• Higley HS English 9/Honors English 9

    Mrs. Sharon Fonzo 

    Email: sharon.fonzo@husd.org 

    *Please allow 1 full school day to respond to emails.  Thank you.*

    Syllabus for the 2019-20 School Year 

    Office Hours:  Daily until 2:45 PM; One rotating afternoon each week announced  in class (2:15-3:30) or by appointment; please check in-class announcements for any changes in these days or times due to scheduled meetings.  


    Course Description: This course builds on students’ prior knowledge of language arts skills. Emphasis is placed on grammar and usage, academic vocabulary, speaking and listening skills, as well as reading literary and informational texts. Writing activities will give students practice in organizing and developing various styles of composition, such as: narrative, argument, expository, research, and response to literature. 


    Grading Policy:

    • Grade categories are:
      • Reading 30%
      • Writing 30%
      • Speaking and Listening 20%  
      • Final Exam 20%  


    • Semester grades will be rounded up to a higher letter grade only in the case that the final percentage is within .5% of higher letter grade.
    • Zeroes will be entered for assignments that are not submitted; thus, missing work will significantly impact a student’s grade.  
    • Late work may be submitted no more than one week after the due date and will be penalized 20% of the earned grade. 
    • Test retakes or corrections and assignment re-dos are not offered. In select instances at the discretion of the teacher, an alternative, more rigorous assignment may be offered in lieu of a retake/redo.
    • At least two grades per week will be entered.
    • Parents and students can check grades online through ParentVue/Student Vue.




    Collections by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is our district required curriculum.  Our units of study include the following:


    Collection 2 The Struggle for Freedom           *Class Novel- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

    Collection 3 The Bonds Between Us *Class Novel – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    Collection 5 A Matter of Life and Death *Class Novel – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Collection 4 Sweet Sorrow *Class Novel/Play – Romeo and Juliet by WIlliam 



    Students are encouraged, but not required, to purchase their own personal novel for annotation purposes as well as building a personal library of high school novels.  Novels will be available to check out in the library.

    School and Classroom Policy


    Absences and Tardies:

     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 will be enforced. Having “checked in” or dropped off a backpack in the classroom does not mean the student is on time for class. 
    • The tardy policy is as follows: 1st offense, student conference. 2nd offense, student conference and parent contact to notify them that a 3rd offense earns an after school detention (ASD). 3rd offense – ASD with parent contact. 4th offense – office referral/Saturday School. Each subsequent tardy earns another referral and Saturday School. Tardies reset each quarter.
    • It is the student’s responsibility to find out what he or she missed due to absence and to make arrangements to make up the work. Resources for finding out what was missed include the teacher’s web page, Canvas, information written on the board, other students, and the teacher by email or in person.


    • Students will have as many days to make up work as were missed (for excused absences). In case of extended absence, alternative arrangements may be made with the teacher.
    • Late work is accepted with a penalty of 20% of the earned grade. However, late work will be accepted up until the end of a selection or collection as determined by the teacher, excluding projects and essays.
    • Projects due on the date of an absence are still due, even if the student is absent from class. Make-up time does not apply to work assigned prior to the absence. Arrangements should be made to ensure the work is submitted on time. Consideration may be given for extenuating circumstances. (Extenuating circumstances do not include running out of printer ink, suddenly discovering a faulty printer, having computer issues, the Internet going down at your home, staying up until two in the morning only to have your computer crash, etc.). 
    • Emailed assignments submitted on or before the due date and time will be accepted. An assignment submitted via e-mail will not be accepted after the start of the class period on the date that it is due, and showing me a “sent” receipt to the wrong email address will not be accepted. E-mail failure does not equate an extension on an assignment. Allow yourself plenty of time to be sure that the assignment was properly sent.


    Classroom Environment:

    To maintain cleanliness and an academic environment, the following district rules will be enforced in my classroom:

    • Absolutely no food or drink, except for clear water, allowed in the classroom, and students are not allowed to chew gum or candy in the classroom. 
    • All students, girls included, will be asked to remove hats while in the classroom.
    • Cell phones are to be turned off and put away unless students are asked to use them for educational purposes.


    Classroom Time:

    Students are expected to be in class during the entire class period except in case of an emergency. Students who need to leave to see the nurse, use the restroom, run an errand, etc…must ask for and receive permission before they leave and return as quickly as possible. Four bathroom passes will be issued per quarter. Students are not permitted to leave in the first or last ten minutes of the class period. Disciplinary action will be taken for students who abuse their time out of the classroom.



    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.


    Disciplinary Action:

    In the case of a behavioral or academic concern, the following steps will be taken:

    1. Conference with student (possible parent communication) 
    2. Parent communication 
    3. Assign After School Detention 
    4. Parent conference (may involve counselor/administrator) 
    5. Referral to administration 



    • Use the bathroom! 

    Upon entering class, students are expected to: 

    • Sit in assigned seat
    • Put away phones 
    • Write the daily objective and any homework
    • Complete the warm-up


    • Listen carefully to instructions given by the teacher and/or aide.
    • Ask questions if you do not understand something.
    • Focus on schoolwork.  Class time is not time to socialize with friends.
    • Use the appropriate voice level (no talking on individual assignments, or quietly talking when working in pairs or groups).
    • Remain in your seat unless up for an approved reason. 
    • You must have permission to leave the room for any reason.  Use appropriate sign out procedures and ask at an appropriate time.


    I will signal you when it is time to cool down and pack up.  Remain in your seat until I dismiss you. 


    Assignment Guidelines:

    • MLA format must be used for all work. Include the following information in the top left corner of each assignment.

    Your Name

    Mrs. Fonzo

    English – Class Period

    Day Month Year

    • All final writing assignments must be typed unless otherwise specified.
    • Papers should be clean, undamaged, and unfolded. Fuzzy notebook edges should be removed.
    • Stapled pages should be stapled once, along the left-hand edge of the page.
    • Write in complete sentences, always. Grammar and spelling matter, always.
    • Complete all assignments in full. Partial work will not necessarily receive partial credit.
    • Maintain academic honesty at all times or the assignment will receive a zero.


    Required Materials:

    • 3” x 5” index cards
    • Blue or black pens/pencils
    • Colored ink/pencils for annotating
    • Sticky notes/note squares
    • Highlighters
    • Binder Pencil Pouch for above items
    • Notebook Paper 
    • Class novel (when assigned)
    • Designated English notebook


    Computer and Internet Requirements:


    Assignments for this course will frequently require computer, Internet, printer access, and the ability to use 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.