Dear Parent or Guardian:


Welcome to a new school year!  As your student’s language arts teacher, we are looking forward to meeting and working with each of you to help make your student’s experience in his or her language arts class positive, successful, and rewarding.


Seventh grade language arts is a survey course which includes critical writing, critical reading, research, speaking and listening, vocabulary, and language.  We will be following the Arizona Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.  You can find these standards at the Arizona Department of Education website at  The standards are designed to improve student readiness for post-high school pursuits at universities, colleges, technical schools, or armed services.  Methods and tools used to help students meet these standards are critical and creative thinking skills, critical reading strategies, classroom discussion forums such as Socratic Discussions and Philosophical Chairs, Cooperative Learning, 6 Traits of Writing, the writing process, and technology.  This course is challenging and requires students to be responsible and actively participate.  Students should expect nightly homework which could be reading, writing, vocabulary exercises, language practice, research, or a multimedia project or presentation. 


Please take a few moments to become familiar with our classroom standards, procedures, and required materials which are outlined on the following pages. These are designed to improve student success. When you finish, please sign and date the back page and return it. Communication is essential for student success. In order to take care of common issues the preferred method of contact is email, as we check it several times per day, and there will not be any phone tag involved.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to leave a voicemail before or after school.  Also, please use the web page at as a reference tool to access information about assignments, due dates, and policies. 




Stapley Junior High School has adopted four attitudes for success:  TRUTH, TRUST, RESPECT, and RESPONSIBILITY.  The following school rules and standards will apply in this classroom.  These standards will be more fully defined, discussed, and demonstrated in class.



1.  Be on time.

2.   Be prepared to study and learn.                                                                     

3.   Participate positively and work to learn.                                                     

4.   Follow teacher directions, class rules, and procedures.

5.   Show respect to the teacher, other students, and yourself.

6.   Follow all other school rules.

7.  No gum, food, or drinks allowed in the classroom.



Choosing to follow the above rules will result in positive consequences; whereas, an infraction of any of the above standards will result in one or a combination of the following consequences:


  • Verbal reminder of the standard
  • Conference with the teacher
  • Parent involvement
  • Isolation from the class
  • Teacher-assigned detention
  • Behavior/Academic contract
  • Work duty
  • Consultation with a counselor
  • Referral to administration


SEVERE CLAUSE:  Any offense deemed serious enough by me will result in immediate referral to administration.






Grades are calculated into the following categories:


            Daily Assignments (i.e. study guides, graded discussions, notes, journals, DOLs, calendars, signed grade reports, self-assessments/reflections)


            Product Assessments (i.e. essays, research, projects, speeches/presentations, tests, quizzes)


            Vocabulary (i.e. exercises and tests)


            Quarterly Exam/Portfolio  




Each nine-week grade is assigned as follows:  90% - 100% = A; 80% - 89% = B; 70% - 79% = C; 60% - 69% = D; 59% and below = F.  The semester grade is the average of the two quarters. 



Grades are available online through the parent/student portal by accessing Mesa’s, Stapley’s, or our web page. We encourage you to frequently use the grade portal to access your child’s progress.   We update grades about every two weeks. When students are given a printed copy of their grades, parent or guardian signatures on these grade reports are required and will count as a grade.  These signed grade reports must be returned the following Monday. We encourage you to use this as an opportunity to discuss progress on current goals and set new goals for the future.



No late work will be accepted for full credit. Late assignments will be assessed at 50% of the original total possible.  If there is an extenuating circumstance please contact the teacher; these will be handled on an individual basis.



If the student has an excused absence, she or he will have one day for each missed day to complete the missing work.  It is the student’s responsibility to find out what was missed before or after class, NOT DURING CLASS TIME. Any make-up, incomplete work, or missed materials will need to be completed by appointment with your teacher. Missed tests or quizzes must be made up before or after school within the same time period of the length of the absence (i.e. If a student is absent one day, the test or quiz must be made up the day of return).  If the test or quiz is not made up in this time period, the score will be a 0 and the student will not be allowed to make up the test or quiz.


Students will complete a calendar of daily class activities and homework at the beginning of class each day in their Stapley Planner.  Please refer to this planner or the one on our web page to keep updated on assignments, homework, due dates, test dates, etc.



We are usually available before or after school for extra help.  To ensure our presence, please make an appointment beforehand or attend the scheduled English tutoring.



Students must bring the following materials to class every day:


  • A 3-subject spiral or bound notebook with pockets, college ruled with plastic coated cover *Most durable brand is Five Star notebooks
  • A pen (blue or black ink only)
  • A pencil (sharpened before class; extra lead if mechanical)
  • A colored pen (other than blue or black)
  • 8 ½” x 11” loose-leaf white paper (college ruled; no spiral paper)
  • Glue stick, tape, or mini-stapler(with your own staples)
  • Dry erase marker and eraser(cloth eraser preferred)
  • Highlighter
  • Stapley Student Handbook/Planner
  • Homework (ready to turn in before class begins)   


*All required materials must be contained in the students binder. A pencil pouch works well to keep supplies organized.