• Newsletter:

    Posted by Brooke Shapiro-Heisel on 8/31/2018 10:00:00 AM

    Newsletter: August-Novernbe




    [Edition 1, Volume 1]






    Principal’s Message: Dr. Holly Batsell


    Welcome Back, Dragon Families!

    We are off to a great start for the new school year.  We have a record enrollment of 385 students, 40 students over last year’s enrollment.  We are happy that so many people want to come to Bioscience High School, the number one-rated small public high school in Arizona. 

    “We consider ourselves Mothers of Dragons and Fathers of Dragons alongside of parents.  It is our goal to help students develop both academically and emotionally so that they are well-adjusted, happy, and healthy. “

    parent academy nights

    Parent Academy is open to ALL Dragon guardians!

    Thursday, September 20 – 6:00-7:00 “How can we help?”

    Thursday, October 17 – 6:00-7:00 “College”

    Thursday, November 7 – 6:00-7:00 “Got Gifted?”


    Last year’s graduates are headed off to Notre Dame, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Stanford, and Lewis and Clark colleges, in addition to many others.  They are headed to ASU and U of A and Grand Canyon University for free, thanks to their hard work and their preparation at Bioscience. They are entering college with internship and real world experience.  They are leaders who will be active in their campus life and community.  We are very proud of them and look forward to hearing about all of their adventures and opportunities.

    Our theme this year is “Educators of Dragons.”  We take our role as educators very seriously.  Our students are precious individuals who will shape our society in positive ways if we inspire them to do so. We honor the trust that parents put in us to educate and care for their children.  We consider ourselves Mothers of Dragons and Fathers of Dragons alongside of parents.  It is our goal to help students develop both academically and emotionally so that they are well-adjusted, happy, and healthy.  

    This year, our campus is embracing “Restorative Practices,” practices that build community among staff and students and that help us to restore relationships when there is conflict or harm done.  All staff are being trained in community and relationship building in addition to strategies for restoring relationships after conflict.  In addition, we are working to improve our customer service to parents and students.  We appreciate any feedback you give us on how we are doing.

    We look forward to a fun and transformative school year with you and your students.  Please let us know how we can help make your student’s high school experience the best it can be.


    Right: Dragon eggs, ready to hatch





    What you can do to help 


    The Bioscience community consists of more than just school staff and students – we also consider guardians part of our family. As such, even Dragon guardians have responsibilities and opportunities as well.

    • Phoenix Union has sent home, either at Dragon Academy or on the first days of school, paperwork that needs to be filled out and signed by Dragon guardians. Most of the forms should be quick, but each is vitally important. Please make sure to fill out the district paperwork as soon as possible and provide that to your Dragon to bring back to their teachers. This includes the lunch form and the magnet form, both of which need to be filled out every year.
    • Guardians often want to know how their Dragons are doing in class, and the easiest way to find out is to actively monitor your Dragon throughout the year. Guardians of Dragons can find information about progress using ParentVue and Edmodo. Both of these options have a downloadable app available as well as access via the internet, and both have parent account availability. Your Dragon’s Plan for Success should provide accurate information about how to access your student’s progress.
    • Should you have questions about how to access your Dragon’s grades online, what you’re seeing once you’re there, or concerns about anything else happening at Bioscience, please contact your Dragon’s teacher(s). Though every Dragon has an assigned advisory teacher (usually the 4th period teacher) you can contact, any member of the grade level team will be able to assist you. Teachers and other staff members work diligently to ensure that Dragons are receiving the care they need to be successful, and it’s important to us that we address your concerns.
    • An easy way to open up communication and get questions answered is to attend Open House on Thursday, August 30 from 5:30 to 7:00. Since every grade level experience is different, guardians of Dragons at all grade levels are encouraged to attend. You will be able to hear your Dragon’s teachers talk about plans for the year, best ways to communicate, and what to expect academically for your Dragon from now until May 2019.
    • Guardians can also join the Bioscience High School Site Council in order to help out with Bioscience events and activities, provide input into the Bioscience community, and play a greater role overall in the Bioscience family.








    WHO AM IThursday, September 27, 4:00-6:00. Dragons begin their journey by taking a deep dive into who they really are. They compile this information into a visual piece which they display for any audience wishing to attend. All of the Bioscience family are invited to attend and see the work that our youngest dragons have done thus far.  

    MOVIE NIGHTFriday, September 28, 7:00-9:00. Bioscience students are invited to hang out and watch a movie with classmates on campus. StuGo will be selling snacks throughout the evening, but it’s free to come see the movie.

    CONFERENCESThursday, October 18, 1:00-6:00. Have a conversation with your Dragon and their advisory teacher about participation, performance, and progress. Bioscience conferences are student-led, so expect to speak more with your Dragon than with their teacher, though we will be able to answer questions and provide additional input.

    OLYMPIC GAMES/HOMECOMING DANCEFriday, October 26 & Saturday, October 27. Olympic Games is our annual grade level competition at Verde Park during the school day. We play games, have snacks, and show our team spirit. Students are expected to wear their class colors: Freshmen – black and white; sophomores – red and yellow; juniors – blue and orange; seniors – purple and green. The Homecoming dance is open to all Bioscience students Saturday night after Olympic Games. We encourage students to attend with friends (or someone special) to have fun with classmates. Student Government will be selling tickets at lunch Monday, October 22 through Friday October 26 and will not be sold at the door.

    PARENT ACADEMYMultiple dates (See previous page). Parent academies are a great way to learn about issues that Dragon guardians face throughout the year. They are designed to address concerns, answer questions, and help you make informed decisions about your Dragon’s education.

    EXTENDED ENGLISH/HUMANITIES TUTORING – Every Thursday. Extended after school tutoring for English and Humanities is available on Thursdays from 3:30 – 4:30 in the 3W classroom. Work with an English teacher or just get some work done after school. All students welcome.


    FRESHMAN – Our little dragons have had a busy yet productive first three weeks. They have been getting used to Lairs, class, advisory rotations as they engage at answering the question "How do make sense of our world" using all of their perspectives. They have been introduced to "Habits of Mind", time management skills, as well as ways to relax when stressed. This week, they are starting work on their first quarter project "Who Am I?" which will be presented September 27. Mark your calendars to come and see the work that your dragon has done for their project. Their four year journey is well underway.

    SOPHOMORE – The Class of 2021 and their sophomore team of teachers are excited for the year ahead. Already, students are exploring our essential question, “How do we shape the world, and how does the world shape us?” through the lenses of their different courses.  In Biochem, students are learning about matter, and commonalities of all living things. In English, they are crafting personal essays about their lives so far. In world history, they are questioning what it means to be human by reading Daniel Quinn’s novel Ishmael. In math, they are investigating quadratic patterns and building functions to model growth. Your students are continuing to build and/or refine language acquisition in Spanish. In addition to rigorous academics, the sophomore team is dedicated to building community through lairs, team projects, and field trips.

    JUNIOR – Juniors have jumped in with enthusiasm. They’re exploring the yearlong question, “How can an individual have a positive effect on society while engaging responsibly within the complex systems of the world?” In Humanities, students are using Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the formation of the United States, and goldfish to find an answer to the question, “What is the responsibility of a creator to their creation?” Students in both Advanced Placement and Spanish 5-6 will be looking at Spanish culture while also continuing to improve language skills. Engineering students are taking a deep dive into engineering design through readings and discourse on the role of engineering in the “Anthropocene.” The Biomedical Pathway is exploring current health challenges facing global populations and learning how epidemiologists begin to understand health related outbreaks.

    SENIOR – Seniors are off and running! Senior Dragons are currently beginning their senior internships, with placements that include Maricopa Integrated Health Systems, Spot 127, ACCEL, Restore Arts, and more. Seniors are also beginning their final STF projects. Students are working with a local school for high risk K-8 students, helping elementary schools form functioning Robotics teams, and exploring opportunities to counteract the fast-fashion industry. They’re working on college essays, scholarships essays, and college applications, with help from both Guidance Counselor Ms. Haggerty and English teacher Mr. Heisel (new to the team by way of 10th grade). Students in Mr. Smalls’s Economics class are learning about scarcity, factors of production, economic systems, supply and demand, Naked Economics, and so much more! Biology students are exploring the scientific process, physics students are exploring magnetism through the construction of speakers, and chemistry students are learning about how amazing water is! In math students are tackling the mathematics of a growing roof rat population.


    Bisocience High School welcomed four new teachers to our staff this year. We’re excited to introduce you to two of them now. You’ll meet the other two in the next newsletter.

    Teacher: Ms. Martin

    What class are you teaching?

    I teach 9th grade, health and fitness.

    How did you come to teach at Bioscience?

    I taught for many years at “traditional” high schools and wanted to teach at a school that focused more on developing positive relationships with students and innovation.

    What is your favorite part of teaching?

    My favorite part of teaching is watching students learn something new that at first they struggled with, but after persisting figured out.

    What were you like when you were in high school?

    When I was in high school, I was very dedicated to my academics, but also really into sports.  I played tennis and ran cross country and track.

    When you’re not being an awesome teacher, what do you like to do in your free time?

    I enjoy hanging out with my husband and my two dogs!  I also love reading, learning Spanish and traveling to Spanish speaking countries.

    If you could do any job in the world that isn’t teaching, what would it be and why?

    I would want to be a personal trainer or a dog trainer.  I would like to be a personal trainer so I could help people feel the benefits physically and mentally of working out.  I would like to be a dog trainer because I love dogs and I like doing what Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer says, “Exercise, Discipline, Affection.”

    What question do you wish I had asked you, but didn’t?

    What’s your favorite kind of food?

    What’s the answer to that question?

    Mexican food and sushi!


    Teacher: Miss Motush (But the kids call her Miss Mo!)

    What class are you teaching?

    I am so excited to be teaching 9th grade Art at Bioscience!

    How did you come to teach at Bioscience?

    Ms. Farney-Schamp told me about Bioscience a couple years ago, and it sounded like the perfect fit for my style of teaching Art. I started researching Bioscience and fell in love with the integrated approach to teaching and the small school vibe. I waited for the Art position to open, and once it did, I applied immediately. I literally jumped up at down when Dr. Batsell offered me the job. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here.

    What is your favorite part of teaching?

    My favorite part about teaching is getting to share my knowledge with kids and see how far I can push them. It makes my heart so happy when I see kids get excited about accomplishing something they never thought they could do before.

    What were you like when you were in high school?

    I was a very shy high school student except with my friends. My most common complaint from teachers was wishing I spoke up more in class, even though I was always participating in my mind. I was one of those kids who flew under the radar because I did what I was supposed to and never caused trouble, but I also never really felt like I was great at anything until my Photography class, when I found my first real passion.  I played the piano and flute, danced 6 days a week, and while I enjoyed these things, I never saw them being a part of my future. I became passionate about Photography in my sophomore year, and that had a huge impact on the rest of my life. My photo teacher was the first teacher I felt saw the potential I had, gave me recognition, and challenged me. I started to find my voice in small ways through my photography.

    When you’re not being an awesome teacher, what do you like to do in your free time?

    I love being outdoors, which is one of the reasons I love Arizona. I enjoy camping, hiking, or just relaxing with friends on a patio. I have two adorable miniature dachshunds, so you can find me snuggled up with them pretty regularly. I also just recently updated my camera and am finally getting back into taking pictures, which I am really excited about. I enjoy reading, especially in hammocks, making things, trying new things (I just tried indoor climbing for the first time last weekend!), going to museums, and moving my body through exercise.

    If you could do any job in the world that isn’t teaching, what would it be and why?

    I started with a different career, I minored in psychology and I have always thought about going to grad school for counseling with an emphasis in art therapy. :)



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