• English Language Arts Course Syllabus

    Westside High School 2021-2022

    Instructor Information



    Office Location & Hours

    Dr. LeNessa Clark


    Rm. 105, Tutoring: Weds. 230-330 or by appointment

    General Information


    This course provides a study of reading, writing, listening, and speaking divided into five literary units:                    a. Poetry; b. The Odyssey c. Romeo and Juliet; d. Night.; and Monster. Each unit will include a writing component.   Our curriculum reflects the Georgia Standards of Excellence.  You may refer to the Georgia Department of Education Website (GeorgiaStandards.org) to view a copy of the GSE.

    Course Objectives

    • Read, examine, and analyze various subgenres of literature (fiction and nonfictions stories, drama, and poetry) and informative texts.
    • Produce writing with a structure that accommodates the topic by introducing interesting, thought-provoking beginnings with a thesis statement that controls the essay, logical thought processes and clear supportive reasoning, and a concluding paragraph.
    • Evaluate data and library resource materials to prepare a formal research paper using correct Modern Language Association (MLA) documentation.
    • Format writing through computer technology and word processing Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE)

    Expectations and Goals

    High quality work is always expected. Students are expected to fully participate in each activity they are assigned.

    Professionalism: Along with the required readings and assignments, students should make it a point to regularly log in to the Canvas course to check course announcements, posts and respond to assignments, and to communicate effectively with the class. Students are responsible for collecting information/handouts covered in class during any absence and for checking with classmates about any changes in scheduling or assignments that may have been made.

    Assignments: All assignments are expected by the class meeting time on due dates. Submission requirements will always be communicated prior but will most likely always be uploaded in Canvas. If the assignment has more than five grammatical/spelling errors, the assignment will need to be corrected before being graded. Points will be deducted for spelling and grammatical errors. Times New Roman font will be used and 12 pt. size. Plan for potential technical problems. If you will be absent the day an assignment is due, still plan to turn it in on time.

    Electronic Devices: All electronic devices are considered unnecessary distractions and are to be turned off and concealed during class. Instructors may make exceptions for instructional purposes. A student who anticipates an emergency and expects to be contacted by an outside source must make prior arrangements with the instructor. A student whose electronic device is activated during an exam will be dismissed from the class will lose 10 points.

    Attendance Policy: As a part of your professional development, you are expected to attend (and be on time for) 100% of the class sessions.

    Richmond County approved documentation must be provided upon return to class to excuse an absence. Anything provided beyond immediate return will not be accepted. You are responsible for collecting information/handouts covered in class during any absence and for checking with classmates about any changes in scheduling or assignments that may have been made.

    In a case of inclement weather, adhere to the district schedule which can be accessed at rcboe.org.

    Classroom Norms

    1. Be prepared. (i.e., Assignments complete, materials present, mind positive and ready to learn).
    2. Be respectful. (Yourself. Property. Others.)
    3. Be productive. (Use your time wisely and be strategic)
    4. Be on time. (In your seat when the bell rings)
    5. Be gracious. (Being kind, courteous, and pleasant to yourself and others)
    6. Wear mask 100% of class time correctly (Please see RCBOE updated policy)


    Consequences of Violating Norms: 

    1. Warning: A private verbal warning about unwanted behavior.
    2. Email/call: Parent/guardians will receive a call informing them about student behavior.
    3. Detention: Student will receive 30-minute detention to be served on Wednesday.
    4. Referral: If the behavior continues to be an issue, the student will be written up and receive further disciplinary action.

    *Please note: Serious offenses may not go in sequential order.

    Course Materials

    Required Materials

    • Come to class prepared each day with a supply of college ruled notebook paper
    • Dark blue or black ink pens, a #2 pencil, a notebook or notebook folder for this class only, and a highlighter. These will be for your notetaking or rough draft purposes only.
    • Technology (cell phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) is strongly encouraged, but these items must be used in accordance with school and classroom rules and policy.

    Required Text

    Pearson 9th Grade Literature and Composition online

    Course evaluation

    Grading plan

    Grading in this course will be determined, in part, by the critical reading and activities regarding the course materials and contribution to class and group activities. The evaluation will focus on the ability to complete assigned pages (including photos and final copy), meeting deadlines for page submissions, and the ability to work collaboratively.

    You will earn points for the following achievements:

    Graded Item

    Percentage of Grade







    Grading scale

    A: 90 - 100

    B: 80 - 89

    C: 75 - 79

    D: 70 - 74

    F:  0 – 69

    Late work policy

    If work is submitted late, students will earn an “M” in the gradebook. Work will be accepted late up to two weeks past the due date. After the extension of two weeks, the highest the student can earn is a 60%.

    Additional Information and Resources

    Contact Preferences: Email (Outlook or Canvas) is my primary mode of contact. Be sure you use your student email and put the course you are taking “(i.e., English.)” in the email header. Correspondences should include proper e-mail etiquette. E-mails should begin by addressing your teacher by title and name “(Dr. Clark),” and end with a closing and your signature. Your message should be clear and concise so I can answer it effectively. We will meet in my room for any scheduled appointments but make sure our appointments have been confirmed.

    See the link for detailed etiquette information: https://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2010/09/30/18-etiquette-tipsfor-e-mailing-your-professor (Links to an external site.)

    Tentative Course Schedule





    Week 1



    Canvas Scavenger

    Discussing & setting schedules


    Plagiarism Statement

    Research and borrowing from sources can support and add credibility to writing but take care to always give credit to all sources used or you will be guilty of plagiarism. Simply put, plagiarism is stealing. It is deliberately representing someone else's work or ideas as if they were your own. Plagiarism involves the use of another's work without giving full and proper acknowledgment.

    Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to the following examples:

    • If a student uses material or ideas or expressions from a newspaper, magazine, encyclopedia, book, movie, Cliffs Notes, book jacket, song lyrics, the Internet, computer software, another student's writing (past or present, including siblings), parents, or even notes were taken in class-this material must be acknowledged or the student is guilty of plagiarism.
    • If a student copies homework from another student (even if the copier puts the material into his or her own words), he or she is guilty of plagiarism if he or she does not provide clear, written, acknowledgment of the source of the material.
    • If a student copies or paraphrases the summer reading assignment from a present or past student, the copier is guilty of plagiarism
    • Also, any student who cooperates in plagiarism is equally guilty. If someone writes material for another student, both are guilty of plagiarism. If one student gives his work to another student to copy or put into his own words, both students are guilty of plagiarism.

    Acknowledgment means the sources of all borrowed material, expressions, and ideas must be identified. In general, it is better to say too much about your sources than too little. 

    Please cut along the line below and return this signed statement on the second day of school.


     Plagiarism Statement

    I have read the statement on plagiarism, and I understand what constitutes plagiarism.

    Staff/Student Signature: ___________________________________ Date: ____________________

    Parent Signature: ____________________________________            Date: ____________________