Honors Sophomore English Syllabus


Instructor: Ms. Julie Andersen

Email: jmandersen@mpsaz.org (Preferred method of contact)

Phone: 480-472-8101

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Welcome to Sophomore Honors English! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach some of the best, brightest, and most creative students out there. As a Red Mountain alumnus myself, I truly take pride in this school and its students. As a teacher, I believe that when a student works hard, engages in the classroom, and has a positive attitude that he/she can be successful. I look forward to teaching and learning from all my students.

Course Description:  Honors Sophomore English is an enriched, accelerated program in composition and literature, designed for the highly capable and motivated sophomore student. EN 35 takes the place of EN 47. This is a weighted course.

Required materials:

·       College ruled loose leaf paper

·       School-issued laptop (unless exempt)

·       Pencil and pen

·       A folder or divider space in a binder

Recommended materials:

·       Sticky notes

·       Highlighters

·       Different colored pens or pencils for annotations and activities

Classroom Rules: Follow the Red Mountain Way and, unless instructed otherwise…

·       Respect peers, teachers, guests, and yourself

·       Listen and follow directions

·       Remain in your assigned seat

·       Keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself

·       Raise your hand before speaking

·       Park your cell phone in the Cell Phone Parking Lot until the end of class, and keep other electronics stowed away.


Consequences: Students may receive positive consequences for following our rules/procedures and displaying characteristics of the Red Mountain Way such as happy notes home, verbal kudos, Red Mountain Change, small treats, etc. For negative behaviors, students may receive a warning, informal teacher conference, parent contact, seat change, Minor Incident Report, Office Discipline Referral, or other appropriate interventions.

Essays: To practice the skills needed in future AP and college courses, students will complete several timed in-class essays. In class essays will be handwritten unless otherwise specified or exempted by a student’s IEP or 504 plan. All other essays will be submitted online unless otherwise announced. Written assignments should be typed in MLA format, with size 12 Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1” margins.

Class Texts: In addition to shorter readings and articles, this year we will be reading: The Great Gatsby, King Lear, Lord of the Flies, and a fourth novel to be determined. Students will be provided with school copies of these texts, though they are welcome to purchase their own copies, too.

English Department Policies

Personal Electronic Devices Use of cell phones in the English classroom is strictly prohibited unless the teacher has given specific permission for an academic use. Cell phones must be turned off (or set to silent mode) and put away during the entirety of class. Some English classrooms, including this one, may require students to place their devices into a cell phone holder during the class period. Violations will result in cell phones being confiscated and held until the end of the school day. It is the students’ responsibility to arrange pick-up of their devices after school. The instructor is not responsible for damage or loss of these devices.

Lion Time and Independent novels - Lion Time has been designated for academic growth and will be used in the English classroom for reteaching, retesting, tutoring, practicing, and independent reading time. Students will not be allowed to watch movies or TV shows (Netflix), youtube videos, or participate in unsanctioned non-academic activities during Lion Time. Independent novels will be student-selected. Parents and guardians are encouraged to help his/her student to select a novel which is appropriate for that student’s abilities and sensitivities. Students are responsible for purchasing or borrowing each of these novels.

Grading - Grades in an English class primarily reflect a student’s proficiency on adopted state standards.

Letter Grade





Mastery or highly proficient






Proficient or partially proficient



Minimally proficient


59% and below

Not proficient or not enough evidence to determine proficiency

Grading break down- Semester grades will be fully cumulative. Each assignment will fall into one of the following standards-based categories and will be weighted according to the following scale:


Percentage of Grade

Example types of assignments

Speaking and Listening


In-class discussions, informal presentations, analysis of speakers, planning/reflecting on these skills, etc.



Vocabulary practice, grammar practice, vocabulary quizzes, grammar quizzes, etc.



Analysis of fiction and nonfiction texts, literature circle roles, annotations, journaling, etc.

Writing Process


Brief or informal writing assignments, analysis/ reflection of written work, analyzing written craft, writing workshop, rough drafts, peer revision, outlining, etc.

Summative Assessments


Final draft essays, final exams, major projects/presentations, etc.

Late/Absent/Revised Work:

Students in an English class will be expected to turn in work on time on assigned day. Students will be rewarded for completing assignments on time.  Late work, make-up work, missing work, and revised work will be accepted under the following conditions: work must be accompanied by the appropriate cover sheet and follow the appropriate steps listed on the sheet. Late work must be turned in within one week of the assigned due date. English teachers have final say in whether an assignment will be accepted late.

Assessments - All English students will be required to take department reading and writing assessments as well as the state assessment to determine correct placement, to assess skill level, to determine proficiency, and to plan curriculum/intervention/enrichment.

Finals - All English students will be required to take an academic final each semester. All English teachers will administer the grade-level approved final for each semester on district designated finals days for both fall and spring semesters. This assessment will count toward the summative assessment category of their grade.

Further Classroom Procedures & Policies

Other grading information-

·       Occasionally, students may be engaged in a trade-and-grade or peer review assignment. If the student or parent objects, alternate arrangements may be made.

·       Many assignments will be available online on Canvas. It is the student’s responsibility to use their device to submit all assignments.

·       Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. If a student chooses to cheat or copy an assignment or allow another student to do so from daily classroom work, the student will receive an immediate minor incident report (MIR), the parent will be contacted, and the student will have to redo the assignment with a reflection form. If a student chooses to cheat or copy a summative assessment (major test, project, essay, etc.) or allow another to do so from their work, they will receive an immediate office discipline referral (ODR).


Absences: It is the responsibility of the student to determine and complete the classwork and homework missed during absences.

·       Students should first check the posted course calendar and the handouts crate to find the necessary assignments.

·       Next, they should talk with a peer to check to make sure they have all appropriate materials.

·       If there are still questions, I am more than happy to discuss any questions with a student after class, during lunch, or after school.

Absences Continued:  School policy states that “students are allowed nine (9) absences that include excused and unexcused absences. A tenth absence may result in an audit (student losing credit for the class - an administrative decision).” As per district policy, if a student arrives to class more than 10 minutes late or is out of the room for more than 10 minutes, they will be marked absent.

Food and drink: Snacks are allowed as long as the food is neither messy nor distracting. Students may have water in the classroom. Any drinks other than water must be left on the back table until the end of the hour. Students are responsible for cleaning up any accidental spills as a result of food or drink in the classroom.