Syllabus Acknowledgment Required ASAP via Email

    Parents, after you and your teen have reviewed the course syllabus and if you understand and agree to the expectations therein, please copy and paste the following message into an email and send it to Tommie.byrd@husd.org. Note that you do NOT have to print or physically sign anything.

    Subject: <Student’s last name and first initial> Syllabus Acknowledgment

    Message: Mrs. Byrd, I acknowledge that I have reviewed your course syllabus, including the Late Work Policy information, with my teen and we both understand and agree to adhere to the rules and guidelines therein. In addition, my teen has permission to read the texts listed within the syllabus, as well as supplemental materials, all of which have been reviewed and approved by HHS administration. - <Parent first and last name and best contact number>


    Teacher Contact Information

    Tommie Byrd, M.Ed.
    Phone: 480.279.7387
    E-Mail: tommie.byrd@husd.org
    Office Hours: By Appointment 
    Tutoring Hours: Monday-Thursday, 2:15-3:00, Room 519


    Required Supplies

    By Tuesday, July 24th, all students need to have a binder with the following supplies. They are expected to have the binder with them in every class (one single binder, not per class).

    • 2- to 3-inch binder (1) - no built-in folders; no accordion style 
    • Colored tabs (6-7) - one for each class period
    • Lined, loose-leaf paper package (1-2) 
    • Pens (black or blue)
    • Pencils
    • Highlighters (pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) 
    • 3-hole punched pencil case/pouch (1)
    In addition to the items listed above, please bring the following to keep in the classroom.
    • 1 small pack of 5x8 note cards (these are the BIG ones; you won't want to be limited to anything smaller)
    • 5-pack of 3x3 Post-its (any color)
    • 2 red pens

    If you are able, we can always use more of the following, as well.

    • Tissue
    • Lined, loose-leaf paper
    • Black or blue pens
    • White-Out
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Disinfectant wipes


    Computer and Internet Requirements

    Assignments for this course will frequently require computer, Internet, and printer access, both within the HMH interactive platform and the use of turnitin.com.  The HHS Library does have these resources available, but students will not be given class time to go to the library for computer use. Computer, Internet, or printer issues are not accepted excuses for failure to submit work or produce it according to the requirements of the assignment.


    Course Description

    This course is designed for 10th grade students in accordance with Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. The curriculum builds on students’ prior knowledge of language arts skills, with a focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communication skills. Students read various styles of text and composition, including literature, informational text, and media, in an effort to improve comprehension and analysis skills. Students also practice organizing and developing various styles of composition, including narrative, expository, research, argument, and persuasive writing.

    Textbook (provided by HUSD): Collections Grade 10. Orlando, FL.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2017. Print.

    Flex Reading Group Novel Choices (to be assigned at a later date): 

    • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
    • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    • Narrative of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

    NOTE: By acknowledging this syllabus via email, you are permitting your teen to read the texts listed herein, as well as other reading selections as assigned. All texts have been reviewed/approved by the HHS Administration and many are listed on the AP College Board reading list. However, parents are encouraged to also review and research these and other titles as they are assigned. Then, if at any time you prefer an alternate text or reading assignment be created and provided for your teen, please email me directly at Tommie.byrd@husd.org with your request. 


    Grading Policy

    Student thinking, writing, reading, listening, and speaking are at the center of class activity. Grading is viewed in this context. Student performance and progress, as evidenced by papers, in-class commitment, homework, and daily preparation is continually assessed.

    Course products are regularly reviewed by the instructor and grades are updated every week in the online gradebook. Students AND parents are strongly encouraged to check grades once per week to stay abreast of student progress. You can access the online gradebook from my teacher page (link in the left-hand menu) or go to the HUSD website and click on the Parents or Students tab at the top of the screen. Then scroll down and click on the ParentVue or StudentVue link.

    Grade reporting will be cumulative each semester. Each time a grade report is given, it will represent the total grade-to-date. For each semester, the grade intervals will be:

    • 5-weeks progress report
    • 9-week report card
    • 13/5-weeks progress report
    • Final exam
    • 18-week semester grade

    The following letter-grade system will be used to grade student work:

    • 100%-90%     A
    • 89%-80%       B
    • 79%-70%       C
    • 69%-60%       D
    • Below 60        F

    Student performance in connection with important course components contributes to each student’s final grade for the course in the following manner:

    • Reading Analysis = 30 percent
    • Written Communication = 30 percent
    • Speaking & Listening = 20 percent
    • Midterms & Final Exams = 20 percent


    Plagiarism Policy

    Plagiarism is defined as intentionally using information from or property of another without permission in order to obtain an unfair advantage or receive a grade or score that was not legitimately earned. This includes copying information off of another student’s paper, copying and pasting or quoting/paraphrasing large amounts of information from outside sources (in excess of 20% in one assignment, even if properly cited), purchasing papers from the Internet and submitting them as one’s own, allowing others to complete one’s work, AND using one’s own final draft work previously submitted for a grade.

    In the event of plagiarism or cheating of any kind, the minimum action to be taken includes a verbal warning, parent contact, and loss of credit. See the HUSD Student Code of Conduct for a more detailed explanation of the plagiarism policy and penalties.


    Late Work Policy

    Work will be accepted late with a 50% deduction up to the end of the unit per department policy. Students who are absent (excused or school business only) will receive an automatic extension equal to the number of days they are absent. 

    Extension Requests: Requests must be discussed and approved by the instructor PRIOR to the deadline (possible reasons: family member being deployed, upcoming family reunions/vacations, scheduled surgeries - if any of these comes up unexpectedly, we can talk about an extension after the fact).

    Emergency Due Date Extensions: During all quarters, in cases of emergency--illness, injury, family business, etc.--a student and/or parent may request an emergency extension either via email or upon returning to class. NOTES: Technical difficulties are not acceptable excuses for emergency extensions--plan ahead and expect the unexpected. Extracurricular activities, such as athletic events, away games, club field trips, work schedules, etc. are not acceptable excuses for emergency extensions, unless the student is absent, in which case the Make-up Work Policy would be followed.

    Individualized Education Plans (IEPs): During all quarters, students with IEPs and 504 plans are strongly encouraged to follow the policies outlined herein. However, if an IEP specifically allows for extra time on assignments, the student may automatically extend a due date upon conference with the instructor, either verbally or in writing.


    Make-Up Work Policy

    In the event of an excused absence, an assignment due date will be extended equal to the number of days the student was excused. Make-up work will be accepted for full credit up to the new due date and IF it is submitted correctly. It is the student’s responsibility to find out what s/he missed while absent by checking the Calendar on the teacher page or in the Canvas classroom (under the "Homework" button). NOTE: Long-term projects that are assigned prior to the absence (e.g., Q3 Research Project assignments), except in cases of illness.


    Attendance Policy

    An absence is defined as a student's non-attendance in the student's assigned classroom during an assigned period. Parents/Guardians are charged by law with the responsibility for their student’s attendance. In the event of a necessary absence known in advance, the parent/guardian is expected to inform the school. All absences not verified by either parental or administrative authorization within 24 hours will be recorded as unexcused. Parents are asked to prioritize their child’s education by scheduling medical and dental appointments outside of school hours, as well as scheduling family vacations during school breaks, holidays and summer vacation.


    Per board policy, a student will be considered absent from class if they enter the classroom more than ten minutes after the designated start time.  If the student has a valid reason to be late to class it will be an excused absence. The absence will be considered unexcused if the student is late without being excused by the school administration or the parent signing in the child late.  If you would like to receive attendance updates throughout the day, you have the option to sign up in ParentVUE.


    Tardy Policy

    A student is tardy if s/he is not in the classroom when the bell rings. The accumulation of excused and unexcused tardies will result in potential consequences as follows:

    • 1st Tardy: Student Conference
    • 2nd Tardy: Student Conference + Parent Phone Call + Warning that 3rd tardy is ASD
    • 3rd Tardy: ASD
    • 4th + Tardy: Office Referral 


    Classroom Expectations

    Students are expected to adhere to all guidelines outlined in the HUSD Student Code of Conduct, including (but not limited to) the following:

    • No food, drink, or gum is allowed in classrooms (no gum allowed on campus).
    • No hats are allowed in classrooms.
    • Students are expected to come to class prepared every day with their school binder and interactive notebooks and all homework and reading assignments completed.
    • Unless otherwise permitted by the instructor for a particular classroom activity, cell phone use is not permitted in the classroom. Cell phones must be turned off AND put away as directed or they will be confiscated and stored in the front office for pick-up after school.
    • Students must be in their assigned seats when the beginning bell rings and must remain on task until dismissed by the instructor at the closing bell.
    • Hall passes will be permitted on a limited basis, per teacher discretion, and all students must sign out and back in to the classroom.


    Discipline Policy

    Failure to adhere to any of the guidelines outlined in the HUSD Student Code of Conduct and/or the expectations listed above are subject to the following disciplinary actions.

    • First Offense: Student-teacher conference (possible parent communication)
    • Second Offense: Parent contact
    • Third Offense: After school detention and parent contact
    • Fourth Offense: Parent-student-teacher conference (may involve counselor/administrator)
    • Fifth Offense: Referral to administration

    Note that more serious offenses may result in immediate detention, parent conference, and/or referral to administration.


    Diversity Policy

    All individuals have a right to an educational environment free from bias, prejudice and bigotry. As members of the Higley High School educational community, students are expected to refrain from participating in acts of harassment that are designed to demean another student’s race, gender, ethnicity, religious preference, disability or sexual orientation.



    Syllabus Acknowledgment Required ASAP

    Parents, after you and your teen have reviewed the course syllabus and if you understand and agree to the expectations therein, please copy and paste the following message into an email and send it to Tommie.byrd@husd.org. Note that you do NOT have to print or physically sign anything.

    Subject: (Type teen’s last name & first initial here.) Syllabus Acknowledgment

    Message: Mrs. Byrd, I acknowledge that I have reviewed your course syllabus with my teen and we both understand and agree to adhere to the rules and guidelines therein. In addition, my teen has permission to read the texts listed within the syllabus, as well as supplemental materials, all of which have been reviewed and approved by HHS administration. - (Provide parent first & last name and best contact number.)