News from the Science Department
Weston High School Science Course Selection
The Science Department offers College Placement (CP) and Honors (H) level courses in grades 9, 10 & 11. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered only in the 11th and 12th grades. All Science courses offered at WHS involve considerable lab work, analytical thinking and scientific writing.
Please refer to the course map on the back of this document and the written descriptions of courses in the Program of Studies for a more detailed understanding of the options for you next year. Below are some important expectations to understand if you are interested in taking an Honors or Advanced Placement course in any grade. Feel free to share this document with your parents as you make these decisions for your course selections next year.
Requirements: Consistently produce A range work in Grade 8 science* (specifically on assessments and labs), high marks on the Physics Placement Exam, A range work in Grade 8 Math course*, and current science teacher recommendation.
Students in this course have a solid grasp of Algebra 1 skills, are independent learners (they tackle problems they don’t understand in many different ways before approaching the teacher for help) have a genuine interest in Physics and its applications, have a growing understanding of scientific writing and the scientific method/engineering design.
Requirements: Recommendation from their 9th grade science teacher. There is summer work.
Students in this course consistently produce A range work (specifically on assessments and labs) in a CP class*, or A-/B+ work in an Honors class*, have demonstrated resiliency and independent learning to their 9th grade Science teacher, have a genuine interest in Biology and its applications in life and the environment, have demonstrated a solid grasp on scientific writing and the scientific method/engineering design.
Requirements: Completion of either CP or H Biology, recommendation from their 10th grade science teacher. There is summer work.
Students in this course consistently produce A range work (specifically on assessments and labs) in a CP class*, or A-/B+ work in an Honors class* in BOTH their Physics and Biology courses, have consistently high marks in their 10th grade Math class, have a genuine interest in the connections between Chemistry and its applications in the world around us, have demonstrated resiliency and independent learning to their 10th grade Science teacher, have demonstrated the ability to decode and analyze complex data independently, are comfortable with abstract reasoning and problem solving and have demonstrated a clear skill in scientific writing and the scientific method/engineering design.
Advanced Placement Courses:
Requirements: All AP courses require the CP or H subject to be taken prior to enrollment in the AP course. AP Biology also requires the completion of or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry, and current science teacher recommendation. There is summer work. Important note for Juniors: Placement in an AP course is also dependent upon available space, as seniors take priority.
Students in these courses are expected to take the AP exam for their subject and are intensely lab and data analysis focused per the AP curriculum. The content is fast-paced and students are expected to do a considerable amount of review/preview on their own, in order to use class time for lab activities.
Click to download the course offerings flow chart in pdf.
About Grades 6-12 Sciences
Science is a discipline that builds knowledge and skills over the years, culminating in a solid understanding of scientific principles and practices upon graduation. Students are required to take three years of science and must pass a Science MCAS exam in order to graduate.
The science and technology program is designed to produce scientifically literate students who will understand the scientific method and the tentative nature of scientific truth. They will learn some of the major concepts, laws, and theories of the various sciences.
The majority of students follow the sequence: Introductory Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. For students who are ready for greater rigor, the department offers honors courses each year.
Eighth grade students whose academic record is clearly superior will be invited to take Honors Physics in the ninth grade. Students who excel in any science class will be invited to take an honors course the following year.
The science and technology program is designed to educate scientifically literate students who will understand the scientific method and the tentative nature of scientific truth. They will learn some of the major concepts, laws, and theories of the various sciences. The majority of students follow the sequence: Introductory Physics, Biology, Chemistry, electives or AP electives. For students who are ready for greater rigor, the department offers honors courses each year. Students who excel in any science class will be invited to take an honors course the following year. Eighth grade students are recommended for either CP Physics or Honors Physics in the ninth grade based on four factors: 1) science grades earned in the 8th grade; 2) results of AMC-8 math testing; 3) results of a test of abstract reasoning administered in the spring (GALT test); and 4) specific recommendation from the 8th grade teacher based on the student’s performance in class throughout the year.
For a full list download the High School Program of Studies
Meet the Department Head
Dr. Stephen Ribisi is the Science Department Head for grades 6-12 in Weston. Dr. Ribisi has served as Chemistry Teacher at Braintree High School since 2012. Prior to that, he was a Science Teacher at Saugus High School (2010-2012), and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Dr. Ribisi earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He also has had Postdoctoral Training in Developmental Biology and in a Science and Health Education Partnership at the University of California, San Francisco and at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco.
Faculty for 2022-2023