• English 11

    Instructor: Joe Abbruscato

    Room: 401

    Email: joseph.abbruscato@husd.org

    Voicemail:  480-279-8071

    Office Hours: Before / After school by appointment


    Course Overview: The course teaches students how to understand modern American society by looking at the historical implications, past and present civilizations, and peoples through literature.  Throughout the year students will analyze past cultures’ growth and development and make connections to present day cultures by studying geography, art, literature, government, religious beliefs, social structure, language, philosophy, as well as human nature. Students will also use writing in a variety of ways, such as literary responses, research papers, persuasive writing, journal writing, etc…


    Standards covered:   Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards are followed in the Higley Unified School District. These standards will be covered for the 11th grade English course. You may view these standards at: http://www.azed.gov/standards-practices/englishlanguageartsstandards/



    In 2017, Higley Unified School District adopted new textbooks from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt which will now be utilized.  Each student will be provided with a personal copy of a Close Reader for annotation purposes and access to a digital copy of the actual textbook. Hard copies of the textbook will be available for use in class. It is the responsibility of the student to bring their Close Reader to class every day.


    Over the course of the year, students will also be asked to read a selection of novels. Each student will be given a variety of titles thematically tied to each unit to choose from and must obtain parental consent before reading begins. It is HIGHLY recommended that students obtain personal copies of the novels. This will allow students to annotate appropriately as they read.  E-reader copies are not allowed. (Please note that the school does possess copies for students who opt not to purchase a personal copy.)


    There are 6 Units covered in the HMH textbook. We will cover 4 or more of these throughout the school year. These units are built thematically in the textbook and each unit is accompanied by an anchor text.


    HMH Units                                                                              Anchor Texts

    Coming to America                                             Of Plymouth Plantation                            

    Building A Democracy                                            “The Declaration of Independence” & The US Constitution

    The Individual and Society                                     Song of Myself & “Against Nature”

    A New Birth of Freedom                                        “Second Inaugural Address” (Abraham Lincoln)

    An Age of Realism                                                  “To Build a Fire”

    The Modern World                                                 “Winter Dreams” & The Crucible



    This course will be weighted as follows:                      


    90% - 100%


    80% - 89%


    70% - 79%


    60% - 69%


    59% and below

    The grading scale is as follows:

    Activities / Practice




    Final Exam          



    ***You may access your grades online at any time outside class.  Grades will be updated weekly***


    Course Disclaimer:  The instructor reserves the right to modify content from this outline/schedule to meet the needs of the particular group or class.


    Canvas - Learning Management System

    Canvas is a course portal that the Digital Photography program is using for all courses. It’s a way to simplify teaching and learning by connecting all the digital tools we use in one easy place. Calendars, assignments, submission dropboxes, and formal assessments will be housed inside Canvas. Your student logs into Canvas the same way they log into district computers. Parents can set up observer accounts to follow student performance, due dates, and instructions. Please follow the directions at this link: https://vimeo.com/105957000


    Late work Policy:   No late work will be accepted during the 2019-2020 school year. All assignments will have a specified due date. Students who attempt to turn in their work after the specified due date will not receive any credit and a 0 will be entered into the gradebook.


    Lunch time:  Students who wish to meet with teachers during lunch must procure a pass prior to tutoring.  Passes will be requested before students are admitted to the buildings during lunch time.


    Food and Drinks:  As per school policy, food and drinks (excluding water in sealed containers) are not permitted in class.


    Tardy Policy:  Students that are late within 10 minutes of the class beginning will be marked as “swept” in accordance with school policy. If a student is later than 10 minutes and comes to class without a pass, they will be marked as “absent” for that class period. Students coming late to 1st Hour without a pass will be sent to the Sweep classroom in accordance with school policy.


    Cell Phones and other Electronic Devices:  Must be away during class unless they are being utilized for instructional purposes as permitted by the teacher. Cell phones may be confiscated and turned into administration if students fail to comply with this request.


    Behavior Plan:  In case there is an issue with behavior in class, the following plan will be adhered to:

    1. Teacher will speak with student about the behavior.
    2. Teacher will contact parent to address the behavior issue.
    3. Teacher will assign student detention (before or after school).
    4. If the behavior continues after detention has been served, student will be referred to Administration for further discipline.


    Note:  If the behavior is a gross misconduct, student will be immediately removed from class and referred to Administration for further discipline.


    For the Parents:  In an effort to help your child be more successful in class and as a part of our WFHS school community, our district offers a number of parent tools.


    E-Alerts:  Our school sends out automated email alerts for various school functions like dances, athletics, testing dates, yearbook sales, etc., but you must be on the list to receive them.  To register go to www.husd.org > click on the silver “parents” link under the orange bar under the photos > click on the E-Alert link > fill out the form.


    ParentVUE:  Parents may access their child’s grades and assignments by going to the school’s website and clicking on ParentVue/StudentVue on the quick links bar (right side of the page).  Teachers may include digital documents, classroom assignments, points and percentages, and individual feedback and comments. Students’ information is only accessible by using an individualized password assigned by the school.  Parents may contact office personnel/counselor for their child’s password at 480-279-8000. 



    It is highly recommended that students and parents sign up to receive Remind text messages from the instructor.  Often the text messages are simple reminders of homework, but may also include announcements, etc. Text the message @wfhseng11 to the number 81010.


    5 Ways to Help Your Student:

    1. Quiz students weekly on their vocabulary lists and/or other material related to the class.
    2. Proofread writing assignments before due dates.  Help students elaborate in their writing, and ensure they are answering the prompt and staying on topic.
    3. Check the class calendar weekly for assignments, assessments, and due dates for major assignments. Additionally, view your students’ grades frequently in Synergy and discuss with them.  (Please note that calendars and documents found on the teacher pages are subject to change based on adjustments and modifications necessary on a day-by-day basis.)
    4. Provide your student with a quiet place to read, write, and study.
    5. Encourage your student widely from a variety of sources. 


    Diversity Statement:  All individuals have a right to an educational environment free from bias, prejudice and bigotry.  As members of the Williams Field 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. 


    Language:  In order to maintain an effective academic environment, course and/or abusive language will not be tolerated in class or on campus.      

    Academic Honesty: Plagiarism refers to a form of cheating that has been defined as “the false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind, and presenting it as one’s own” (Alexander Lindey, Plagiarism and Originality [New York: Harper, 1952] 2).  Plagiarism is stealing another person’s work, intentionally or unintentionally. The charge of plagiarism is very serious and therefore has serious consequences. This ranges from cutting and pasting from the Internet to citing incorrectly. This is not negotiable. The first offense will be given a failing grade and each offense after will be dealt with by administration.  If you have any questions regarding citing or whether or not something being used is plagiarism…ASK US!  It is very important to follow this policy as there are serious consequences involved. 




    Parents and students:  Please sign and date this showing you have read the syllabus and understand the rules and expectations.


    REMEMBER: By signing this, you are in total agreement and understand the rules, expectations, procedures, and policies of the classroom outlined in the syllabus. 




    Parent: ____________________________________________ Date: __________



    Student: ____________________________________________Date:__________




    Parent: _____________________________________________ Date: __________



    Student: ____________________________________________ Date: __________



    Parent Email: ________________________________________________________________


    Parent/Guardian Phone Number:_______________________________________________________________


    Best time to Call?  (Circle one) Day   or Night


    **Please indicate whether the number is a work/home/or cell phone number.  This number will be used for parent/teacher communication so please provide a number that I can call.  The same goes for the e-mail address provided.


    Any other important information: