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Home > The Courses > Course Home Pages > Biology: Handling Block Schedules and Heavy Teaching Loads

Biology: Handling Block Schedules and Heavy Teaching Loads

Excerpts from the AP Biology Teachers' Discussion Group

Tip: "With the 24 credits needed to graduate from a Texas high school, our legislature has practically mandated block scheduling. My school went to the (A/B) block about four or five years ago. As a science teacher, I love it because it allows sufficient time to do even the most involved lab. However, the loss of student contact time did bother me somewhat. I have dealt with it in my AP class by photocopying all of the notes and handing them out to the students. I assign reading in the text and recommend that the students take notes about what they read. Class time is spent explaining that aspect of the assignment that is unclear to the student.

The class is run along the lines of a college seminar course, rather informally. I felt that there was not enough time in the year to rehash the material that the students understood well, and that our time together would be best spent in discussing the material they didn't understand. It is not ideal, but it gives the students practice in the kind of independent study skills that they will need in a year or two when they get to college. Since I am the only Pre-AP® Biology teacher as well as the only AP Biology teacher in our school, I pretty much know all of the students who take my AP class. There are the occasional newcomers, but most of my students are taking my class for the second year (usually in a row). I can also control the amount of material covered in each class. That means I can go into more depth in the Pre-AP course and then gloss over that material in the AP course, knowing that most of the students have already covered it. Any student having trouble can come see me for extra help. I hope this gives you some ideas about how to deal with block scheduling."
-- Jo Ann Burman, Andress High School, El Paso, Texas. 3/20/99

Tip: "Regarding another possible solution for teaching AP under a block schedule system: We are using a 4x4 block schedule. All AP courses are treated as two courses. Example: Intro to AP Biology and then AP Biology. The AP course therefore runs for the entire year with 84 minutes per day. All of our AP courses are treated the same, whether they are science, math, English, or history courses."
-- Mark Stephansky, Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, Whitman, Massachusetts. 3/21/99

Tip: "One problem many new (and old!) AP teachers grapple with is finding enough time for the course work (especially with the new craze of 'block scheduling,' which results in loss of many contact hours).... Working on the AP Teacher's Guide, I am trying to mention some of the most successful ways currently in use to gain precious minutes for class.... Here are a few ideas we are thinking of including; we would appreciate any other solutions you have found helpful!
  • Require that students do readings and/or cover certain topics on their own over the summer preceding enrollment in AP Biology.
  • Cover some less difficult topics via packets outside of class time. One AP subject Teacher's Guide actually extols the practice of making students responsible for some subjects that will never be covered in class but will be covered on the test because it is 'what they will face in college.'
  • Schedule the AP class first or last in the school day and require students to attend class 30 minutes earlier or later than normal classes.
  • Require students on the alternate A/B block schedule to meet for 30 minutes before school on the non-class days.
  • If activity period is scheduled into the school day, require that AP Biology students be enrolled in the class prior to it; students stay through that time most days.
  • Require that students attend three-hour lab sessions every other Saturday morning or two evenings a month (some schools do this through their local university for college lab credit).
  • Do all review for the AP test outside of class time (i.e., after school or at night).
  • Use some states' potential granting of one-and-a-half credits for AP courses to obtain an additional time slot within the normal schedule.
  • Pair AP Biology with another credited science course (such as anatomy and physiology or lab preparatory science) to obtain two periods for class.
  • Use vertical teaming to work very carefully with Biology 1 teachers so that some topics are completely covered in the introductory course and not repeated in AP."
-- Carolyn Schofield, Robert E. Lee High School Tyler, Texas. 4/15/99

Question: "Help! My administration is changing schedules to 40-minute classes and wants me to do AP in that time frame."

Answer 1: "Have you checked the Acorn book? There are guidelines for how many contact hours an introductory college-level course requires. An average high school AP course has on the order of three 45-minute classes a week and two that are at least one hour. My course is right at that length. I've taught workshops to those who have as little as 40 minutes a day and others who had as much as 90 minutes a day; that seems to be the range. Refer your administrators to the appropriate section in the Acorn book, if you want ammunition. I cannot imagine doing it in 40 minutes a day!"
-- Barbara Beitch, Hamden Hall Country Day School, Hamden, Connecticut. 4/18/99

Answer 2: "I am lucky enough to have 90 minutes two days a week, and 45 minutes three days a week for my AP class. However, administration scheduled them in a study hall with me for the other 45 minutes on the three days, so that I see the students 90 minutes every day. This gives me a great deal of flexibility, since I can do makeup work with them, go over tests, or even change lab days. Some weeks when we counted drosophila we used 90 minutes every day. It has helped immensely. When we go to a 4x4 block schedule the year after next, I am hoping to be scheduled for both semesters, using the period right after the exam for field studies and seminars in biology."
-- Eloise Farmer, Torrington High School, Torrington, Connecticut. 4/18/99

Question: "I will have what most people agree is almost an ideal teaching situation. We will be on a 4x4 block schedule and I will have my AP Biology class 90 minutes a day for the entire school year. How do I make the best use of 90 minutes every day? I figure 30 to 45 minutes of discussion/lecture will be pressing attention spans to the limits."

Answer 1: "What a luxury -- 90 minutes a day for an entire year. I also teach on the 4x4 block schedule and have done so for about five years. However, our AP courses meet for 84 minutes in semester one and 42 minutes in semester two. I can share some ideas with you. I do lecture most of the time, but in terms of the labs, it is ideal. The best situation is to have the class as the last two blocks of the day, so the kids can stay until the lab is complete. I use the kits mostly, so there are natural stopping places when you need more than 90 minutes. I try to do lots of cooperative assignments, class presentations, and labs when appropriate in the curriculum, and I try to vary the lessons from day to day. The students like the class presentations and cooperative work the best. I do find that they need work on writing essays, so I try to give them weekly essay assignments. Sometimes I have them do peer editing as well. When the computers are available, I try to incorporate using the Internet for research to enhance what I am covering in class."
-- Bonnie Polan , Beverly High School, Beverly, Massachusetts. 7/20/99

Answer 2: "This will be my first year teaching AP Biology, and I must admit, I am somewhat unsure of what will happen. We are on a modified block schedule at PHS. There are six classes during the year, as usual. But the kids have all the periods on Mondays, at 50 minutes for each period. Tuesdays and Thursdays, they go to periods one, three, and five for 100 minutes each. Wednesdays and Fridays, they go to two, four, and six for the same length of time.

Confusing? Absolutely! What this means is that they have each class the usual 250 minutes a week, but broken up into long and short classes. Don't even ask me what happens when there is a Friday holiday or planning day. The entire schedule has to be modified for the week. Whew! The upside to this is that as science teachers we do have really long periods twice each week in which to do labs or projects. That's plenty of time to get stuff done.

You absolutely must vary your pace and change tacks several times during the period when there is no lab to occupy the kids. I do a beginning 'warm up' activity as they get settled. Then we do lecture, group work, drawing assignments, short videos, and silent reading, followed by discussion, current affairs, and anything that fits in with the topic du jour. You get into a rhythm pretty quickly. I pity the algebra and English teachers! Would you want to do quadratic equations for 100 minutes?

Our schedule is not the best. I, and many of my colleagues, would like to be on a true '4x4' block such as yours. If we are out a day and make up sub plans, we almost have to teach the sub plans to our other classes so one group won't be so far (100 minutes worth) ahead of the other sections of that class. It's frustrating. If a kid misses a day, he or she really can miss out on a lot of material. Oh, well. Teachers must be flexible."
-- Diana Latta, Palatka High School, Palatka, Florida. 7/20/99

Tip: "We do double blocking for the AP science classes. Actually we give the kids back two half-blocks a week for makeup or study. So we see them for about 360 minutes per week for the full year. It makes a big difference in the AP Exam grades."
-- Bruce Faitsch, Guilford High School, Guilford, Connecticut. 11/3/99.

Tip: "When we were forced to go to the accelerated block system, the AP science teachers all worked on ways to get more time for the kids. Currently, our chemistry and physics are taught pre-AP in the fall block, and with AP in the spring block so students don't need all the review before they tackle subjects in-depth.... Plus, they have AP just before the exam. In AP Biology, I lobbied for the one-and-a-half credit course the State of Texas allows, and we added one-half credit of Anatomy and Physiology (since, during organ systems, we cover so much of it anyway). So I get to keep the kids all year.

It has been wonderful, and I would feel guilty were it not for the fact that football, band, and drill team also get them both terms. (There is something very sad and scary about systems that let a student graduate from high school with one-fourth of his or her whole career being spent in a single extracurricular class.)"
-- Carolyn Schofield, Robert E. Lee High School, Tyler, Texas. 11/4/99

Tip: "This is my first year teaching AP Biology and I am sort of groping my way almost blindly, with lots of help and support from this list. One thing that makes finding my way easier is the small class I have (seven students) and the fact that our school is on what is called 'extended periods.' My AP class is fifth period and we have enough time to do a lab, working out most of the bugs, and working together to learn what we are supposed to be doing. Twice a week I have them for the last 100 minutes of the day and I love it.

My only other prep is Zoology, with a total of about 75 students in three classes. I have planning fourth period and I tutor in a computer lab during second period. It's not too bad, but I know it will not be the same next year. We are 60 minutes away from the University of Florida and a doctor there has offered to take us through the electrophoresis lab and any others we want them to set up for us. I advise anyone out there to contact their local university and check into the same sort of service. "
-- Diana L. Latta, Palatka High School, Palatka, Florida. 11/4/99

Tip: "We use our local community college, Montgomery College, as a model for figuring out how much time to allow for teaching AP or dual-credit classes. College science classes meet six hours a week for 16 weeks, a total of 96 classroom hours. We are on an alternating block schedule with 90-minute classes that meet five times in two weeks -- an average of 3 hours and 45 minutes per week. Some arithmetic yields the conclusion that we need about 26 weeks to clock 96 classroom hours. We need to allow some extra time for high school activities like pep rallies and state-mandated achievement tests. Our semesters are 18 weeks long, so our school made the decision to make classes that are a semester long at college run a full-year at high school. We have some time to cover some topics in more detail, do a research project, and so on. Your decision might be different if you have more classroom hours per week."
-- Alexa Noble, Oak Ridge High School, Conroe, Texas. 2/8/00

Tip: "I teach at a private, college preparatory school with an enrollment of approximately 800 students. We have a seven-period rotating schedule. The 'normal' teaching load for high school faculty is five classes, and each class meets for four 55-minute periods per week. In terms of contact hours with students per week, these teachers have 20 contact hours out of the total 28 hours in our schedule. However, science classes meet six periods per week instead of four. Teaching three classes for us is equivalent to 4.5 periods, and teaching four classes is equivalent to teaching six periods. Currently, science teachers are scheduled to teach three classes one semester and four classes the other semester to try to equalize the load. During the 'heavy' semester we put in a total of 24 contact hours per week."
-- Andrea Allio Prybylski, Westminster Schools, Atlanta, Georgia. 2/10/00

Tip: "We have the same 20-hour week teaching load at this school -- an independent girls prep school. However, all science classes have five periods and some have six, while English, math, history, and the like have four sections a week. They teach five sections that meet four times per week. We teach four sections which meet five or six times per week. We just accept 21 or 22 hours per week as a normal load for science because we are so grateful for the double period lab while the rest of the school is screaming for an extra period a week. We figure our teaching the extra one or two periods a week is offset by the fewer students we have because we have four sections instead of five. We would never dream of asking for any reduction in our teaching load; the school would love for us to give up labs and free up the scheduling. They would answer our complaints in a heartbeat by cutting us back to four meetings per week and giving us five sections. That would be cheaper, easier, and more convenient. So we are silent and uncomplaining about our unpaid teaching overload. Four sections instead of five is wonderful when we are grading papers!"
-- Charlotte Freeman, Girls Preparatory School, Chattanooga, Tennessee. 2/15/00

Tip: "Sorry, but we are on the A/B block and do not like it for instructional reasons. On the regular schedule, we saw the students five hours a week. Now we see them three hours one week and four-and-a-half hours the next, less than that when you take out time for assemblies, TAAS testing, and other activities. (Last Friday, we saw the morning B day students, and because of TAAS this week in the mornings, we will not see them again until next Monday!) The sophomores especially seem to suffer because they have a hard time remembering what happened last Thursday on the next Tuesday if you have a Monday in-service day or holiday."
-- Glenda J. McDowell, Permian High School, Odessa, Texas. 2/23/00

Question: "Recently our school has been debating two subjects with a group of parents: One, is it better for students to be allowed to keep all the tests that they write in school in order to review better for final exams? And two, does the teachers' need to have some unseen questions available to test students require keeping all students' tests after they've been marked and returned for student perusal during class time? What do you do with your senior students and their tests? Do you allow them to keep all the tests they write for you, or none of them, or some of them? What is the best educational decision?"

Answer 1: "I return the tests to my students (at all levels) and go over them, then I collect them again. At exam time I return them as a study aid, but take them back as part of their exam. I tell them they won't get my 'fudge factor' points without returning their old tests. There are just so many ways you can diagram and graph concepts, and I don't want to reinvent the wheel every year on good essays or data sets. I have also found that students who misplace tests that I let them keep want to run copies of other student's tests. Then there are multiple copies of old tests out there. Maybe I'm just lazy, but with three different levels of biology to teach and my other duties, I can't make completely new tests each year. I do not give the same tests year after year, but some things will be similar. I believe it is your preference."
-- Bobbie Hinson, Providence Day School, Charlotte, North Carolina. 4/12/00

Answer 2: "I keep my tests and exams -- the multiple choice portions -- on file and return all essay, free response, short answer tests, and quizzes to students. I do that to prevent test banks from building up over the years (similar to what happens at colleges). If I have to recreate every test every year they get harder and harder as my supply of thoughts for good questions dwindles and the test manual questions get used up. I never use the exact same questions 100 percent the next year.

What I do is run an analysis on the questions and do not reuse the ones 100 percent of the students missed. (I often move them to an extra credit section at the end of the test). I eliminate some of the ones 100 percent get correct. After 23 years of teaching AP Biology I can make out a fairly good, mistake-free test using those old tests as starting points. I do know that siblings and friends pass down notes and tips to the next year's classes. If they had the tests they would pass them down, too. If I used the same questions, those (next) kids would have unfair advantage.

But my main reason for not wanting them to keep old tests is that they study them before an exam and as soon as mastery is achieved, they quit studying. I tell my students I make a deliberate effort not to ask the same questions on exams because I want them to study notes and texts, and learn what they missed the first time. After a period of time they get used to not having that old test as a security blanket. I do allow them to come to the room and review the tests in their free time if they wish."
-- Charlotte Freeman, Girls Preparatory School, Chattanooga, Tennessee. 4/12/00

Answer 3: "In my classes, all students keep all tests (and labs) in a three-ring binder. They can check this binder out for review for final exams, but return it to me. They are not allowed to take the binder home at the end of the year. This works tremendously well on all levels. They stay more organized, they have more comprehensive materials for review, and I don't have to worry about old copies of tests floating around the school."
-- Kathy Jones, Island School, Kauai, Hawaii

Answer 4: "I keep all tests, and return essays and lab notebooks. When I grade tests I do not mark incorrect items; instead a total number correct is placed in the upper right corner. The test is returned to the students and they can correct their work for one-half point -- changed correct scores deduct one point. They have to go through each item since there are no correction marks on the test, thereby reinforcing and reviewing at the same time. They can work together but I find there is usually enough disparity in answers to keep them honest. This is not an original idea (I wish it were) but one shared at a Marquette AP meeting. I did have a student four years ago who grew visibly more agitated daily. After the third week I asked what the problem was. He didn't answer, but a group of his buddies gleefully announced that he had paid $150 dollars for a past five score student's notebook, and only one assignment/test had been the same -- word spread fast!"
-- Donna M. Gilbertson, Beloit Memorial High School, Beloit, Wisconsin. 4/12/00

Answer 5: "Lately I have been allowing my students to keep their tests to study from for the AP test. I use the test bank so making up different tests for each unit is fairly easy for me. I also let them write on the tests but their answers are put on an answer sheet for easier corrections."
-- Bonnie Polan, Beverly High School, Beverly, Massachusetts. 4/12/00

Answer 6: "Campbell multiple-choice questions -- yes, they keep them and annotate the heck out of them for a few more points. Old AP questions: no, we annotate in class and dissect the heck out of them."
-- Patti Carothers, Monte Vista High School, Danville, California. 4/13/00

Question: "I am being asked to teach AP Biology in one semester with 40-minute periods. Is it doable?"

Answer: "That's not even remotely realistic, unless that is the only course the kids take in that time. If you have one hour a day or so, that is ridiculous and your administration should be told that it is negligent, because it has no concept of how to administer a science curriculum. Don't even think about having the kids take the AP Exams."
-- Bruce Faitsch, Guilford High School, Guilford, Connecticut. 9/27/00

Tip: "I have been teaching AP biology in the block schedule now for five years. I have my students for an entire year. In semester one they have class for 84 minutes per day, in semester two it's 42 minutes per day. There is no way I could cover all the material necessary in one semester. My students have a hard enough time covering the material in a full year. There is too much to assimilate in a semester's time. Even in college, the intro to bio course for majors is a year long, with three-hour labs every week. I find myself getting through molecular genetics and evolution by January, and second semester I concentrate on phylogeny, systems, and ecology. I try to get all the labs I do into the first semester when I have 84-minute classes."
-- Bonnie Polan, Beverly High School, Beverly, Massachusetts. 10/24/00

Tip: "I also am on the 4x4 block; I only have my present AP students until December 19! I have review sessions after school twice a week starting in late March, which really helps those who are able to attend. Whether students take the class in the fall or begin in January, the ones who do well on the test are those that take it upon themselves to really study the book. There is no way that we can do justice to the curriculum on 4x4 block. We do what we can, go deep with major concepts, and I make myself available to help them prepare for the test. It's a situation that we're trying to change, but until then we just plain work hard! Best of luck."
-- Lynn Cook, Putnam City West High School, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 12/13/00

Tip: "First of all, I would tell you to try to assign some of the work to be done over the summer. I actually make the kids do all four of the chapters on Evolution (Campbell) over the summer. I am fortunate enough to have a subscription to 'The Biology Place' Web site, so I also assign all of the 'WebQuests' from the Web site. They can be done in a fairly short amount of time and the answers to the online worksheets can be e-mailed directly to you. This works out great because the kids love to work online, even if it is over the summer.

I also make them answer some very open-ended questions about the chapters -- they can type and e-mail the responses to you. I have heard of many teachers that do 'ecology in a day' activities. They will get together and go over all the ecology vocabulary and concepts in a single day -- and order pizza and soft drinks. I would suggest giving them the ecology over the summer as well. If they read and do the online activities, as well as the questions you provide for them, you will only have to spend the first couple of days of class in the fall to do some labs, and then test!

More advice: The AP students do not need to know everything about biology (i.e., cover the material), but what gets covered, they need to know very well. In other words, it is perfectly acceptable to skip some chapters/topics as long as what you do cover, you cover very well. Remember that the AP exam is designed so the average score is a 50 percent. However, a 50 percent on the AP exam earns a three, which is usually enough to be considered 'passing,' or earn college credit. Try to not get consumed with covering all of the material.

I have found that students learn a great deal if you simply have some time before the exam to review. I hand out two complete multiple-choice exams and we go over each question and each answer. If there is a question about a topic not covered during class, I give a 'mini-lecture' to explain the concept/process involved in that particular question. If you do that, you will indeed cover all the material in one way or another! Above all else, avoid stress. If you are stressed, the kids will pick up on it, and they will in turn be stressed."
-- Mike Pilliod, Middleburg High School, Middleburg, Florida. 1/11/01

Question: "How many of you have any extra planning time because you are an AP science teacher? My school is on a traditional six-period day, every day, and the teachers only teach five classes. We have one period off for 'planning'. This time gets consumed fairly quickly with just walking to the office to pick up my junk mail, going back to the classroom to read my junk e-mail from the administrators, and maybe entering some grades into the grade program. Then it is over! There is no time to grade one classes' worth of papers. So I was wondering if any of you out there had any 'extra' time off for being an AP teacher. My school did allow for me to not have 'duty' during my planning period! Gee whiz! I am the department head, and therefore I don't have a homeroom, but I'm thinking about a proposal to the administrators for me to pick up a homeroom or pick up a duty, and allow for one extra period off!

Answer 1: "One benefit to a block schedule is extra planning time. We are on the 4x4 block and get an 84-minute prep per day. All our classes are 84 minutes; they meet for one semester: 90 days. AP sciences meet all year, semester one for 84 minutes per day, semester two for 42 minutes per day."
-- Bonnie Polan, Beverly High School, Beverly, Massachusetts. 1/19/01

Answer 2: "I teach on exactly the same schedule, and have never had extra planning time for AP, and have experienced exactly the same time issues you mention. Next year it's been decided we're going to a seven-period day, which has me quaking in my boots -- not only less time for already-impossible-to-do labs, but even less time for reading junk mail!"
-- Leslie Haines, Walter Williams High School, Burlington, North Carolina. 1/19/01

Answer 3: "At our high school, the AP teachers have the same schedule as all of the other teachers. I have four different biology classes: AP, general biology, bilingual biology (I do not speak Spanish), and marine biology, one 40-minute planning period, and one 40-minute tutorial period. I teach five out of six of the possible nine periods, depending upon labs. AP and honors science classes are seven periods a week for labs, college-prep sciences are six periods a week, and general classes are five periods a week.

Two years ago I had 22 students in one AP Biology course. This year I have eight. No public school in my area gives the recommended extra planning period for AP courses. That really is not fair."
-- Lou Ferrante, Hackensack High School, Hackensack, New Jersey. 1/22/01

Question: How large should class size be for AP? Are there safety issues that would keep it small (under 30)?

Answer 1: "I must be one of the lucky ones. At my public school we all teach five periods, with one off for planning. I teach one section of AP Biology -- eight students, three sections of anatomy/physiology honors (24, 22, and 24 students, respectively), and one section of average biology I -- 32 students. That's 110 total students. We do have one teacher who has 160 students, when the limit is supposedly 150. We simply make room, because we wish to offer the course. Nobody else in the department was willing to teach the class when I started it, so I guess that serves them right."
-- Mike Pilliod, Middleburg High School, Middleburg, Florida. 2/5/01

Answer 2: "Our school has a policy of keeping the class sizes to less than 20. I used to work in another district that had 30-plus students in a class. I felt I was unable to spend enough time with each student. Now I can spend time with each one and make the necessary phone calls to parents as well. I only have 32 students a semester and, yes, all this is a public school. I feel we are the best-kept secret in the country. The community is great, the school works with the community, and the kids are respectful, overall."
-- Gina Sourwine, Lyme Central School, Chaumont, New York. 2/6/01

Answer 3: "Appeal to the administration's fear of injury lawsuits. We used to have those numbers, but now we have no science class larger than 26, and generally run classes in the low 20s."
-- Bruce Faitsch, Guilford High School, Guilford, Connecticut. 2/7/01

Answer 4: "We usually have a larger AP Biology class than five. Probably next year it will be at least 16. But 16 is our upper limit in the sciences; we cleverly designed the labs that way 10 years ago! It is an independent school, and the average class size is 12 to 14 or so, I think. But the tradeoff of teaching in such a school, I understand, is that our salaries are significantly lower than if we were teaching in public schools. Still, the working conditions are very positive -- my colleagues are professional, we have a great deal of academic freedom, and so on. The students do their work, we have a close relationship with them, and there is a wonderful community atmosphere about the place. We do, however, work very hard, grading tons of papers, e-mailing students back and forth giving extra help, and giving a great deal of ourselves to the school. It is what I chose years ago, and what I love."
-- Barbara Beitch, Hamden Hall Country Day School, Hamden, Connecticut. 2/7/01

Answer 5: "There was an article in The Science Teacher a few years ago that we used to help persuade our administrators to lower class sizes. The article mentioned at least one court case in which the safety hazards of crowded classrooms caused student injuries. The issue was published some time in the summer or fall of 1999 I believe, and the entire focus of that issue was on science safety. I remember copying it for our chemistry teachers last spring when they were facing class sizes of 30-35 in classrooms designed in the 1960s for 20 students. Our science department has made it clear (in writing) to the administrators that we have warned them about the safety hazards of crowded classrooms, and cleared ourselves of liability for accidents caused by the crowding. This fall, our principal declared that no science class next year will exceed 24 students."
-- Joni Driscoll, NW Cabarrus High School, Concord, North Carolina. 2/9/01

Answer 6: "You can also check the NSTA safety guidelines which, I believe, state that 24 students in a science course is the safe limit. I believe that they also have information relating square feet (should be metric, I know) of lab space to number of students."
-- Fred Brown, West Hartford, Connecticut. 2/10/01

Answer 7: "The 'safety' issue is... in the archives on the NSTA Web site: http://www.nsta.org/pubs/archive.asp (see below). The issue I referred to was September 1999. My department also looked at the NSTA safety standards mentioned by someone else, and the safety standards adopted by North Carolina, and calculated that most of our classes should not exceed about 16 students using their square foot/student ratio! "
-- Joni Driscoll, NW Cabarrus High School, Concord, North Carolina. 2/13/01

Answer 8: "I would suggest that you get a copy of the NSTA publication that came out last year on facilities and safety. One of the authors is Sandra West. It is a pretty authoritative book."
-- Sue Drummer, Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, Columbus, Ohio. 2/10/01

Answer 9: "Thanks all for pointing me in the right direction. 'The Science Teacher' that focused on safety is the September 1999 edition. On pages 40-43 they list Web sites to get more information. Some of the Web sites needed to be updated, but they started me on the right path."
-- Adrian Castro, John Muir High School, Pasadena, California. 2/13/01





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