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 college and career readiness.  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, the Six-Traits of Writing, the writing process, and blended learning with technology.  English is challenging course, and requires students to be responsible and actively participate in all class activities. Students should expect nightly homework which could be reading, writing, vocabulary exercises, language practice, research, or a multimedia project.

Please take a few moments to become familiar with our classroom standards, procedures, and required materials that are outlined on the following pages. These elements 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.  

Thank you,

Sooky Sayer-Kuhn


Room 116  


Detailed information


Stapley Junior High School has adopted four attitudes for success:  TRUTH, TRUST, RESPECT, and RESPONSIBILITY. The following school rules and standards will apply in all classrooms.  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 for classroom materials, the teacher, other students, and yourself.

    6. No personal technology without teacher permission.

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 will be calculated using the following formula:

Quarter 1 45% + Quarter 2 45% + Semester Final 10% = 100%

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.

English Language Arts Grading Policy

Missing and Late Work
Students may turn in missing and late assignments until the week before the end of each quarter, when they will remain zeroes.  Students will receive one late pass each quarter that must be attached to a late assignment that will be worth full earned credit.  These passes may only be used on assignments, not projects, essays, or tests. All other late assignments are worth 50% of earned credit.  Absolutely NO LATE WORK or LATE PASSES will be accepted during the last week of each quarter.

Test Retakes
Students may retake tests but not quizzes for full earned credit.  They must fill out the test retake form, attach the evidence of their relearning, attend mandatory tutoring, and schedule the retest within one week of receiving their original test grade.

Assignment Redos
Students may redo assignments, projects, and essays for full earned credit per teacher instructions.

Absent Work
If the student has an excused absence, he or she 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. Missed tests or quizzes must be made up before or after school within the same time period of the length of the absence.  If the test or quiz or assignment is not made up within this time period, it is considered late work and will be treated as such.

Stapley Planner

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.


Materials are expected to last throughout the school year DUE: August 13th

  • 3-Subject COLLEGE ruled spiral notebook plastic coated cover with pockets [highly suggested brand = Five Star Notebooks]

  • Adhesion material(s): glue sticks, scotch tape rolls, or mini stapler with your own staples

  • 2-Pocket Folder w/ spine [three brads to hold 3-hole punched papers]

  • Loose Leaf College Ruled Paper (NO spiral paper and sized 8½” x 11”)

  • Pens: blue or black ink for formal writing

  • Pens: red for grading and revisions

  • Pencils [wood (w/ personal pencil sharpener) or mechanical (w/ extra graphite)]

  • Erasers

Suggested MATERIALS:

  • Pencil Pouch

  • Highlighters (blue, green, yellow, orange, and pink)

  • Ear-buds

Donations for the CLASSROOM: *Thank you in advance. We appreciate any and all donations.

  • Facial Tissues

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Wet wipes

  • Disinfecting cloths

  • Tape / Glue

  • Colored markers

  • Colored pencils