Brittonkill CSD          Tamarac Secondary        Tamarac Elementary


Letter to Parents
Course Outline
Course Requirements

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s),



Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! I am writing to introduce myself to you as well as to give you information about the goals, curriculum and expectations of English 11. Because parents play such a critical role in their child’s education, I wanted to communicate with you as soon as possible.


This year your child will take the Comprehensive Regents Examination in English. Passing this exam is a requirement for graduation. We will do a certain amount of preparation for this test. However, the course is not merely Regents preparation. Students will engage in a great deal of reflective as well as analytical writing. While there are particular skills that must be addressed for each task on the exam, the approach for teaching and learning allows for variety and creativity. These skills are also easily transferable to other types of writing. We will cover a wide range of literature this year. It is my wish that your child will enjoy, as I do, the material covered. While your child may not “love” a particular work that we are covering, I do ask him/her to “hang in there.” The next work might become his/her favorite novel ever!


English will be challenging this year, but it is my hope that it will also be rewarding. English 11 does require a lot of hard work. In order to be ready for an exam which requires lots of reading and writing and to truly develop students’ analytical abilities, we must do demanding work. I do promise you and your child that I will do all that I can to help your child reach his/ her potential in this class. If students consistently work hard and do their very best, they will be prepared to do their personal best on the exam and in the course.


Organization is one of the keys to success in this class. I have sent several items home with your child to help guide him/her in the right direction. One of these items lists the course requirements. This sheet outlines information and policies that will be important throughout the year. I have also sent home a course outline. Please look these over.


The district currently subscribes to a service called, a service that many high schools and colleges now utilize. This is primarily a plagiarism prevention service. In this increasingly technological age, we as educators are finding our students more and more reliant on the multitude of sources available to them to generate ideas and often words when writing. Unfortunately, plagiarism often results. I would like for my students to demonstrate their own knowledge/ understanding of a topic when given a writing assignment that is not research based. To this end, students are expected not to use internet sources when writing their literary analysis; I want to know what the students know, and I would like to help them gain confidence in their own critical thinking abilities. Ultimately, I would like for this to be a learning tool not an agent of punishment. As a class, we will review what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Students need to learn how to analyze written works and learn how to put their thoughts into a coherently structured essay that demonstrates their knowledge of the topic. Therefore, students will be required to submit a copy of each essay to this service.


In order to set up an account, students must agree to an End Users' Agreement (EULA). Students who are under the age of 18 need the consent of a parent/guardian to have an account on By signing on the line indicated on the next page, you agree to let your child create an account. If, for some reason, you do not wish for your child to create an account, he/she will still need to electronically submit his/her paper and I will then submit it to the service. I encourage you to go to the website and look around, especially at the frequently asked questions. When we began using this service we found that students were initially quite nervous. They quickly learned that if they had not plagiarized they had nothing to be concerned about.


Please fill out and return to school with your son or daughter the tear off section at the back of this letter. Note that there are two areas for you to sign. The first simply acknowledges that you have received and read this letter. The second signature is giving permission for your child to create an account on Do not hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns and/or information about your child. You may call and leave a voice mail message at 279-4600, ext. 1408 or you may email me at school at I also have a web page for my classes. It will contain general information as well as specific assignments and handouts that may be accessed and printed out. I find this helpful to students when they are absent or misplace an assignment and to parents in obtaining information about assignments. This should be up and running very soon.


I am looking forward to an enjoyable year with your sons and daughters. Thank you.



Helen Parsons        




***Please note the two areas that require your signature.



Student’s Name:____________________________      Home Phone:__________________




Work Phone(s):________________  (name:___________________)


                           _________________ (name: ___________________)


Email (please note whose email this is): _________________________________________


My signature below indicates that I have received and read the above letter.



(Parent/Guardian Signature)




My signature below gives my child permission to create his/her own account on



(Parent/Guardian Signature)








English 11

Mrs. Parsons




Materials needed:

Notebook for class notes (preferably a 3 subject that you can divide for organizational purposes)

Notebook for journal

Pens with blue or black ink

Folder(s): You will be responsible for keeping all handouts and tests/quizzes/essays returned to



Homework Policy:

Homework is due on the assigned date. For every day that an assignment is late, 10 points will be deducted. Homework will not be accepted more than three days late.


In the event that you are absent, you will be given the corresponding number of days to make up your work. You are responsible for obtaining missed assignments and making up missed tests and/or quizzes.  Frequently visiting my web page will be a great way for you to stay up-to-date!


Homework Checks:

Many homework assignments will be graded using the Check, Check +, Check – system. This works as follows:

Check: the assignment was satisfactorily completed. Showed good effort.

Check - : Something may have been missing or the assignment demonstrated little effort.

Check + : Assignment was thoroughly completed. Showed clear thought and effort.

INC: The assignment was not fully completed.


**Please note that assignments that are graded this way are most often relevant to that day’s class discussion (i.e questions on reading, journal response on reading). Because this material is then covered in class, these assignments can not be completed after their due date.


Grading Policy:

Weights of Assignments:

                 homework = 1 grade

                 quizzes = 2 grades

                 minor writings = 2 grades

                 major essay = 3 grades  *** see note below

                 projects, tests, journals = 3 grades


***We will talk a great deal about writing as a process. You will be strongly encouraged to write various types of rough drafts to help you with your final product


Plagiarism: By definition, plagiarism is the taking of another's ideas and calling them your own.

It is not simply the copying of another's work, though that is one type of plagiarism. This is a serious offense and will be dealt with as such. We will discuss what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.  Students are expected, in all essays, to express their own individual thoughts and ideas. A plagiarized essay will result in an automatic zero on the assignment as well as a disciplinary referral per the C.H.O.R.D. policy.

All essays must be submitted electronically, either directly to or in electronic form to the teacher for submission to

Class Participation/Discussion: This is extremely important in and will be averaged into your quarterly grade. This will consist of being prepared for class and being a positive contributor to the class and our discussions. In order to do this, you must also be present in class. Excessive absences will negatively impact your class participation grade and therefore affect your overall grade.


EXTRA HELP: I strongly encourage you to seek out my assistance whenever needed. It is my wish to help you succeed. I am available both during school and after school on agreed upon days.


SUCCESS= Positive Attitude + Consistent Effort






English 11

Mrs. Parsons

Promises 2014-2015


I Promise...

➢ To teach you to the best of my ability every day

➢ To be prepared to teach, to have a plan, every day

➢ To share my love of literature, language and learning

➢ To take my obligations to you seriously

➢ To make my expectations clear

➢ To understand and remember that this is a challenging year for you

➢ To never give you busy work

➢ To learn from and with you

➢ To hold you to high standards and to challenge you

➢ To help you be successful and achieve your personal best

➢ To help you build on skills you have already developed

➢ To treat you as young adults

➢ To never intentionally embarrass or humiliate you

➢ To create and foster a safe learning environment

➢ To always emphasize the importance of your involvement in this class and your learning

➢ To help you grow as a student

➢ To teach the whole person

➢ To start the year with a fresh slate

➢ To make myself available to help you


I Expect You...

➢ To do the best you can each day

➢ To come to class prepared to be a part of class

➢ To take your work seriously

➢ To ask questions about what you don’t understand

➢ To understand that sometimes I am busy too ☺

➢ To put forth an honest effort to do your best

➢ To act in a way that reflects how you wish to be treated

➢ To treat everyone in the room with dignity and respect

➢ To be actively involved in class

➢ To grow and learn

➢ To start the year with a fresh slate

➢ To put aside preconceived notions about this class - be open!

➢ Seek out help when you need it







English 11

Mrs. Parsons

The overall goal of this course is to help students  become stronger readers, writers, thinkers and communicators. In addition, students will take the Comprehensive Regents Examination in English in June. Emphasis here is on helping students create meaning out of these tasks and on helping students do their individual best.  Analytical essays will also be a large component of the course, allowing students to express deeper ideas about the works they have studied.


Unit Plans and Major Works


Unit one: Introduction to English 11

                 poems, essays, articles


Unit two: Identity and Relationships

                 The Great Gatsby

                 ( selected shorter works to accompany thematic ideas)


Unit three: Life and its Lessons

                   Death of A Salesman

                   ( selected shorter works to accompany thematic ideas)


Unit four: Shakespeare/Novel Study-



Unit five:  British Poetry/Novel Study


NOTE: This is an outline and is meant as a general guide for the course. Individual units may vary as the need arises.












Brittonkill CSD          Tamarac Secondary        Tamarac Elementary