English 10 Syllabus

English 10 Syllabus
Ms. Westcott - (928) 634-7531 ext. 1117

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!

This year at Mingus we are continuing some of the amazing things that we started last year, while implementing a few new things as well. I am so pleased to have you in my class and look forward to seeing the incredible things we will accomplish together this year.

Students, This is your first assignment of the school year!

Please read the following English 10 syllabus with your parent and return the last page to me with signatures and contact information by Wednesday, August 7, 2019 for 10 points. This is a grade and will be entered as a zero if it is not returned!

I look forward to working with your children and strongly encourage your involvement in their education. You can contact me any time by email: or by phone at 634-7531 ext. 1117 with any questions or concerns you may have. My office hours are 7:45am-8:15am and 3:20pm-4:00pm daily.

Teacher Website

My teacher website is provided to be a resource for students daily. I will have my Plan Book calendar linked to my website, which will include daily work and handouts as well as important upcoming project and assignment due dates. I will refer students to my website when they return from a short or an extended absence from class. Additionally, if students are absent from class for any reason, they should access my website to see what they missed prior to their return to class.

My website can be accessed through the Mingus Union website under 'Teacher Websites' or directly at the following link:

Power Hour/Academic Overtime (AOT)

Power hour is an hour-long lunch that has an Academic Overtime built in. Academic Overtime is mandatory for any student with a D or an F. The student will go to Academic Overtime according to the class, or classes, that they are receiving a D or an F in. {Ms. Westcott’s Academic Overtime is during B Lunch}. Student grades will be posted {by student ID number} outside each classroom on Friday mornings; students must check their grades for each of their classes to determine if they will be required to attend Academic Overtime the following week. If a student is receiving a D or an F in more than one class, the student is responsible for communicating with their teachers regarding when they will attend Academic Overtime for each class. There are ensuring consequences that will be enforced by Mingus Administration if students do not attend Academic Overtime when they are required to.

Multi-Genre Essay/Project-Based Learning

Each student in English 10 this year will be working on a writing project which will be created while simultaneously moving through the State Standards embedded within the curriculum units listed above.  Students will begin working on the project mid-October and will complete it in March of 2020. The project blends formal and informal writing to encourage students to approach a potentially serious or controversial topic in a very creative way.  At least once a week we will be devoting one period to this ongoing project as the students work their way through the writing process, from Prewriting all the way to Publication.  English 10 students and teachers will be picking several “winners” from all of the polished, finished writing projects and the top 3 finalists will have their essays published in the local newspaper. 

Materials Required

Students! This is your second assignment. Bring in the following supplies by Wednesday, August 7, 2019 for ten points.

Students are expected to bring these supplies to class each day.

  • Pencil/pen
  • Highlighter {any color}
  • 1-1/2” – 2” 3-ring Binder {this binder must be specifically for English 10 – cannot be shared with other classes}
  • Paper, loose-leaf or in a notebook

If there are any issues with purchasing supplies, please let me know!



Classroom Expectations for Students:

All students are expected to come to class on time, prepared, and ready to learn.

Absences and tardies

The student is responsible for getting all make-up work after an absence and completing it in a timely manner. Students will need to make arrangements with me to make up any quizzes or tests, including timed writing assignments during AOT.  Students cannot make up these types of assessments during class time.

Any student who is not in the classroom when the last bell rings will be marked tardy by Ms. Westcott. They will need to sign in on the “Tardy Sign-In Sheet.” Each tardy will have ensuing consequences. The Mingus Union High School Tardy Policy is as follows:

1st tardy: teacher warning

2nd tardy: teacher warning and parent phone call from teacher

3rd tardy: teacher-assigned lunch detention

4th tardy and beyond:  office referral


Ninety-five percent of the work done for my class will be done during class hours so that I can supervise and assist students as needed.  There may be certain times when I will need to assign homework if students are falling behind, but that will be rare and indicated on my website.  Students will have plenty of class time to complete their assignments, but if (for whatever reason) they do NOT, then they will need to finish their assignment at home.

Leaving the Classroom

Each student will receive one Hall Pass Punch Card per semester - each semester with 5 punches. When the student needs to leave the classroom for any reason {bathroom, drink of water, locker, bookstore, etc.), after receiving permission, they will have one hole punched out ONLY by Ms. Westcott.

After receiving a punch on their Hall Pass, the student will then fill out the Hall Pass on the clipboard with their Name, Date, Time, and Destination and take it with them.

If students are abusing their Hall Pass privileges, their hall pass can be revoked at any time. It is important that students are in class as much as possible.

Food/and Drink

Any food or drink other than water in a sealable container will not be permitted in the classroom or in any school hallways. Any prohibited food or drink that enters the classroom will be disposed of.


It is crucial that students participate on a daily basis in classroom discussions, activities and writing assignments. Students may be docked points if they do not participate in activities.


Students will always have the opportunity to re-write Major Writing Assignments to improve their grade.  I truly believe that this is part of the learning process, and students will definitely improve their writing skills by challenging themselves to do better.  These assignments must be re-written during Academic Overtime so that I can assist with the process.  This policy does NOT apply to QuickWrites, reflections, and any other assignments that are designed to assist students with learning specific skills and objectives.  Major Writing Assignments are typically heavily weighted towards the student’s overall Semester grade.

Cell phone policy

Students are NOT permitted to be on their cell phone at any time during class. I have provided a bucket at the front of the classroom in which students can place their cellphones and charge them. If a student chooses not to place their phone in the bucket and it is seen by me during class, it will be confiscated. Consequences for violating the cell phone policy are as follows:

1st offense: verbal warning from teacher
2nd offense: phone will be confiscated and kept in the teacher’s desk until the end of the class period, then given back to student; parent phone call
3rd offense: phone will be confiscated and taken to the front office; discipline referral and lunch detention; parent phone call
4th offense: same consequences as the 3rd offense; as discipline referrals add up, detention time will increase (after school detention)

Appropriate Language and Civil Behavior

Please keep in mind (at all times) that you are in an academic setting, and this is NOT an appropriate place to use foul language or speak in anger toward others.  I certainly realize that there may be an occasional “slip,” and I will remind you at that point where you are.  If these guidelines are not followed, then a disciplinary referral will be necessary with a phone call home.


This is an extremely important aspect of my classroom. Students are expected to:

  • Show respect for the teacher, yourself, and others at all times. Respect must be mutual within the teacher/student relationship.
  • Respect all property (school property, personal property, and the property of others).
  • Respect the thoughts and ideas of your classmates. NEVER criticize the ideas, answers, or thoughts of another student.