Open Letter to Pre AP Parents

  • Honors English 1                          Information for Parents and Students


    Welcome to the amazing adventure of high school!


    You have chosen to take an advanced course, so that tells us many things (and serve as reminders to you as well):

      • You want to learn.
      • You are willing and motivated enough to put in the time needed to be successful.
      • You will take responsibility for meeting your deadlines.
      • You will seek help when needed and will help classmates (not give them answers!) as needed or requested by your teacher. 
      • You are open to listening to ideas as well as sharing your own.
      • You will always put forth your best effort.
      • You will check your grades weekly on TXConnect.
      • You will join the class Remind and check it frequently; it is our major way to communicate with you.
      • You understand that technology (i.e. phones) will only be out with teacher approval.  Otherwise, they will be in a backpack or purse.


    • You understand that the more you actively participate in class, the more fun it will be.


    • You may hit some roadblocks along the way.  These will just slow you down a bit, not throw you off course.  Roadblocks offer new ways to problem solve and move forward. There is ALWAYS light at the end of the tunnel, if you keep moving forward.
    • You’ve got this!

    In Honors English 1 we work to build your skills as a writer, a reader, a thinker, a speaker, and an observer of the world around youThese are our goals. 


    What does the year look like?

    • Daily warm-ups - each day focuses on a different skill
    • Blended Learning format (this is new to most of us) where there is direct teach a few days a week and independent, focused work the rest of the week.  There will be lots of movement within the room with student choice as part of the weekly syllabus. Individual responsibility is key here.
    • Reading, reading, reading!- In class teacher selected and student choice reading. Fiction, nonfiction, informational text. This includes class novels and “book club” outside reading.
    • Daily writing- short answer responses, poems, letters, arguments, journals, and essays 
    • Visual Literacy- pictures, videos, political cartoons, comics, charts, maps.
    • Vocabulary- from texts we read, Greek and Latin roots, foreign words.
    • Allusions- You’ll be surprised that you know some already and the more you know, the more you can understand what you read or what people say.


    *Parents Please know that we have not read every book in our school or classroom library, so we ask that you check with your child as to what they are reading.  Many of the books by award-winning writers contain mature subject matter and language. We see the value in every book, but we also understand that you may have your own parameters for what your child can read. If you are uncomfortable with a book your child has chosen, please let us know and we will work to find an alternate.

    As a class we will be reading Romeo & Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, Just Mercy,  and  Speak  We may also bring in video clips, short stories, and/articles that pair well with the topics/issues presented in each.


    It is important that you have computer and Internet access.  If you do not, please let your teacher know.  We will be utilizing: Google Classroom almost daily, TXConnect, Remind, Padlet, Google Slides, Google Sites, Google Docs, GoFormative, EdPuzzle, FlipGrid, Penzu, Quizizz, Quizlet, CommonLit, Kahoot, and others.


    Due dates are important.  Points will be deducted for late work. Work turned in after three days will not be entered into TXConnect, per the grading policy of Honors English 1.  Many assignments are long term, therefore the late work policy does not apply. It is expected to be turned in on time. If there are any issues, please speak to your teacher. No assignments can be turned in the last 3 days of any grading period.


    Grades will be input into TXConnect as soon as possible.  Assignments that are late will be entered as “M” (missing) as a way to alert and remind you.  This does impact your average, so work to get things in on time! Tests are 50% of your grade and include Embedded Assessments (EB's), projects, and other tests. Daily work, journals, warm-up activities, class discussions, zone work, and quizzes will be 50% of your grade.  If you earn below a 70 on a test, you may retest after settig up a retest time with Mrs. Shires. You must retest within 7 school days of the grade being entered into TX Connect. No retests will be given the last week prior to the end of a grading period. You may not retest a failed quiz.


    Unlike when we went to high school, you have the benefit of Remind.  This allows you to communicate with us. Please send us a message if you have a question.  Know that any messages sent after 9:00 p.m. will probably be answered in the morning. 


    We often hear, “My printer died.”  This is where problem-solving comes in handy.  There are several options: (a) email the work to your teacher, (b) do the work in Google  Docs if you can and share it with your teacher, (c) take a picture of it and send it via email or Remind, or (d) stop in the library before school to print it.  See… there is always a solution to turning in your work on time. 


    We understand that some of you copy homework from your friend. Yes, we’ve been teaching a while so little surprises us!  This does not mean we won’t tell you to stop and do your own work if we see you doing it. We will. We also know you still have to test on the material with your own brain. Copying writing assignments or tests will earn both of you a zero with no chance to make it up, although you will be asked to redo it as the information/skill is still very important.


    So, as we begin this new year, we want to welcome you to Honors English 1.


    Are you ready?  We are!


    Mrs. Shires                                                              Mrs. Corbett

    Honors English 1 Instructor                                      Honors English I Instructor

    Gifted & Talented Coordinator                                   AP Coordinator