Dear students, parents, and guardians:
Welcome to Freshman English at PVMHS. I look forward to sharing great literature with you. This year’s curriculum includes several classics of literature, such as Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey. We will also explore several great novels and short stories, and will embark on an in depth study of the art of poetry. There are some great films that correspond well with the units in this course, and we will be viewing them as well. In this class, students will be completing group projects, independent work, and essays to sharpen skills like writing, teamwork, perseverance, and time management. These assignments will also allow me to assess your learning and progress.
According to the school’s mission statement, “PVMHS, in partnership with family and community, provides a challenging and relevant curriculum in a safe, personalized learning environment that promotes respect and tolerance while encouraging all students to set high standards, achieve academic success, and continue to learn and contribute to society.” In order to achieve the school’s mission, students need to read, understand, and abide by the following policies.
Rules and Discipline: All students are expected to follow all rules listed in the student handbook. Furthermore, as the free exchange of ideas is paramount for a successful education, all students are expected to treat all members of the class with courtesy and respect. Students are expected to abide by the following rules AT ALL TIMES:
- Only one person at a time should be speaking in class. Listen attentively and politely to whoever is speaking.
- Students will not interrupt or blurt out answers. Raise your hand and wait to be called upon by the teacher!
- No food or beverage items are allowed in class besides BOTTLED WATER.
- Hats, hoods, MP3 players, CD players, beepers, cell phones, etc. are not allowed in the classroom. Prohibited items will be confiscated by the teacher.
- Disrespectful or derogatory comments or actions will not be tolerated. This includes both personal attacks (e.g. “You’re a moron”) and general comments (e.g. “This is so stupid”).
- Sleeping in class, or placing your head down on your desk in a similar position, is disrespectful to everyone in the class and will not be tolerated.
- Personal grooming is to be done outside of class.
- Peabody Veterans Memorial High School welcomes all students equally. Anyone who creates a hostile environment with discriminatory comments (whether based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or disabilities) will be sent immediately to his or her Dean.
For most rules, the class follows a three strike policy. On the first infraction of a rule, a student will be given a verbal warning. On the second occurrence, a detention will be assigned; detentions will be served in Mr. McLean’s room on either the day of the offense or the following class day without exception. On the third occurrence, the student will be required to leave the class and spend the remainder of the period at the Dean’s Office. Be aware that there are no “warnings” for discriminatory or violent behavior- any incident is one incident too many.
Plagiarism: Whether the source is an encyclopedia, a webpage, or someone else’s homework, copying someone’s work and submitting it as your own is plagiarism, and it will not be tolerated. Students caught plagiarizing on an assignment will fail that assignment and may be subjected to further disciplinary consequences. We will be reviewing the proper way to site sources to avoid plagiarism before the first paper is due.
Tardiness and Absenteeism: All students are expected to be in their assigned seats when the bell rings. At this time, all students should have their notebooks ready and their homework on their desk. There will be a warm-up activity on the board every day (a journal entry, notes, etc.). Students should begin the warm-up activity as soon as they arrive to class. The class begins promptly when the bell rings. Any student entering the class after the bell rings will be marked as tardy to class. According to the student handbook, four tardies will result in a 2 hour Friday detention. Absenteeism is a major obstacle to learning- all students must attend class regularly in order to learn and succeed. You are responsible for all work (class notes, class work, tests, quizzes, and homework assignments) missed due to absence! In the event of an absence from school:
1. All homework, essays, and projects assigned prior to the absence are due on the day of the student’s return to school.
2. If a student is absent on the day of a quiz or test, he or she will be expected to take the test within two days of his or her return to school. It is your responsibility to schedule a make-up. All make-ups are to take place after school.
3. For extended absences, (two or more consecutive days) all missed coursework, quizzes, and tests must be made up within five days of the student’s return to school. Any work not made up within this time will receive a grade of 0.
As stated in the student handbook, failure to make up classes and/or work missed (including papers, quizzes, tests, or other assignments) will result in a two point deduction from the student’s quarterly grade.
Materials: In order to be successful in this class, you will need to bring several supplies with you to class every day. These supplies include a three ring binder with loose leaf paper, a pen (blue or black ink), and the textbook you will be assigned and will need to cover. Periodically, binders will be evaluated and graded. Students will receive a grade based on the neatness, content, and organization of their binders. You will also need access to a computer with a printer for some assignments. Please let me know in advance if this will be a problem, and I will help you arrange to use one at school. You will also need to make sure that you save all the writing you do this year on a disk or computer hard drive.
Grading: As you earn grades this year you will be able to calculate your overall average using the following percentages.
20% Homework, class work, and participation
30% Quizzes and reading checks
50% Tests, projects, and papers
Mid-term and final exam: Student report cards now list the actual grade received on Mid-Term and Final Exams. Each quarter is worth 22.5% of a student’s final grade; the Mid-Term and Final are each worth 5% of the final grade
It is extremely important to share your school experiences with your family. Please have a parent/guardian read this and sign the attached sheet. (These will be distributed during the first week of school.) Thank you, and welcome once again to my class.