Bioscience High School FAQ’s

Q: Do students have to go into science or engineering in college after attending Bioscience?

A: No, actually, about half of our students decide to go into creative careers, political science, social services, or other career fields.

Q: Do students have to be really smart or gifted to do well at Bioscience?

A: We teach students the importance of a “growth mindset” over a “fixed mindset” of intelligence. That means that intelligence is grown and acquired by hard work, not fixed innate ability. We find that students who work hard and try are the ones who excel and become smarter over time. We do provide gifted services here for students who qualify, but students do not need to be gifted to do well here.

Q: Do students have to have straight A’s to be accepted?

A: Not straight A’s but a pattern of commitment to learning is what we look for. If a student has a C or two in one semester, but then brings those grades up to B’s the next semester, then that is evidence of growth and determination. Those are beneficial qualities for Bioscience students.

Q: I heard that if you get bad grades at Bioscience, you will be kicked out after one semester.

A: We know that high school is a big transition, and because Bioscience High School is not traditional, students may require an even greater transition period than usual. We will give you some time to adjust and will work with you to succeed. Students who earn F’s in their classes, would need to transfer to a school where they can make up credits for graduation. We do not offer re-take classes on campus.

Q: How hard are the classes at Bioscience?

Our classes are all honors level except for art and health/fitness. Therefore, you can expect some rigorous content and a decent workload. But we know that more work alone does equal rigor, so we choose to go into depth versus breadth in a topic of study.

Q: How much homework is there?

A: At the freshmen level, you can expect at least an hour of homework a night, up to two hours. Since our teachers plan together at each grade level, they communicate regularly and stagger assignments so that everything is not due all at once.

Q: I heard that you don’t use traditional grades at Bioscience.

A: We make an effort to turn the focus of learning—from external motivation to get a certain grade—to internal motivation for learning and skill development. We categorize work into 3 components of the student’s final grade: Participation (showing effort and completing work), Progress (showing improvement over time), and Performance (summative assessments and projects). Students self-assess in these areas and teachers use a √, √+, and √- to track student progress as well. Then the teacher and student collaborate to arrive at the semester letter grade based on the cumulative evidence. We do follow district policy to input letter grades into ParentVue at the 9 week mark and at the end of the semester, so students will still have a traditional report card.

Q: What are my odds of being accepted to Bioscience?

A: If you meet the criteria listed in the application, and your application is complete and on time, your odds are good. We will accept 130 qualified 9th graders and approximately twenty new 10th and 11th graders. If we receive more qualified applicants than we have room for, we will use a lottery. Qualified siblings of current students and children of district employees receive the first spots, and then the remainder of the spots will be randomly selected.

Q: How should I turn in my application?

A: Please print out paper copies of each document, put them into a folder or manila envelope, and bring them in to the front office of Bioscience so that we can double check for you that your application is complete. Doing this may save you time and help you avoid missing the due date if you send it in the mail or mail it in incomplete.

Q: When will I find out if I am accepted?

A: We will send notification letters letting you know either way at the beginning of March. They letters will explain your next steps. If you are not accepted but met the criteria, you may request to be put on a waitlist.

Q: Whom should I call if I have questions or need help with my application?

A: Call Mrs. Gariepy, our recruitment specialist at (602)764-5606.