Four Year Course Sequences


Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12




Environmental Science (A)

Environmental Science  (A)

Anatomy for Life * and **

Biology (A)*

Chemistry (A)


Physics  (A) Physics (H)

Environmental Science  (A)

Anatomy & Physiology (A)*

Environmental Science  (A) Anatomy & Physiology (A)*

Biology (H)*

Chemistry (H)

Physics (H) AP Physics 1

AP Biology* AP Chemistry

AP Environmental Science

Anatomy & Physiology (A)*

AP Biology* AP Chemistry AP Physics 2

AP Physics C

AP Environmental Science

Anatomy & Physiology (A)*


Pursuant to NJ Statute 18A:3S-4.2S (available at:, students have the

right to decline to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part  o f a course of instruction. If parents desire to exempt their students from participation in such activities, they must notify the school within 2 weeks of their student's enrollment in the course.

If students do not participate in lab experiences involving the use of animals as described above, their grades will not be affected as long as they master the agreed-upon learning objectives and expectations. In order to meet prescribed learning objectives and expectations, alternative means of instruction may be utilized. Acceptable alternatives to the activities include videos, models, computer programs, books and the use of manipulatives.

If you have any questions regarding this notification or if you would like to exercise your right to exempt your student, please contact the Science Supervisor.

**This course is a science elective and does not meet a graduation requirement.

The academic level categories are as follows:

Academic: Courses with the core academic curriculum for all levels.

Accelerated (A): College preparatory courses that have a high academic demand and requirements. This course of study will challenge students and prepare them well as they pursue a post-secondary education.

Honors (H): Honors courses require a high level of academic maturity, interest, ability, intellectual curiosity, and the ability to study and work independently. The pace is rigorous and enrollment is selective.

Advanced Placement (AP): Advanced Placement is the most academically demanding course level possible. Successful completion of the course may lead to college credit. Enrollment is highly selective and honors credit is earned. Students are strongly encouraged and expected to take the AP exams in May.

Course Offerings in


At least three years of coursework in science are required for graduation from Bernards High. The goal of this department is to introduce students to as many areas of science as possible in the hopes that some of the excitement generated by our science faculty will spark a similar interest in students. All are encouraged to take four years of science even if they do not plan to major in science after high school; the need for a strong science background increases as our dependence on technology increases.

The vast majority of students complete a sequence of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students can continue in their senior year with second levels of Biology, Chemistry, or Physics, and/or Environmental Science or Anatomy and Physiology. Students may wish to take two sciences in a given year and may do so beginning in the sophomore year. Taking this option, however, can limit other scheduled courses and create potential conflicts. Varying levels of each course are available to challenge every student.

BIOLOGY        Credits:  5.0        03630

Grade:  9                Year

Prerequisite:  None

Biology is a science that affects all our lives as we frequently make decisions related to biological issues. The main objective of this

hands-on, socially relevant course is to produce informed and confident decision-makers. Students will be provided with a solid foundation in biological science as it directly applies to their daily and future lives. Emphasis will be placed on activity, laboratory experience, and opportunities for critical thinking as students tackle issues such as health care, environmental concerns, nutritional decisions, career choices and home/family life.

BIOLOGY (A)        Credits:  6.0        03632

Grade:  9                Year

Prerequisite:  None

Biology is a science that affects all of our lives as we make frequent decisions related to biological issues.  In this survey of Biology

course students will explore living things from the level of the cell to the level of the ecosystem. A basic working knowledge in cellular structure and function, genetics, evolution, environmental concerns, and the diversity of life will allow them to make more informed decisions about their world. Emphasis will be placed on laboratory experience and opportunities for critical thinking.

BIOLOGY (H)         Credits:  6.0        03634

Grade:  9                Year

Prerequisite:  None

Honors Biology will focus on the content of Biology at the molecular/cellular level and will provide students with insight into the

rapidly advancing field of biological science. In addition, Honors Biology will provide a comprehensive exploration of all levels of biological organization. Students will gain insight into the scientific process as they perform a diverse array of experiment s, both classical and modern. Computer data acquisition and simulations will assist students in functioning as scientists. Biology (H) is designed to prepare students for the SAT Subject Test in Biology.

AP BIOLOGY        Credits:  7.0        03638

Grades:  11-12                Year

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Biology (A)

The AP Biology course focuses on enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports them. This approach will enable students to spend more time on inquiry-based learning of essential concepts, and will help them develop the reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices used throughout their study of AP Biology.  The key concepts and related content that define the revised AP Biology course and exam are organized around a few underlying principles called the big ideas, which encompass the core scientific principles, theories and processes governing living organisms and biological systems. For each of the big ideas, enduring understandings, which incorporate the core concepts that students should retain from the learning experience, are also identified.  Students who take the AP Biology course designed using this curriculum framework as its foundation will also develop advanced inquiry and  reasoning skills, such  as  designing a  plan  for  collecting data,  analyzing data,  applying mathematical routines, and connecting concepts in and across domains. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses. Honors Biology is the best preparation for AP Biology. Students will be expected to take the AP exam.

CHEMISTRY        Credits:  5.0        03643

Grade:  10                Year

Prerequisite:  None

Chemistry is designed for the student who is naturally curious, who may not concentrate in science at the college level, and who wants to have as varied a science background as possible. Representative topics will be: techniques in measurement, representing data, writing lab reports, physical states of matter, chemical bonding, solutions, energy in chemical processes, acids and bases, simple oxidation and reduction reactions, environmental chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Students will be expected to use basic mathematics and a four-function calculator. Lab activities will provide opportunities for hands on experimentation. Special emphasis will be placed on the chemistry of everyday living with references to environmental concerns.

CHEMISTRY (A)        Credits:  6.0        03642

Grade:  10                Year

Prerequisite:  Algebra I (A)

Students will focus on properties of matter and changes to matter. Students will learn how to write and balance equations, how to

predict products of reactions, and how to perform stoichiometric calculations. Students will also study behavior of gases, thermochemistry, solutions, and acid/base chemistry. Emphasis throughout the year will be placed on bonding and periodicity. Theory and mathematical concepts are stressed. All students should bring a calculator to class daily.

CHEMISTRY (H)        Credits:  6.0        03641

Grade 10                Year

Prerequisite:  Algebra I (A) or above

This is a first year chemistry course, which stresses problem solving in science. The student is asked to participate in scientific activity and share in the excitement of discovery. Theory and mathematical concepts are highly stressed. Students with strong mathematical backgrounds, who are interested in a career in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, or medicine, are advised to enroll in this course. Honors Chemistry is designed to prepare students for the SAT Subject Test in Chemistry. Students planning to take AP Chemistry should take Chemistry H. All students should bring a scientific calculator to class daily.

AP CHEMISTRY        Credits:  7.0        03648

Grades:  11-12                Year

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Chemistry (H) or (A).

The Advanced Placement course work emphasizes the mathematical and theoretical aspects of inorganic chemistry at the freshman

college level. Laboratory work involves freshman college experiments in inorganic chemistry and semi-micro qualitative analysis. Students will be expected to take the AP Exam and will be encouraged to take the SAT II subject test in chemistry.   AP Chemistry can be taken in the junior or senior year. All students should bring a scientific calculator to class daily.

ANATOMY FOR LIFE        Credits:  5.0        03618

Grades:  12                Year

Prerequisite: 3 Years of Science - This course does not fulfill a graduation requirement.

This course deals mainly with the human body, focusing on the concepts of anatomy and physiology that are directly related to everyday life. Emphasis will be placed on the immune system, digestive system, circulatory system and reproductive system. Each system will be taught using current events, guest speakers, and real life situations so that students can make direct connections between the content and their daily lives. The course will begin with a review of the cell, and levels of organization of the human body and it will then cover the human systems paying particular attention to topics such as: MRSA, Swine flu, skin cancer, nutrition, injuries (sprains, breaks, burns, rashes), common illnesses (cold, flu, conjunctivitis, headaches, stomach virus, poison ivy, basic first aid, etc.) This course does not fulfill a graduation requirement.

ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY (A)        Credits:  5.0        03620

Grades:  11-12                Year

Prerequisite:  Successful Completion of Biology and Chemistry

This is a full year elective that deals mainly with the human body and its related functions. To understand the human body, it is

necessary to understand how its parts are put together and how they work in conjunction with one another. The course will begin with a review of the cell, the levels of organization (from cell to organism), anatomical terminology, an overview of the ten body systems, and a brief look into tissue systems and organization. Students will be expected to complete case study investigations and apply their understandings of the human body. This course will help prepare students interested in medicine, nursing, research, EMT, physical therapy, pharmacy, sports training, and other related fields of study including art (human form), psychology, and/or

anthropology. Dissections are mandatory for this elective course.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (A)        Credits:  7.0        03620

Grades:  11-12                Year

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Biology and Chemistry

Environmental Science is an introductory college preparatory course aimed at providing information on the physical, chemical, and

biological processes which occur in our ecosystem, as well as the relationships among humans, other living species, and their environments. The course will focus on the ways in which these are linked or are interdependent and affect the health, well-being, and continued existence of humans. Students will develop the knowledge, skills, and values basic to solving environmental problems. This course provides active investigation in the lab and in the field, researching a wide variety of sources for current information will be involved, and students will be expected to learn to make informed choices based on available information that will help protect, repair, or improve our environment. A significant amount of outside reading will be required.

AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE        Credits:  7.0        03628

Grades:  11-12                Year

Prerequisites:  Successful completion of Biology and Chemistry

The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science as outlined in the Course Description for AP Environmental Science. The goal of this course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Field experiences, in-class labs, and data-based activities are used to expose students to the methodologies utilized by environmental scientists and to illustrate the principles and concepts of environmental science. The environmental science program focuses on the environmental richness of New Jersey, particularly the Jersey Shore area, the Great Swamp, and the watersheds of the Passaic and Raritan Rivers.

PHYSICS        Credits:  5.0        03650

Grade:  11                Year

Prerequisite:  None

Physics is the most basic science upon which all other sciences depend. Understanding physics leads to understanding how "nature"

works. Physics is designed for students who do not plan on continuing in science or technology at the college level, but who are still curious about the world around them and how and why things work. Concepts are developed by discussion, demonstration, and experimentation. Only basic math is utilized.

PHYSICS (A)         Credits:  6.0        03652

Grade:  11                Year

Prerequisite:  Algebra I (A); Co-Requisite: Algebra II (A)

Physics focuses on the most basic concepts on which all other sciences build, since it examines the fundamental reasons for both

microscopic and macroscopic events. Throughout this class, students will gain a better understanding of how their own individual, real world experiences are driven. Designed for college-bound juniors and seniors, students will have the opportunity to apply these concepts to real world problems using only a moderate level of math.

PHYSICS (H)        Credits:  6.0        03654

Grade:  11                Year

Co-requisite:  Algebra II (A)

Physics focuses on the most basic concepts on which all other sciences build, since it examines the fundamental reasons for both

microscopic and macroscopic events. Throughout this class, students will gain a better understanding of how their own individual, real world experiences are driven. This course is designed for students that wish to pursue a highly academic science program with an emphasis on applying concepts to quantitative problem solving. Students taking this course will be prepared for later study in any college level science course.

AP PHYSICS 1        Credits:  7.0        03655        

Grades:  11-12                Year

Co-Requisite:  Precalculus (A)

AP Physics 1 is a first-year algebra-based physics course equivalent to a first semester college physics course, designed for strong

science students who may pursue science/engineering or pre-medicine in college. It is designed to provide a deep conceptual understanding of physics through a student-centered, inquiry-based instructional approach. This framework focuses on several overarching ideas that provide students with enduring, conceptual understandings that help students develop the critical thinking skills and reasoning skills necessary to engage in science practices used throughout their study of physics and subsequent coursework in science. Students will be expected to take the AP Physics 1 exam.

AP PHYSICS 2        Credits:  7.0                                                    03661

Grade:  12                                                               Year

Prerequisite:  Physics (H) or AP Physics 1

AP Physics 2 is the second-year of a two-year sequence in algebra-based college level physics and is taught in the same style as AP Physics 1 which focuses on a deep  conceptual understanding of physics through a  student-centered, inquiry-based instructional approach. It is equivalent to a second semester college physics course. Topics covered by AP Physics 2 are broader and less rigorous than AP Physics C and are designed for students who are not likely to pursue engineering in college. Students will be expected to take the AP Physics 2 exam.

AP PHYSICS C        Credits:  7.0        03656

Grade:  12

AP Physics C is a second-year physics course utilizing calculus that is designed for students with strong mathematical skills that may

pursue science/engineering in college. It is presented at the first year college level and provides the opportunity for the student to gain advanced standing/college credit in engineering physics by taking the AP Physics C exam. Topics are narrower in scope but provide a more in-depth coverage of some of the topics covered in the first year physics courses. Concepts are developed by mathematical derivation, mathematical application, discussion, demonstration, and experimentation. Students will be expected to take the AP exams (“Mechanics” and “Electricity & Magnetism”).