The Disappearance of Biology

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Rachel Ruiz

The Disappearance of Biology

UACHS has seen its fair share of program eliminations since its opening. Yet, the school has never eliminated a required course before.

Before leaving the 2017-2018 term, students who were required to take science courses were being acquainted with the change in class sequences: sophomores would be taught Chemistry while juniors would be taught Biology.

However, when students returned to school this September, Biology made no appearance on any junior student schedules, leaving many confused and speculation arose regarding the course not returning.

Head of the science department and former biology teacher of 13 years, Rita Bassil, addressed the buzz surrounding the Biology program not returning by reassuring that the subject is still a required class.

“We had to match New Jersey’s new standards, sequence and curriculum.” said Bassil. “To transition to match said standards, both juniors and sophomores must take chemistry as both grade levels have already taken biology previously.”

Chemistry with Laboratory this year is being taught by Frederic Williams, who is the only science teacher who has remained in his previous role. Williams explained how both he and Bassil are teaching Chemistry with Laboratory to about 98 students; previously, the program was limited to 49 students.

“The program has been scheduled such a way that it is going to be taught to juniors, all required courses will continue but in an order we are not used to,” said Williams.

Students are not only the ones facing changes. Kenneth Dorman who was previously UACHS’ physical science teacher is now known as the Algebra Physics teacher. Bassil and Dorman both have had to adjust to the changes.

“Dorman and Bassil both took certification courses throughout the summer to be able to  teach this years altered courses,” said Williams.

Despite all these changes, the science department has mutually expressed their excitement for the next school term with high hopes of converting the biology program into a Laboratory course alongside the current Chemistry course.


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