Ramona Community School

Preparing Today's Learners for Tomorrow's World



English I Honors

Mrs. Courtney Sawada

(760) 787-4043

E-Mail: csawada@ramonausd.net

Webpage: http://www.ramonausd.net/16372041812535137/site/

Classroom: i 50

Office Hours:

(for help or conversation)

Daily: 7:00-7:15 am

Tuesdays: 2:25-3:00pm

Wednesdays: “Extended Learning Time” or 2:25-3:00pm

Thursdays: “Extended Learning Time” or 2:25-3:00pm

Or by appointment


Dear parents and students,


Welcome to Ramona High School! We would like you to understand that Honors English prepares students for Advanced Placement courses as well as college.  Therefore it has higher expectations than Core English.  Here are the five distinctions of an English I Honors course:

1.       Course reading is completed primarily outside of class.

2.       At least two additional novels are studied beyond the core curriculum.

3.       Writing is expected to be at a higher level of skill, sophistication, and insight.

4.       More essays are required.

5.       Students are expected to demonstrate responsibility and maturity through working independently to prepare for class discussions and activities.


Please read about the curriculum, grading policies, and behavior expectations for English I Honors. We have kept the signature page separate so you can retain this first page for future reference. Remember that the attached signature page is due ASAP and that the last day to earn credit is ___________________________.





Courtney Sawada                             Pixie Sulser





Welcome to Ramona High School and to English I Honors!


You will be experiencing many new and exciting things as you enter into this new phase of your life and your education.  This class will only be one aspect of these new experiences.  But as a student and a community member of this classroom, you should expect to work hard, challenge your understandings and knowledge, while participating and committing yourself not only to your success but the success of all the members of this class.  This class is designed not only for your enrichment and development, but also for your enjoyment.  However, whether or not you enjoy this class or take from it all that is offered to you is entirely up to you as the student.  Your education now and throughout the rest of your life will be what you make of it.  You are in the driver’s seat now!!


English I Course Curriculum


The English I course is standards based. Anyone wishing to review the ninth grade English Language Arts standards may look through the Table of Contents of the literature textbook. There is also a checklist of these in the back of the Interactive Reader. Students will receive a copy of both books, however,  the Interactive Reader stay in the classroom while the literature textbook will remain at home.


The standards-based curriculum explores key concepts using selections within the textbook (short stories, poetry, and nonfiction).   In addition, self-selected readings, journals and structured essays will be incorporated throughout the year.


All English I students study Animal Farm, Odyssey and Romeo and Juliet. English I Honors curriculum is enriched with supplemental works such as I Am The Cheese and Lord of the Flies.  English I Honors reading will also include Literature Circles and Independent Reading selections.  Vocabulary, grammar, writing and speaking and listening activities will revolve around these texts.


Course Text:      Literature and Language Arts                        Holt, Rinehart and Winston


English I Course Policies


The following are the policies and classroom guidelines for all English I Courses.


Major Assignment Due Dates:

Major projects, such as essays and book chats, are due on the designated day, whether or not the student is absent.  Since these are assigned well in advance, students have the option of turning them in ahead of time, emailing the work to the teacher, or designating someone to bring them in.


“Make up” work: 

For excused absences, students must inquire about missed assignments through classmates and online sources.  Then complete the missing work with in as many days as the length of the absence. Tests must be made up during “extended learning time” on Block Days immediately following the student’s return.


“Late” work:

Assignments will be turned in on the due date.  Late work will only be accepted when these steps are followed:

1.       Student sees the teacher first to discuss a plan.

2.       Student attends Saturday School (with verification) and/or “extended learning time” (with his/her teacher) to complete the work.

3.       Late work will be accepted up to 3 weeks past the due date; completed work can receive maximum credit of  50%.


Please Excuse Passes: 

Once students have returned “The Film And Independent Reading Consent Form” with a parent signature that is attached to this syllabus, AND the parent has emailed the teacher, the student will receive four “FREE” Please Excuse passes to your locker, the bathroom, a tardy, etc. for the first semester.  Students fill out the pass and hand it to their teacher when needed. Unused passes may be turned in at the end of the semester to earn extra credit points.


Extra Credit Work:

  • Some extra credit will be available throughout the year; however it will not be much. 
  • Extra credit is not planned in advance – so don’t ask. 
  • Extra Credit is in addition to the course work, it cannot replace it.  Therefore, if the student has a “C” or less, he or she must first make up missing assignments (for reduced credit within three weeks) before working on extra credit.  The student must also make an appointment with the teacher to discuss a “game plan” to get him or her back on track.


Tardies and Absences:

  • The school policies regarding tardies and absences (as found in the student manual) will be followed.
  • If the student is truant, he or she will not receive credit for the missed or made-up work.
  • If the student knows in advance that he or she will miss class, let the teacher know, ASAP!




Classroom Axiom: “All that I do adds value to this classroom.”

Behavior Expectations:

1.       Come to class everyday prepared to learn, ready when the bell rings.

2.       Respect yourself and others at all times.

3.       Electronics are expected to be turned off except at appropriate times with teacher permission to support academic instruction.

4.       No food, gum, or drinks other than water in the classroom.

5.       The teacher dismisses class, NOT the bell.



Academic Honesty Code

                        Ramona High School’s definition of “plagiarism / cheating” provided below will be adhered to.  And the consequences outlined in the student handbook will be upheld in the event of academic dishonesty.


 “Cheating” includes, but is not limited to the following behaviors:

·         Using inappropriate materials or notes not permitted during testing (classroom or standardized)

·         Using cell phones, iPods, MP3 players or any electronic device during testing (classroom or standardized)

·         Talking during a test (classroom or standardized)

·         Looking at another student’s paper during a test (classroom or standardized)

·         Copying another student’s work of any kind or at any time in class, during testing, or as homework

·         Passing off another’s work as your own, including copying a published photo or artwork

·         Falsifying information during research

·         Plagiarism (whole or cut-and-paste); or failing to give credit to the ideas of others www.ramonausd.net/site/default.aspx?domainid=2

·         Forgery

·         Aiding or failing to stop academic dishonesty with or by others





Activities and Evaluation

Grades for our class will be determined by the quality and timeliness of your work, as well as by your effort and growth.  Never forget that you control your grade – it is not something given to you by me.  You will always know the criteria/expectations for each class project – that is what you should be striving for.  The grading categories are as follows:


·         15% - Attendance, Participation and Preparedness

·         25% - Independent Assignments and Formative Assessments

·         25% - In-class Assignments

·         35% - Summative Assessments

Attendance, Participation and Preparedness: Daily attendance, timeliness, preparedness, and participation are expected.  Participation includes engaging in the above activities, as well as listening and contributing in class discussions, collaborating with others productively, and supporting one another’s learning.  Per semester you are allowed 10 combined absences and/or tardies without the loss of points.  On the 11th absence or tardy, and each subsequent incident, you will lose 10 points per infraction.  These points may be recovered by attending “extended learning time” with me or at another time agreed upon in advance.    


Required Materials

These materials must be brought to class EVERYDAY.

  1. 3-ring Binder – (or a section for this course in a large binder) this should be designated for English materials only, including loose-leaf notebook paper
  2. Post-it or “sticky notes” – we will be using these often to annotate (make notes) in our texts!
  3. Blue and/or Black ink pens (only colors acceptable for work turned in), other colored pens (pink, etc.) may be helpful for note taking but are not required
  4. Highlighters – at least 1, however 2 different colors may come in handy
  5. Spiral notebook (1 or 3 subject) for journal (for English journals only!!!) – MUST BE COLLEGE RULED!!!
  6. dividers (not required) but may be useful for your organization


*** In addition to these materials, it is strongly recommended that each student has a dictionary at home, or access to an “online” dictionary. ***



Parent Contact and Communication

Each teacher has a webpage on the Ramona High School website which is updated weekly with the agenda for English I / English I Honors, including assignments and due dates.  On the teacher webpage handouts and journals are also posted so that parents and students may remain aware of assignments and expectations. 

In addition, it is helpful for English I teachers and parents to communicate through email.  To open this line of communication, please email the teacher by this ______________________________.   This is the first graded assignment.  The teacher’s email address is csawada@ramonausd.net.  Please put the student’s name and period # in the subject line.

If a parent does not have internet or email accessible, he/she should make a note of such on the signed syllabus page and include a contact phone number.








Please share this syllabus with your parent(s) or guardian(s).   After it is signed, please detach this sheet and return it to me by: __________________________________________________.


I, a student in English I Honors with Mrs. Sawada, have read and understand the course description, evaluation and grading process, the classroom expectations and policies, AND required materials.


Name:                  _________________________________________________________________ 

Signature:           _________________________________________________________________

Date:                     _________________________________________________________________

I, the parent or guardian of the student above, have read and understand the course description, evaluation and grading process, the classroom expectations and policies, AND required materials.


Name:                  _________________________________________________________________ 

Signature:           _________________________________________________________________

Date:                     _________________________________________________________________

Please check one:           _______ I have already sent you an email.

                                                _______ I will be sending you an email soon.

                                                _______ I do not have email my phone contact number is ___________________.


Film and Independent Reading Consent Form

Some of the films shown in class to supplement the literature that we study have a rating of PG or PG-13.  Per Ramona Unified School District board policy, parental consent must be given before a student may view films rated PG or PG-13.  Included with your signature is an independent reading consent as well.  Your child will be free to read a novel of his/her choosing.  This form is for your awareness.


I give my permission for my student to view films and read novels which are determined by the teacher to be appropriate for the course curriculum and requirements, providing that the films are rated no higher than PG-13 and the content of the independent reading is within the standards of the home.


Student Name:                                 _________________________________________________________________

Class/Period:                                     _________________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature:        _________________________________________________________________

Please print your name:                               _________________________________________________________________

Date:                                                     _________________________________________________________________