Course Sequence & Catalog

In each type of science course, the Physical Setting (Earth Science, Chemistry and Physics) and the Living Environment (Biology, Advanced Placement Biology, Anatomy & Physiology), the students will focus on the understanding of concepts, relationships, processes, mechanisms, models, and applications that are pertinent to each of the content areas. In attaining scientific literacy, students will be able to demonstrate these understandings, generate explanations, exhibit creative problem solving and reasoning skills, and make informed decisions. Students will be able to find and elaborate upon conceptual cross-linkages that connect to many of the key ideas of each content area and to other mathematics, science and technology learning standards. All Honors/Regents students will take the Regents exams in Earth Science, The Living Environment, and Chemistry. Physics, AP Biology and Anatomy & Physiology or Forensic Science are electives and may be taken simultaneously. Students who were accelerated in the eighth grade (those who took The Physical Setting: Earth Science Regents) will be accelerated at Preston should they attain mastery level (85 or above) on the Regents Assessment and successfully complete the New York State Laboratory requirement. The SAT II program in Biology, Chemistry and Physics is strongly encouraged for all and required of the Honors Biology students.

9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade
Physical Setting/ Earth Science—Honors The Living Environment (Biology)—Honors Physical Setting/ Chemistry—Honors Honors Physics—Elective
Physical Setting/ Earth Science—Regents The Living Environment (Biology)—Regents Physical Setting/ Chemistry—Regents Advanced Placement Biology—Elective
      Anatomy & Physiology—Elective
      Forensic Science—Elective

Course Catalog

1405 Earth Science Honors
This course is an in-depth exploration of Earth Science. It follows the NYS Physical Setting/Earth Science Regents core curriculum. Problem-solving techniques and mastery learning are emphasized throughout the course to ensure student success on the Regents examination. Laboratory work is a required and integral part of the course. Course content includes: rocks and minerals, astronomy, meteorology, processes of change, and the earth’s history. Quarterly projects are also required for Regents credit. Upon completion of the course, students take the Physical Setting/Earth Science Regents. In addition to the textbook, students will read works such as The Perfect Storm, Jurassic Park, biographical studies of pertinent scientists and articles from the New York Times' Science Times and Scientific American. Prerequisite: Enrollment in this class is based upon a student’s performance on the TACHS exam, the placement test, elementary grades and a departmental recommendation.

1410 Earth Science Regents
This course follows the NYS Physical Setting/Earth Science Regents core curriculum. Problem solving techniques and mastery learning are emphasized throughout the course to ensure student success on the Regents examination. Laboratory work is a required and integral part of the course. Course content includes: rocks and minerals, astronomy, meteorology, processes of change, and the earth’s history. Upon completion of the course, students take the Physical Setting/Earth Science Regents; which includes a separate required laboratory performance examination.  Presentations on current events are assigned as semester projects and discussed throughout the school year.

2405 Biology Honors
This course is based on the NYS Living Environment Regents core curriculum. The approach is evolutionary, biochemical and environmental in nature. Laboratory work is a required and integral part of the course. Students are challenged to develop their study skills and to develop such skills as synthesis and to be able to apply and evaluate scientific phenomena. Upon completion of the course, students take the Living Environment Regents and the SAT II E/M Test in Biology. In addition to the textbook, the students are required to read The Double Helix. Prerequisite: To enroll in Biology Honors, all students must have successfully completed Earth Science and get department approval.

2410 Biology Regents
This course follows the NYS Living Environment Regents core curriculum. The class is designed to assist students in: interpreting scientific information disseminated by the mass media; becoming knowledgeable about career opportunities in science and technology; and developing an increased awareness of the consequences of human interaction on the environment. The content includes seven core topics and five extended areas: unity and diversity, animal maintenance, human physiology, genetics, evolution, and ecology. Laboratory experiences are integral to the research and are subject to testing. A highly structured approach is used to assist students in the development of their reading comprehension skills and to enable them to pace their work and be aware of time-on-tasks. Upon completion of the course, students take the Living Environment Regents and are encouraged to take the SAT II E/M Test in Biology.

3405 Chemistry Honors
This course is an in-depth approach to the study of chemistry. It is an introductory course that follows the NYS Physical Setting/Chemistry Regents core curriculum. Topics include: atomic structure, periodicity, chemical reactions, bonding, organic chemistry, stoichiometry, kinetics and equilibrium, and nuclear chemistry. Laboratory investigation is an integral part of the course as students test the theories they learn.  Students are required to take the Physical Setting/Chemistry Regents and are encouraged to take the SAT II Subject Test in Chemistry. In addition to the textbook, students in this class read selected articles from The New York Times’ Science Times. Students of this course are encouraged to participate in science contests and scientific studies / research to enhance their scientific acumen.  Prerequisite: Those students wishing to enroll in this level of the course must have successfully completed Algebra I and have department approval.

3410 Chemistry Regents
This introductory course follows the NYS Physical Setting/Chemistry Regents core curriculum. Topics include: atomic structure, periodicity, chemical reactions, bonding, organic chemistry, stoichiometry, kinetics and equilibrium and nuclear chemistry. Laboratory investigation is an integral part of the course as students test the theories they learn. Students are encouraged to take the Physical Setting/Chemistry Regents and encouraged to take the SAT II E/M Test in Chemistry. In addition to the textbook, students in this class read selected articles from The New York Times’ Science Times. Students of this course are encouraged to attended seminars and conferences that will enhance their knowledge in chemistry. Prerequisite: Those students wishing to enroll in course must have successfully completed Algebra I.

4410 Physics Honors
Physics is a laboratory-based science recommended for those who have not ruled out a science, math or health-related career. The NYS Physical Setting/Physics Regents core curriculum is followed. The core topics include: mechanics, energy, electricity and magnetism, wave phenomena, and modern physics. Problem solving and mathematical applications are integral parts of this course and are subject to testing. Students are required to take the NYS Physical Setting: Physics Regents examination.  Prerequisite: To register for this class, students must have successfully completed Physical Setting/Chemistry Regents, Algebra I and Geometry and receive department approval.

4420 Anatomy & Physiology
This senior elective is designed for students who wish to pursue careers as medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, and many other health-related fields.  Students begin by mastering the terminology and memorizing a substantial core of basic concepts related to the structure and function of the human body. In the process, they are also provided with a “mental framework” for organizing new information, the ability to access additional information when needed by referring to relevant print or electronic data sources, and the understanding of how to apply their knowledge to solve particular problems. Assessments include tests, practicals, labs, quizzes, homework assignments, and a final quarter project or final exam. Pre-requisite: To enroll in this course, a student must have passed both the Living Environment course and the Regents examination and the Physical Setting/Chemistry Regents course.  An interview and department approval are also required.

4405 Advanced Placement Biology
The AP Biology course is a college-level introductory biology course. This college course differs significantly from the usual high school course in terms of textbook used, the range and depth of topics covered, the laboratory work done by the students, and the time and effort required of the students. The course is designed to provide students with a conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and the analytical and writing skills necessary to deal critically with the complexity of biological science today. The content includes the following topics: molecules and cells (25%), heredity and evolution (25%), and organisms and populations (50%). Students entering the AP Biology course are required to complete a portion of the syllabus during the summer recess, devote more time to classroom instruction and be prepared for extensive homework assignments. Some of the advanced laboratory experiments are completed at SUNY Stony Brook. It is mandatory for all students enrolled to take the AP Biology Examination in May; a fee of approximately $225 is required, which includes the examination. The school provides for all laboratory costs. AP Biology should not be substituted for Physics; however, students may take Physics and AP Biology simultaneously. Pre-requisite: To enroll in this course, a student must have successfully completed the Physical Setting/Earth Science, Physical Setting/Chemistry and Living Environment Regents examinations. Department approval is also required.

4430 Forensic Science
Forensic Science is the application of science to investigations pertaining to the legal system. This course will be a lab-based, hands-on course. This senior elective is designed as an introductory course for students who have a strong interest in forensic science. Major themes of study in this course are pathology, anthropology, odontology, ballistics, trace evidence, biological fluids, DNA, fingerprints, impression evidence, questioned documents and forensic engineering. Students will study the history of forensic science and the techniques for estimating the time of death. Assessments include labs, quizzes, tests homework assignments, and a final year project. Pre-requisite: To enroll in this course, a student must have successfully completed the Living Environment Regents examination and the Physical Setting/Chemistry Regents exam.  Interview and department approval are also required.