Introduction to Literature and Composition


South High School

Fall Semester 2007

Room 214

Ms. Contreras


Dear Students of room 214 and their Parents/Guardians,


Welcome back to school. As always, the first week back after summer break is a little crazy, but I wanted to send a short note home just to assure that we all start off the new school year on the same page. By now your student has probably become familiar with most of my classroom policies, so if you have any questions concerning the content of this letter please ask him/her.


I have set up my classroom as a non-threatening, academic environment. Students should not ever be afraid to state their opinions or to ask questions. All students are expected to be in the classroom when the bell rings. If a student is not in the classroom then they will be marked as tardy. Please see more about the South High tardy policy on page 13 of the student handbook.


While in class, students will be expected to:

-          listen to and respect each other as well as myself.

-          turn off all electronic devices and place them out of sight for the duration of the class (please see South’s cell phone policy on page 10 of the student handbook.)

-          listen to and follow all directions the first time they are told.

-          not use foul language, or any other type of language that could be offensive to anyone else in the room (in English or in Spanish.)


Students who violate one or more of these expectations will be given one warning which will be recorded in Infinite Campus. If the behavior persists, the student’s parent will be called and finally the student will be given a referral to the Dean of Students. (Please see more information on South’s behavior and referral policies on page13-18 of the student handbook.) I trust that no students will ever need a warning concerning these expectations, and I hope that if you do receive a warning, you take it very seriously. Also, students writing on the desks or otherwise defacing any other classroom property will be given a referral immediately.


My grading scale is as follows: 90 & above =A, 80 & above=B, 70 & above=C, 60 & above =D


This class is a graduation requirement. Any freshman that fails this class will be required to do a course forgiveness class after school and pay the required tuition. Students will no longer be able to take this class later on in their academic careers to make up for the credit that they initially missed.


Students will need to head every paper that they turn in to me the same way:





The heading should always be in the upper right hand corner of the paper. If you have any questions about this please refer to the “School Writing Policy” on page 8 of your Student handbook. Students will be required to save all of the work that they do in my class in a folder or binder that is organized. I do not prescribe how the binder should be organized but students should be able to find work quickly and efficiently if I ask them for it. There will be several binder checks during the year in order to assure that everyone is following this policy.


In accordance with the new EXCELerator curriculum this year we will be studying various examples of the short story, poetry, drama, media and the novel. We will be doing in depth studies of Romeo and Juliet as well as To Kill a Mockingbird. In addition, students will also be required to find a silent reading book that they will be reading in class as well as on their own time. This book must deal with the theme of “Coming of Age.” This theme will be discussed in depth in class so that students will have a good idea of what type of book to choose.


Thank you for reviewing this letter. Should you have any questions concerning my classroom policy, or district policy, please check the student handbook, e-mail me at, or write me a note on the back of this letter.


I hope that we all have a successful semester. Thank you for your time.


Tracy Contreras

English Teacher

South High School


My student and I have read and understand the expectations and policies of this letter.


Student Name____________________________ Student Signature_______________________


Parent/Guardian Name_____________________Parent/Guardian Signature_________________