Mr. Mark Afram -

Mr. Mark Afram
Room 317
English 12
Phone: (626) 441-5820, ext. 2317 (not working at this time)
Email: [email protected]
Conference Period: Period 5
English 12 Syllabus and Class Policies
Part I: Course Syllabus
Welcome to English 12! I’m excited about the upcoming year, and I look forward to a successful
year together. I spent time over the summer collaborating with Ms. Greenhouse, and we hope
that this class will be a wonderful way to conclude your time in South Pas.
This is a college preparatory class, and students will receive credit for the Cal State and UC
systems. That said, I will work to make this class interesting, engaging, and fun. Over the
course of the year, we will also delve into a variety of topics, and we will explore the following
Essential Questions (among others):
Who am I? What factors and experiences have shaped my identity?
What is truth? How is the truth determined? What affects our perception of truth?
What is society? What is my role in society?
What circumstances and emotions constitute the human experience?
What’s the best way to live? What are your values?
Below is a brief selection of the texts for the school year. Please note that due to space
constraints, not all works are included.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (excerpts)
Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas (excerpts)
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (excerpts)
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Beowulf, Author Unknown
The Tragedy of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
Selected poems, essays, and short stories
While SPHS has these books in the library, many students find it helpful to purchase these texts
for their personal use. Research indicates that highlighting and annotating literature increases a
reader’s comprehension of the material. My students will receive extensive instruction in
annotation, and this course will further develop those skills.
It is important to note that a significant portion of the grade in Twelfth Grade English involves a
hands-on research project. More detailed information will be provided later, and this project will
cover significant portions of both the first and second semesters. Late work will not be
accepted during the project.
Part II: Guiding Principles
A. Basic Rules
Rather than clutter your mind with a list of dos and don’ts, my classroom rules consist of three
A. Try your best;
B. Respect others; and
C. Stay on task.
If you follow these tenets, you will do well in English 12!
B. Student Engagement
I work to ensure that all my students are actively engaged in class. To this end, I rely heavily on
spirited discussions, Socratic Seminars, collaborative projects, and connecting the literature to
popular culture or current events. If you have ideas or suggestions to make class more relevant,
please speak with me directly!
C. A Word About Common Core…
SPUSD has implemented the Common Core State Standards for the past few years. Not only
does English 12 meet these new standards, but it exceeds these expectations with its rigor and
Common Core aside, I want my students to become critical readers and talented writers who love
the printed word.
Part III: Specific Policies
A. Homework:
Homework is assigned after most class meetings and is designed to develop the content
discussed in class. I don’t believe in assigning excessive amounts of homework, but please be
mindful that it does constitute 20% of a student’s overall grade.
Homework is posted in two locations: on the white board or on the SPHS website. I generally
upload all the necessary handouts onto the school site.
I recommend that you have a “homework buddy.” Write her/his information below:
Contact Info:
Note: In the event of an absence, you are STILL RESPONSIBLE for the assignment. For
example, if you are absent on Monday, you are still responsible for completing Monday night’s
homework. If you return to school on Wednesday, then submit the assignment from Monday.
The only exception to this policy is with a note from a medical professional. If, on the unlikely
occasion a homework assignment is submitted late, you will receive half credit.
My late policy alters slightly if a major project or essay is due. In this situation, the project or
essay is due on the date assigned, regardless of an absence. You will always have ample notice
of the due date, and if you cannot attend class, make arrangements to turn-in the assignment
B. Supplies:
You will only need a few supplies for this class: a single subject spiral notebook, pencils, blue or
black pens, and a highlighter. Please bring these items to class on a daily basis. If, for any
reason, obtaining these items constitutes a financial hardship, please speak with me privately.
C. Make-Up Quizzes and Tests:
If you are absent for a quiz or test, you have ONE WEEK to make-up the assessment. If more
than one week elapses, then you have forfeited this opportunity. The only exception to this
policy is with a note from a medical professional.
Make-up quizzes and tests are administered on Wednesdays at 2:45 PM or during Period 7.
If you cannot meet during those time slots, please make other arrangements with me.
If a test is scheduled during your morning class, and you are absent in the morning, but return to
school later in the day, you are still obligated to take the exam THAT DAY. Please note,
however, that if you are regularly absent on the dates of assessments, you may forfeit the
opportunity to receive make-up examinations.
D. Plagiarism:
Plagiarism occurs when an individual takes credit for another person’s words or ideas. Please cite
your sources in your writing.
Also, all written work is to be completed individually unless otherwise stated. You may certainly
discuss the assignments with other classmates, but all written work should be your own.
If you need help paraphrasing or quoting a particular source, I am happy to provide assistance.
Do not, however, steal the words of others. All plagiarism cases will be referred to your
counselor and Ms. Wichman.
E. Attendance:
Class attendance is critical to success. While I understand that unforeseen circumstances arise, I
generally expect you to attend class on time.
If you are late to class more than three times during the course of the semester, you will lose
participation points.
In order to be marked present, you must be in your seat and working on the warm-up. Students
who walk through the door as the bell rings are considered late.
F. Grades:
Your grade is divided into the following categories:
Participation (including late attendance):
Performance Tasks and Writing Assignments:
Tests and Quizzes:
Here is the grading scale:
100% – 97%
96% -- 93%
92% -- 90%
89% -- 87%
86% -- 83%
82% -- 80%
79% -- 77%
76% -- 73%
72% -- 70%
69% -- 67%
66% -- 63%
62% -- 60%
59% or lower
Please note that I post my grades online via Aeries. If you or your parents need a password to
this site, please contact the main office.
I believe in giving prompt feedback, and I grade work as quickly as possible. Essays, however,
do take me longer, and I often need two to three weeks with longer writing assignments.
Finally, I post grades in the classroom on a weekly basis. Just remember your student ID!
Part IV: Conclusion
I recognize that this packet is a lot to absorb. If anything is confusing or needs clarification,
please do not hesitate to ask me.
I love my job, and I WANT ALL STUDENTS TO SUCCEED IN English 12. I will do everything
in my power to make this a positive year. If you have any concerns to share, I am always eager
to listen.
Please SIGN and DETACH the lower portion of this page.
Print Student Name
, have read and understood this packet.
Additional comments, if desired:
Student Signature
Parent/Guardian Signature