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Ms.

Rinehart’s 8th Grade English-Language Arts Syllabus 
2017-2018 

Teacher: Ms. Rinehart 
(515) 967-5509 ext. 3078 
jenny.rinehart@southeastpolk.org  
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” -- John Dewey 
 
The English-Language Arts course is the forum for students to explore and understand 
the past, present, and future through literature and writing. By reading various genres of 
literature; students will broaden, relate to, and share each other’s perspectives. Their 
voices will not only be heard through discussions about literature, but through their writing 
as well.   
 
Expectations 
● Be Prepared 
● Be Respectful 
● Try Your Hardest 
● Ask Questions 
 
Daily Materials 
You will need to have the following items every day in English:  
● Earbuds/Headphones  
● Paper/Notebook (preferably with folder to organize your class handouts) 
● Writing utensil  
● Free‐reading book 
 
Grade Breakdown and Policy: 
Grades are broken down into two categories: 
● Instructional Activities = 30% of grade and assignments are weighted by points 
○ This consists of in-class activities, guided and independent practice 
assignments, free-writes, grammar activities. 
● Assessments = 70% of grade and assignments are weighted by points 
○ Quizzes/tests over literature, grammar, vocabulary 
○ Paper topics will include responses to literature, essays, poetry, and creative 
writing. 
○ Projects are creative extensions from literature and writing assignments that 
will include performances, art, and speeches. 
● Grades will be calculated per the district scale. 
 
 
Attendance 
● During an excused absence (ex. illness, travel) the student is allowed the number of 
days absent in order to make-up work per the Southeast Polk Junior High Student 
Handbook. 
o Handbook: “Any late work will result in a point deduction such as that for late 
assignments (per building policy). Students will have a deadline to turn in 
work for the quarter. This deadline will be ve school days prior to the end 
of the grading period. This is the LAST day work will be accepted with the 
expectation that late work will be monitored throughout the quarter using 
the progress reporting system as a guide. All work is expected to be turned 
in as soon as completed or prior to assessments. The lowest percentage a 
student can receive is 60% if turned in prior to deadline AS LONG AS work 
meets the expectations of the assignment/teacher.” 
 
o Further points could be deducted for quality/accuracy of work (teacher 
discretion). This means a student could still get a 0 if no e ort is put into the 
project and it does not meet the expectations.  
 
Reading Expectations 
Students will be expected to bring free-reading material to class daily. This may include: 
novels, non- ction texts, magazines, newspaper, etc; as long as it’s appropriate material 
for school. Students will also be expected to read 20 minutes per day outside of class. It’s 
encouraged that discussions occur at home over the material your student is reading. 
Various activities/assignments will occur throughout the year that will require your 
student to maintain the reading expectations of eighth grade students. 
 
Technology 
Technology is a privilege in my classroom, not a right. We are fortunate enough to have a 
class set of Chromebooks that we will use on a regular basis, if not daily. With each 
Chromebook assignment/activity there will be clear instruction and expectations for the 
students to follow. My motto for technology use: “if you abuse it, you lose it.” The use of 
the Chromebook may be suspended if a student cannot follow instructions/expectations. 
We will do all of our word processing and presentations on Google Drive. This can be 
accessed from home just by students signing into Google at home using their username 
WITH their SEP address. 
 
Communication 
Education is a partnership between home and school. Throughout the year, I will use 
email, phone calls, In nite Campus messenger, Google Classroom, and my classroom 
webpage (rinehartela8.weebly.com) to communicate with families. I will keep my 
classroom page updated to include assignment information and due dates. I will update 
my grade book on In nite Campus within 5 days of an assignment being collected. For 
larger projects or papers, please allow for 2 weeks for grading to be complete. I will mark 
those projects/papers as turned in on the day it's due—to help communicate assignment 
completion. I encourage families to contact me directly with any questions. I can be 
reached via email jenny.rinehart@southeastpolk.org or by phone 515-967-5509 ext. 3078.  
 
I look forward to an exciting and rewarding school year at Southeast Polk Junior High!  
 
Parent(s) and Guardian(s): 
Please discuss this syllabus with your student, then sign and date below.   
 
_______________________________________________________________  
Student’s Name  
 
________________________________________________________________  
Student Signature  
 
________________________________________________________________  
Parent(s)/Guardian Signature Date