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Hello Coyotes!!! I am Ms. Berry. I teach 9th grade English (English I). I am coming back to West Creek after having opened the school in 2009. I love this community of learners and am very happy to be back to a place I have come to consider home. I am the mother of two amazing sons and two fun fur babies. My oldest son graduated from West Creek in 2014 and has since become an attorney. My youngest graduated from Northeast and will be attending The University of Alabama in the fall. It is my hope to inspire my students to become better communicators and ultimately great citizens of this wonderful community in which we live. See you in class!!! Ms. Berry
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“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” – Abigail Adams

Parents of 9th grade English I students:

Welcome to West Creek High School. I am Ms. Berry, and I am so very much looking forward to a productive year with your child in his/her/their inaugural year of high school. The 9th grade year is a time of growth and rapid change for most students; therefore, parental involvement is essential. Please take the time to carefully read and sign the syllabus with your child.

Additionally, your child will receive several emails/phone calls from the district detailing how you and they can access information about this course so that you may monitor your child’s progress in PowerSchool. You may contact me through my CMCSS email or my cell phone – I do not answer outside calls from my classroom phone or cell phone during school hours. If you need immediate attention, please call the office.

I am also requesting that parents provide an e-mail address and a cell phone number where you can be reached. This is simply a means to provide me the most effective avenue of communication. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this syllabus or the class in general. When you call or email, please state your full name and your child’s full name as well. I must make sure that you have rights to the student’s educational information before I speak with you.

Please consider donating any of the following materials to the class. This is in no way a requirement. Each donor will receive ONE homework pass that can be used anytime throughout the school year.

-1 roll of paper towels     

-1 bag of hard candy (I love giving candy for student participation)

This academic year we will share ideas, information, opinions, thoughts, knowledge, and facts with one another. We will do this through language – reading, writing, grammar, logical reasoning, speaking and listening, and technology – which is nothing more than communication. To make the communication easier and more useful for everyone in class, please follow these guidelines during every lesson:

Be Ready, Be Respectful, Be Responsible

  1. Treat others the way you want to be treated if you were them.
    a. Please speak appropriately. Be polite to others in the room by listening and thinking first, then raising your hand and waiting to be called upon.
    b. Please remember that every person’s contribution to the class is valuable. I deem the smallest comment, a firmly held opinion, an oral presentation, etc., in this class, as highly valuable; therefore, no one should ever be afraid to contribute. Never, ever make fun of, or dismiss, the ideas or work of others.

2. Come to class with your learning toolbox.
a. Please come to class prepared. Be prepared to work with all books and supplies and a fully charged laptop.
b. Be prepared to learn with an attitude of seriousness and purpose.
c. Be prepared to store your cellphone in silent mode until the end of class. This can be in your purse, bookbag or at the charging station. Charging ports will be available for your convenience. THIS IS NON_NEGOTIABLE. 

3. Please remain in your assigned seat.
a. If you need to leave your seat (to throw something away, for example), raise your hand and wait to be given permission.
b. You will receive 3 class exit pass per 9 weeks. This is an important rule for me that adds order to what is happening in class. Once you use your tickets, you will NOT be allowed to leave the classroom (with some exceptions). If you miss instruction while away, you will need to see me during tutoring times to recover the content. You will not be allowed to disrupt class to catch up.

4. Please do not eat or drink in class.
a. There is to be NO candy, snacks, food or drink of any kind. You may chew gum as long as it is not seen, heard, or inappropriately disposed. 
b. One exception is that you may have a closed bottle of water.

Freshman English NORMS
1) You have a chance to make a choice; accept your consequence. Inaction is also a choice.
2) Turn in your work on time. Once an assignment locks in Google Classroom, it will not be reopened.
3) Assessment retakes require an additional reflective assignment. That reflective assignment must be completed within 5 CALENDAR days of the grade being posted.
4) The HIGHEST grade that can be received for retakes is an 80%.
Ex. Retake and make 100% - posted grade is an 80% / Retake and make an 85% - posted grade is a 65%
5) Homework and Classwork work are NOT eligible for retakes.
6) It is the STUDENT’S responsibility to contact the teacher AND complete the reflective assignment in order to complete a retake. All reflective essays must use the RACE writing response strategy, which will be taught the first few weeks of class. The reflective assignment will be located in Google Classroom.
7) Work not turned in by the assignment due date will not receive immediate attention and will be scored at the teacher’s convenience, which may be at the end of the grading period. If you want your work graded immediately, please make sure that it is submitted on time.
8) Every reading assignment will have either an announced or unannounced quiz associated with it.

9) ALL instances of plagiarism or cheating will forfeit the chance for any retakes and a grade of zero will be placed in the gradebook along with an academic dishonesty notice. DO NOT CHEAT! 

All work will be found and turned into Google Classroom. All work is due on the day it is assigned unless otherwise stated. However, additional time will be imbedded into each week’s assignment. Students will have five (5) NO PENALTY calendar days the 1st semester and two (2) NO PENALTY calendar days the 2nd semester to turn in assignments (excluding homework and classwork) work after the ORIGINAL due date has passed. No emailed assignments will be accepted. Please be mindful though that work not submitted by the due date may not receive immediate feedback. All work not completed by the assignment lock out date will be deemed “not turned in” and will receive a grade of zero.

Example, assignment due date is January 11. Student turns in work on January 14. There will be no penalty for the work being “late”; however, the student may not receive immediate feedback for that late work.