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David Kaplan


Instructor: David Kaplan

Classroom: 309 – Periods 1,2,6,7             Office: 309

Office Hours: Before & After School per appointment

Email: dbkaplan@cps.edu

Website: http://www.vonsteuben.org/apps/classes


Biology is the science of life and living organisms. It ranges in scale from the molecular, through cells and organisms, to ecosystems and the whole biosphere! In this course, we will explore the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms. We will cover a broad range of topics, including scientific methods, cell processes, genetics, evolution and ecology. 


Next Generation Science Standards Units - during the course of each unit specific Learning Objectives will be shared with students

·       Structure and Function
·       Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems
·       Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
·       Inheritance and Variations of Traits
·       Natural Selection and Evolution


Grading Scale     

100-90 = A          

89-80 = B       

79-70 = C       

69-60 = D     

59-0 = F              

Grade Categories

Your grade will be comprised of the following components, which are weighted accordingly:

35% = Content Quizzes

25% = Assignments

10% = Midterm

15% = Final

15% = Science Fair


Parental support is one of the keys to student success. Please keep up with your child’s progress and attendance via ASPEN and follow the class on our Google Classroom page which your student will be joining as their first assignment. Please feel free to contact me for any reason by email at dbkaplan@cps.edu.  


Cell Phones

·       All students will be given a roster number that will match the sleeve in the classroom cell phone holder. When students enter they will immediately (before they sit down) place their cell phones in the proper sleeve. At the end of the lesson and when given permission one student per group will retrieve all the phones. Once a verbal confirmation is given to the teacher that all phones have been returned class will be dismissed.

Entering the Classroom

Students must be in their assigned seat in when the bell rings. Failure to consistently do this will result in being asked to leave the room and get a tardy slip. Students are then expected to take out their Monthly Calendar, Notebook, and Writing Utensil and immediately begin on the Bell Work.

Tardy to Class

·       A student who is not physically inside the classroom when the bell rings must either get a tardy slip or have a pass from the prior period teacher to enter.

Bathroom Passes

·       Students will be expected to use the bathroom facilities during the passing periods or lunch. Emergencies do occur and when that is the case the Pass in the back of the Student Agenda will allow you to leave the classroom. The pass must be completely filled out before you ask for the Teacher’s Signature. Please do not interrupt a lesson and wait for an appropriate time to ask to use the facilities.

Ending Class

·       Students will leave the classroom when dismissed by the teacher, not by the bell.


·       Excused Absences: You are held accountable for what you miss. It is your responsibility to see the teacher the day you return about what you missed, THIS INCLUDES ASSESSMENTS.  You must complete missing work in time frame designated by the teacher.

·       Unexcused Absences: An absence is unexcused if a student cuts or is so tardy that he/she misses class. Cutting class will affect your grade negatively.  Students will NOT be allowed to make up work from an unexcused absence. A note must be on file with the attendance office for an absence to be excused.


·       All assignments must be handed in when collected by the teacher and anything after is considered late.

Late Work Policy

·       Late Assignments can only be made up by attending PAWS and completing the Article Activity Handout. A student can earn up to 60% for doing the Article Activity and up to 80% if the original is fully completed and turned in along with an Article Activity.

PAWS (Positive Academic Work Session)

·       After school there is tutoring available in various rooms throughout the building. You may go for subject specific help or simply utilize the school space to complete your homework before you leave for the day. The sessions are from 3 pm to 4 pm on Monday through Thursday and will begin approximately 3 weeks into the school year. If you plan to attend for help in Biology that will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays in room 315.

Bonus Points

·       In some cases you may want an opportunity to improve your grades through extra effort. Every week on Tuesday or Thursday in PAWS there will be activities that will be supplementary to the content we are covering. You must finish the activity during PAWS to earn credit. You must also get the attending teachers signature and then hold on to the assignment until collected later in the quarter.

·       During the course of the year there will also be school activities like Friends of Chicago River Clean Up, IIT Engineering Week, School Plays, Von Steuben Music Concerts, etc. that attending along with a written reflection will earn you Bonus Points.

·       None of the above activities is a requirement and are bonus opportunities. This is also to help those that are putting forth full effort and not in lieu of doing assignments. Bonus Points can be disallowed if assignments are missing.