firstname.lastname@example.org Amesbury High School Mission Statement
“Amesbury High School is committed to the pursuit of excellence by providing a quality education in a safe, caring, and respectful environment. We promote a challenging curriculum with diverse co-curricular activities that emphasize communication, critical thinking, and tolerance. We encourage lifelong learning and personal & social responsibility, resulting in contributing members of an ever-changing, global society.”
Homework is an extension of classroom learning and will be assigned daily. Homework assignments will include reading, writing, grammar and mechanics exercises, vocabulary review, projects, and study assignments. A student who has incomplete homework will earn a zero; however, that student promptly may make-up the assignment for half-credit. Students with a poor homework average will be required to come for extra help before and/or after school, and failure to do so will result in disciplinary action. At the beginning of each class, students must record nightly assignments and due dates. Prior to a quiz or test, students will be able to review notes, assignments, or study guides in their binders. Parents can participate by “testing” students on the material in their binders. I am available in the morning for extra help from 7:25AM to 8:00AM and from 2:30 to 3:00PM Monday through Thursday.
Assessing how a student is performing is always an ongoing, complicated process. My hope is that students become reflective and analytical about learning. I will evaluate students both formally and informally through observations, rubrics, tests, performance tasks, projects, and both written and oral communication. Do not hesitate to call or e-mail me at school for an update on your child. Progress reports will be sent home mid-term. Please note that the third-quarter research paper is a required assessment to pass for that quarter.
If a student is absent any time during the term, it is his/her responsibility to find out what work was missed and then complete it in a timely fashion. The student must also copy missed notes and make arrangements to take missed tests or quizzes. I cannot emphasize enough that an absent student must see me the morning s/he returns to school! Notice of planned absences from school must be in advance through the main office, and be aware that it is not always possible to provide work ahead of time. Tardiness and unexcused absences will negatively impact a student’s average. Also, a student must earn credits in both semesters of English language arts during freshman year in order to advance to sophomore English.
Binder & other expectations
Every student should keep a three-ring binder with five sections labeled vocabulary, notes, journal, classwork/homework (CW/HW), weekly language skills (WLS). Students must come to class daily with a pen/pencil, binder with paper, texts & novels, and homework. I have high expectations that each student will complete daily activities and homework in a responsible, thoughtful, and industrious manner. Let’s have a wonderful semester!
The subject of English language arts comprises reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Primarily, students will be continuing their study of literature, the writing process, and language. The reading program will include several novels, many of which focus on protagonists who must rely on themselves to problem-solve. Students will explore a variety of genres such as the short story, play, poem, newspaper, biography, autobiography, myth, and essay. Students will keep reader-response journals and use the John Collins writing program to create a portfolio of pieces that reflect on the literature we read. Please note that students must complete the research paper to pass in the third quarter.
The ninth-grade curriculum is divided into the following two semesters: “Overcoming Adversity” and “Then and Now.” Each of these semesters is sequential and relies heavily on literary analysis. During semester one, students will explore the theme of overcoming adversity in novels such as The Giver, The House on Mango Street, The Old Man and the Sea, The Call of the Wild, and literature circle choices. They will also read, analyze, and discuss multiple short stories, nonfiction pieces, and poetry. During semester two students will examine works of past and present such as Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, The Odyssey, and literature circle choices. Students will be conducting research and completing media projects, language studies, oral presentations, and compositions throughout the year. The curriculum for honors students is enriched with additional novels such as A Separate Peace, Les Miserables, Angela’s Ashes, and Shoeless Joe or The Bean Trees.
Importantly, every student will experience both the reading and writing processes in these capacities: as an individual, member of a small group, member of a whole class, as a speaker, and listener. As writers in the ninth-grade program, students will practice informative, persuasive, expressive, and entertaining forms of writing. Students will be taught how to write fully-developed answers to open-ended questions and how to demonstrate their critical and independent thinking on paper. Students will learn spelling, vocabulary, grammar, usage, and mechanics in both the context of their own reading and writing and through practice exercises. Honors students will enhance their study of the English language through advanced exercises in grammar and written conventions. Our texts are Holt’s Elements of Literature (Third Course), English Workshop, Elements of Writing (honors), and Vocabulary for the High School Student.