grades. 

Office hours:   Tuesday & Thursday 3:00- 3:30 

Late assignments:

 If a student is absent, they will have three days to make up the assignment, after the three days it will be considered late. All Late assignments will have 30 points taken off. Late assignments will not be excepted after the unit test.


Attendance is crucial, as success in topics is built on an understanding of previous topics! Any makeup work is your responsibility, there are too many students to keep track of missing assignments. This course has a lot of content that must be covered in a short period. If a student has excessive absences, they will fall behind very quickly.  


  • RESPECT!! Respect is an encompassing term that includes being on time, paying attention in class, the discretion of when to talk throughout the period, and treating your teacher, classmates, and yourself in a respectful manner.
  • Disrespect will not be tolerated in my classroom
  • NO electronic devices. If I see any electronic devices, I will collect them. We use great technology in our course, but students may only use the technology provided by the teacher.
  • Follow all policies and procedures as outlined by the PRHS handbook.

Not following the rules?

  1. Warning
  2. Call home
  3. Disciplinary Referral

Course Outline 

 Intro to science

  1. Basic science skills
  2. Scientific method
  3. Controlled experiment
  4. Graphing
  5. Characteristics of life


  1. Intro to ecology
  2. Flow of energy and matter
  3. Population ecology
  4. Human impact

 Organic chemistry

  1. Basic chemistry
  2. Biomolecules
  3. Enzymes

 Cell Biology

  1. Intro to cells
  2. Stem cells
  3. Organelles
  4. Cell membrane and transport

 Bioenergetics photosynthesis and cell respiration

  1. ATP
  2. Photosynthesis
  3. Cell Respiration


Cell Replication

  1. Asexual reproduction & Mitosis notes
  2. Basics of Cancer
  3. Meiosis notes
  4. Mistakes in meiosis and karyotyping notes


Molecular basis for heredity

  1. DNA & RNA structure
  2. DNA Replication
  3. Protein synthesis
  4. Transcription & Translation
  5. Mutations



  1. Mendel’s genetics
  2. Monohybrid, Dihybrid, and probability
  3. Incomplete & codominance notes
  4. Multiple Alleles
  5. Sex-linked traits
  6. Pedigree and human genetic disorder


Biotechnology and Bioethics

  1. Biotechnology and genetic engineering
  2. DNA Technology and crime
  3. Bioethics 



  1. History of life
  2. Mechanisms of evolution
  3. Evolution by natural selection
  4. Speciation  
  5. Evidence of evolution


Classification & kingdoms

  1. Taxonomy
  2. Virus& Bacteria
  3. Protist & fungi
  4. Plants
  5. Animal
  6. Animal behavior

Online Learning Platform: “Canvas: The majority of assignments not completed on paper must be submitted on our learning platform, Canvas. Assignments can be submitted in a variety of ways including, uploading files, typing into text boxes, and sharing Google documents/presentations. Students will be shown how to submit assignments on Canvas as needed. Individual assignments will indicate which method of submission on Canvas is expected. If students need a refresher or have questions, they can access the Canvas Student guidelines to an external site. Links to an external site. for specific instructions. It is the student's responsibility to ensure assignments are submitted on time and to contact the instructor if there is a problem. Please note that student activity is logged while in Canvas so instructors will be able to see if the student opened the assignment if there was any activity including a log of student activities during online tests and quizzes. Students are not allowed to leave the testing window during assessments. Doing so is considered cheating and will be handled as outlined in the Porter Ridge HS handbook.

NOTICE: Although many assignments are submitted and graded in our learning platform, Canvas, the "final" grades shown may not be properly weighted and do not contain assignments that were not graded in Canvas. For the student's official grades, please continue to access the parent portal through Powerschool. Login information should be the same as last year. If you need assistance accessing the parent portal, please contact the school.”