Science Program

Consistent with our mission and 21st Century Learning Skills, science students will develop through inquiry an understanding and awareness of science and its relevance upon their lives, their community and the world. Students will be able to generate their own insights, concerns, and inquiries, for example, on how new developments in science affect their lives and community especially over time. They will learn causes and effects; hypothesizing; and comparing and contrasting. They will be able to understand local, state, national and global challenges. Students will independently and collaboratively investigate current topics in science and develop their own ideas as to how to address these problems. We will hold them to high standards of personal and academic behavior and encourage them to act with integrity in their academic endeavors and to have empathy for others. Finally, we expect Burlington students to become lifelong learners and, as voting citizens, have an understanding of science and its impact on their world.

Science Courses At Each Grade Level

Students may fulfill prerequisites in one of two ways.
1. Students may fulfill a prerequisite in the traditional fashion, by successful completion of the course at BHS.
2. Alternatively, students may fulfill a prerequisite by opting out - by passing an Honors level exam with a score of 90% or above. This option is intended for students that have had exposure to course content outside of BHS who have attained a level of understanding of the content that is similar to having taken the course at BHS.

Students wishing to sit for an opt out prerequisite exam must submit a written request to the Science Department Chair. A hard copy of the form may be picked up from the science chairperson. All written requests to sit for an opt out prerequisite exam for the subsequent year must be submitted to the Sciences Department Chair no later than March 29, 2024. All examinations will then be completed at the end of August, during the summer vacation. However please note, to qualify the following criteria will be considered:

79% or below = does not meet prerequisite requirements
80-89% range = satisfies prerequisite requirement with a teacher/administrator/department head approval
90% or above = satisfies prerequisite

A prerequisite opt out exam does not earn credits toward graduation. The completion of 15 credits in science is required for graduation. Please also note that prerequisite math courses must still be completed prior to entrance into advanced science courses using the opt out method

BHS Science Pathways

Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are the recommended core science courses for students intending to attend college. Students are required to take at least 3 sciences courses to graduate (one must be a life science and one must be a physical science), but may elect to take an additional science course in a given year. Students interested in “doubling up” must adhere to all course prerequisites, which includes math prerequisites. Enrollment in honors and AP science courses is recommended for students interested in pursuing a STEM career or for students looking for the most academically challenging course of study.

Advanced Sequence

Grade 9  Grade 10  Grade 11 & 12th  
- Biology, H  - Chemistry, H
- Chemistry, CP

**AP Biology (w/approval, concurrent w/Chem highly recommended)
Physics: H, CP
*Physics, H or CP, is strongly recommended for 11th grade but other options available given appropriate prerequisites have been completed: 
- Physics: H, CP
- AP Physics C
- AP Chemistry
- AP Environmental Science
- AP Biology
- Astronomy: H, CP
- Human Anat/ Phys: H, CP
- Intro to Em Med: H, CP (½)
- Environmental Sci: H, CP
- Meteorology, CP- ½
- Forensic Science: H, CP
- Geology, CP - ½ 

College Prep Sequence
Movement up to honors level from CP is possible but requires CP teacher approval and strong performance (A’s) in prerequisite CP science & math courses

 Grade 9  Grade 10   Grade 11 & 12th   
Biology, CP  - Physical Science, CP
- Chemistry, CP  
- Chemistry, CP
- Physics, CP
- Environmental Sci, CP
- Intro to Emergency Medicine, CP (½)
- Astronomy CP
- Forensic Science, CP
- Meteorology, CP (½)
- Geology, CP ( ½)
- Human Anatomy / Phys: CP 

This pathway requires special approval/referral

Cell Biology, FOU
Biodiversity, FOU
Physical Science, FOU