3570 Timpview Dr. Provo, Utah 84604 Phone: (801)221-9720 Fax: (801)224-4210

9th Grade Class Disclosure

Course Description/Overview/Welcome Statement

What does it mean to be an American today? What type of strength is most valuable? Do we determine our own direction in life and in love? Or are we simply at the mercy of fate? During the Civil Rights movement, writings and speeches inspired sweeping social change. What gave those words the power to change a nation? These are some of the questions we will be exploring in Language Arts 9 through literature and writing.

Texts: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Whirligig by Paul Fleischman

*TBD (Choice novels, ect…)

**Please note that all choice novels are self-selected and may contain mature content. If you or your student finds that he or she is uncomfortable with their selection, they may make alternative arrangements with me as long as they come to me ASAP.

***If you or your student has concerns about any of the required texts, alternative assignments can be arranged.

FILMS: To Kill a Mockingbird          1962    Robert Mulligan          NR

Romeo & Juliet                        2013    Carlo Carlei     PG-13

Romeo & Juliet                        1996    Baz Luhrmann            PG-13

Romeo & Juliet                        1968    Franco Zeffirelli           PG

The Book Thief                       2013    Brian Percival  PG-13

The Princess Bride      1987    Rob Reiner      PG

*If you or your student has concerns about any of these films, alternative assignments can be arranged.

**I will not be showing most of these films in their entirety, but I do like to use clips from time to time.

Learning Expectations

Participation: Students automatically receive 5 points per day for attendance.  Points can be lost for disruptive behavior, lack of preparedness, cell phone use during class, not working on assignments during class time. Points won’t be deducted for absences.


Cell Phone Policy: Cell phones should not be out in class except under the following circumstances:

  • All work for the day is completed
  • Jones has given permission

If your cell phone is out or in use (including listening to music) during any other time, you will lose participation points.  There is no way to make up those points once they are lost.

Attendance: Students MUST come prepared to learn.  This means coming to English prepared EVERY day with completed assignments. I will be following the school mandated attendance policy.  I will not allow a student to leave my class to go to their locker because they are unprepared.


Assignments : Assignments are to enrich the lesson being taught.  All assignments have a specific learning purpose.  It is important for every student to complete their assignments.  Assignments are to be turned in on the day they are due.  If a student is absent from school for an excused absence or school sponsored activity for one day, the work that was due on that day is due upon arrival from excused absence. Most missed assignments can be found on Canvas.


Late Work: Assignments that are turned in more than one class day late will only be given 80% credit.  Any assignments turned in more than two weeks past the due date won’t be accepted. Please make sure that you turn your work in on time.  I understand that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that get in the way of schoolwork.  These should be rare and you need to talk to me to receive credit on the assignment.  It is always best if you can talk to me prior to the due date.

Absences: If you have an excused absence, you will be given one week to complete your work and turn it in for full credit.  After one week the assignment will be considered late and will be given 50% credit.  If you know that you will be absent in advance, please talk to me about the work you will be missing.  Always check Canvas for new assignments.  It is your responsibility to find out what you missed when you were absent.  I can’t keep track of your absences and what you are missing.


Classroom Expectations:  You are in high school and should always behave appropriately.  Respect yourself and your classmates.  Come to class ready to learn and participate.  All school rules will be upheld in this class.


Papers:  Several papers will be assigned throughout the school year.  They involve a great deal of time and work for the student.  The final draft of the paper must be submitted through Canvas (see below).  Ample notice will be given for due dates and papers submitted after this date will only receive 50% credit. Since papers are submitted online, absence is not an excuse for missing a due date.  The assignment will be left open on Canvas for two weeks after the due date to allow for late work.  When the assignment is closed, it will no longer be accepted in any form.

*** In case of serious illness or other extenuating circumstance, please email me and let me know.  I always respond to my email within 24 hours during the school week.


Tests: Tests are to be given to determine of the student has comprehended the given material.  If a student is absent when the test is given, the students need to make up the test before or after school.


Canvas: The website for Canvas is https://provo.instructure.com.   Canvas is a program that is used by many of the major universities in Utah and around the country.  Many assignments for class will be done through Canvas. If you are missing an assignment always check Canvas for a copy of the assignment.


Extra Credit: Extra credit is available to students who have ALL of their regular work turned in.  It will only be given near the end of the term on an individual basis.

Assessment of Progress

Grade Breakdown:


A= 94%-100%


B+= 87%-89.9%









F=0%- 59.9


**It will require effort, but there is no reason that EVERY student cannot receive a passing grade in this class.

Course Materials


  • A class folder
  • One section in your binder
  • A bound Notebook (not loose-leaf papers) which will be left in class
  • Writing Utensils
  • Sticky notes, highlighters

 ***If you have trouble obtaining any of these items, please see me.

Classroom Procedures

Expectations and Assignments


Journal – 5 pts. –   Daily journal writing is done at the beginning of each class.  Your journal prompt will be found on Canvas unless otherwise directed.   Full points will only be given for entries of at least 100 words.


Participation – 5 pts. – Daily participation points are given for working in class and appropriate behavior.  Use of cell phone or electronic devices during class will result in loss of points.


Choice Book Assignment – you are expected to read a book of your choice each term. Basic requirements for the book: minimum of 200 pages, grade/reading level appropriate.  Specific requirements for each term will be given at the beginning of the term.


Daily Work – time is given in class for most assignments.  If you work effectively in class there will be very little homework for this class.  You will occasionally have reading or other work to do outside of class. If you miss a class, you are responsible to find out what you missed.  Always check Canvas first.


Vocabulary – we will be learning vocabulary based on Greek and Latin roots.  Learning these roots and the words that come from them will enable you to read and comprehend unfamiliar words that use these common roots.  We also use these for the class Vocabulary competition.  9th Grade and 11th Grade classes will compete with each other for a treat at the end of each term.  There are a few rules to the game but the class with the most points (minimum of 100) gets to determine their prize.  Possible prizes are Day’s donuts, pizza party, etc.


Hall Passes – Each student is given four hall passes to use each term.  These are for bathroom breaks, drink of water, going to your locker, etc.  If you don’t use them during the term, you can turn them in at the end of that term for 5 extra credit points each for a total of 20 extra credit points.  According to school policy, hall passes can’t be used the first 20 minutes or last 20 minutes of class.


Article of the Week – You will be responsible for doing most of this on your own.  You will get an article on Monday/Tuesday and it will be due on the following Friday/Monday.  This gives you one school week to complete this assignment.  You are required to red and annotate the article and then write a one page response. You will turn in both the annotated article and the one page response.


Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments

Progress Reports and Report Cards

Connecting Home to School

Parents:  Please email me with any questions or concerns that you have.  I always respond within 24 hours on school days.  jejones@provo.edu

Canvas: The website for Canvas is https://provo.instructure.com.   Canvas is a program that is used by many of the major universities in Utah and around the country. Many assignments for class will be done through Canvas. Parents can login to Canvas and sign up as an observer for their student’s classes. This allows the observer to get all the information about assignments, due dates, and messages, that their student gets. Observers can also monitor their student’s grades on assignments done through Canvas.

Personal Statement and other items (optional)