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Literature & Composition I

Course Expectations
In this course students will work to develop: the skills and understandings needed to
respond intelligently to imaginative literature, and the skills and understandings needed
to effectively express their ideas in writing. Our primary texts will be The Odyssey,
Oedipus Rex, Romeo and Juliet, and Lord of the Flies; but these main texts will be
supplemented by short stories, poems and essays, and also by visual art, music and film.
Most of the compositions students work on will be analytical, but they will also have
occasion to do some personal and some creative writing.

Punctuality and Classroom Behavior
Students are expected to arrive to class on time and ready to work, with their
homework, current English text, English binder, and a pen or a pencil.
•Students are expected to be active and attentive participants in all class activities.
Students are expected to behave respectfully and considerately towards one another
and towards their teacher.
Students are expected to be honest and honorable when it comes to completing their
own work, and to adhere to the LHS Honor Code.
•Students are expected to remain in the classroom during the first and last ten minutes
of each class, the times during which directions for the day are given and during which
the lesson is brought to a close. If a student must use the rest room or get a drink of
water, he or she should ask to go in between these two ten-minute periods.
•Students are expected to keep their cell phones off and out of view. If a student violates
this policy, his or her cell phone will be confiscated and delivered to the dean for
collection at the end of the day. Multiple violations will result in more severe disciplinary

Students’ grades will be determined using the following weighting system:
Homework: 35%
Writing Assignments: 30%
Tests, Quizzes, Projects, and Presentations: 25%
Participation: 10%

Within each category a point system will be used whereby a student’s grade is
determined by dividing the total number of points earned by the total number of possible
points. (Except for participation—see below.)

Students can expect to receive homework assignments for nearly every class period.
These assignments may include reading, answering comprehension questions,
annotating texts, and completing worksheets. They may also include incremental work
on longer-term projects and writing assignments, and review for quizzes and tests. If
students are asked to produce something for homework, they can count on its being
checked at the beginning of class, and on its being periodically collected. Students
should not expect to receive full credit for homework that is only partially complete, or
that consists of a bunch of one- or two-word responses to questions that call for
significant thought.
The regular completion of homework is absolutely essential to the development of the
skills and understandings needed to succeed in this course. Therefore if a student does
not complete a homework assignment, he or she will be required to come to room 167 at
2:30 pm on either the day the assignment is missed, or on the very next day, in order to
make up the missing assignment and receive partial credit. This policy is known as ZAP,
which is an acronym for Zeros Aren’t Permitted.

Writing Assignments
Writing assignments will be given at least one week in advance of their due date.
Typically their completion will involve a number of steps, for example brainstorming,
outlining, drafting, and revising. They will be assessed on the strength of their content,
structure, and style. Students may expect to receive a rubric for each major writing
assignment, which will communicate the relevant expectations and focus-areas.

Tests, Quizzes, Projects, and Presentations
There will occasionally be quizzes, both announced and unannounced, on vocabulary and
reading. Less frequently there will be tests on vocabulary and reading, and these will
always be announced well in advance. There will be projects and presentations as well;
students can expect that these will be assigned well in advance of their due date.

At the end of each quarter each student will receive a participation grade, which will
count for ten percent of his or her quarter grade. Active, vocal contribution to the activity
of the class is the most obvious component of successful participation. Other important
components include diligent, respectful attention paid to classmates and the teacher;
and consistently sound preparation for class. I will meet with all students at least once
over the course of each quarter to discuss participation, and all students will fill out a
self-assessment at each quarter’s end that I will factor in when determining the
participation grade.

Absence and Make-up Work
Absence from school is not an excuse for a lack of preparation for English. Students will
receive weekly calendars of assignments, and these calendars, along with relevant class
materials, will be available on our course website. Additionally, students should make
arrangements with at least one classmate whom, in the event of an absence, they know
they can contact to find out what they missed.

Students are expected to turn in outstanding homework due to an excused absence on
the day they return to school. They will be given one day of make-up time for each day
of absence. If a student is too ill to do work for an extended period of time, I ask that
parents or guardians inform me of this through email.

If a student is absent without an excuse, he or she will receive a zero on work due on, or
completed during, that day. This includes quizzes and tests.

By Tuesday, September 8, students should have the following:
•A composition book or single-subject spiral notebook that will be used as a journal and
kept at school in room 167. Each day we will begin class by writing briefly in these
journals, and the journal will be assessed as a major writing assignment at the end of
each quarter.
•A three-ring binder divided into three sections: homework/writing, vocabulary, and class
Extra Help
I strongly encourage students to come for extra help, particularly concerning writing
assignments, which can cause a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, and which will get bigger
and more complex as the year progresses. I am available after school each day in room

Students and parents may email me with questions and concerns at:
( Since we share classrooms at LHS I ask that you do
not phone my personal extension. If communication is urgent, please contact the English
department secretary, Ms. Rooney, at 781-861-2320 (x-2183). She will get me the
message and I will return your call as soon as I can.
Last Name Initial

First Name Last Name

Contact Information: Students and Parents- Please read the course expectations and
then fill out this information.


Student Name: ______________________________________________________

Student Address: _____________________________________________________

__________________ ____________________
city ZIP code

Student Email: ________________________

Student Phone Number________________

Middle School: ________________________ 8th grade English Teacher____________

Parent 1 Name: ______________________________________________________

Parent Address: _____________________________________________________
(if different than above)
__________________ ____________________
city ZIP code

Parent Email: ________________________

Parent Home Number ___________________

Parent Cell Number _____________________

Parent 2 Name: ______________________________________________________

Parent Address: _____________________________________________________
(if different than above)
__________________ ____________________
city ZIP code

Parent Email: ____________________________

Parent Home Number __________________

Parent Cell Number ______________________

I understand and agree to the above requirements and will abide by all

Student Name: ____________________________________________________
Signature: ________________________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name: ______________________________________________
Signature: ________________________________________________________


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