• Bioscience High School FAQs 


    Q. Must students go into science or engineering in college after attending Bioscience? 

    A. No. In fact, many of our students decide to go into creative careers, political science, social services, or other fields. 


    Q. Must students be really smart or gifted to do well at Bioscience?

    A. We teacher 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 As, 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 Bs the next semester, then that is evidence of growth and determination. Those are the 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 even greater transition period than usual. We will give you some time to adjust and will work with you to succeed. Students who earn Fs in their classes may 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? 

    A. 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 not 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 freshman level, you can expect at least an hour of homework a night, up to 2 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. Is it true that Bioscience does not use traditional grading methods?

    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 use an "Evidence-Based" model, where students earn a grade based on how well they meet the competencies and learning targets. Some of the competencies are academic, based on each content, and some of them are Habits of Mind, like Perseverance. Students can earn a 4, 3, 2, 1 in each competency. Teachers also take growth and progress into consideration. 


    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 very good for Round 1 selections. All first-round applicants will be notified of their status in writing in February. We will accept 115 qualified 9th graders, and if room allows, a few 10th and 11th graders. If we recieve more qualified applicants than we have room for, we will use a lottery. Qualified siblings of current students and students whose PARENT is a district employee receive the first spots, and then the remainder of the spots will be randomly selected.   


    Questions?  Call Ms. Nini Gariepy at 602-764-5606 or gariepy@phoenixunion.org