Policies, Procedure, & Frequently Asked Questions (sorted alphabetically)
Students, please familiarize yourself with the expectations.
- ASSIGNMENTS / HOMEWORK: What is the HW policy (late HW, absences, TurnItIn.com, tech problems)?
- ASSIGNMENTS: What format is required for my papers and assignments?
- ATTENDANCE: If I am legitimately sick, do those absences still count?
- CONTACT: What is the best way for parents to contact Mrs. Garcia? What about students?
- DETENTION: I'm basically a good kid, but what do I need to know about detention?
- DRESS CODE: What is the dress code?
- EXTRA CREDIT: How can I earn extra credit?
- EXTRA HELP: When is Mrs. Garcia available for exta help?
- GRADES: What's my average? Did you update averages yet?
- LOST ITEMS: Do I still have to pay to replace a stolen textbook. I didn’t lose it.
- PLAGIARISM & ACADEMIC HONESTY: What is plagiarism, what are the consequences, and how can I avoid plagiarizing?
- POLICIES: What other classroom policies (i.e. Electronic Devices, Food) should I be aware of?
- SCHOOL SUPPLIES: What supplies do I need?
ASSIGNMENTS / HOMEWORK: What is the HW policy (late HW, absences, TurnItIn.com, tech problems)?
Major assignments are usually posted online. However, you're still accountable for what is assigned in class on the board or verbally.
TURNING IN YOUR ASSIGNMENTS...
I collect assignments by personally coming to your desk on the due date. Assignments turned in later in the day lost 5 points. Please make sure that your work is already stapled and ready to turn in upon arrival in class. Assignments may not be printed out in class on the due date. If you are in school at any time during the day, please turn in your your assignment to me. For example, if you have an assembly or field trip, turn in your assignment to me beforehand. My schedule is online, outside my door, and my mailbox is in B-House office. If you are going to miss any school before or after Break due to an extended vacation, please let me know well in advance so that you know what assignments need to be turned in ahead of time and what assignments are due upon your return.
LATE WORK POLICY (Due to Excused Absence)
In GENERAL, the “grace period” for assignments is one day per day you were absent. It is always a good idea to talk to your teacher when you return to class, especially if you have been absent several days or are concerned about falling behind. Depending on the reason for your absence, you may or may not be able to work at home. If you’re home sick and are concerned about falling behind, you can check assignments online. That is, if you are well enough to do some work. If not, don't worry; just focus on feeling better first. For extended illnesses or special circumstances (i.e. mononucleosis, surgery), contact the office to request for assignments to be sent home (held for pickup). Make other arrangements with me, if necessary. It’s the student’s responsibility to find out what he/she missed and promptly schedule to make up the assignments. Check this Web site. Look in the "While You Were Out" folder in the black crate on the back counter. Take only the handouts that have your name on them. Although most assignments are given in advance, sometimes we do spontaneous things in class. Therefore, check with me when you return, just to be sure. In general, quizzes must be made up within 2 days, tests within 5 days.
Note: All allowances pertain to excused, not unexcused absences. Students with unexcused absences ("cuts") will not be able to make up work missed and will receive an F for work missed.
LATE WORK POLICY (Late with No Excuse)
In short, late assignments lose 10 points per day, and major assignments are not accepted more than 2 days late. Acceptance of late work is at the teacher’s discretion. It often depends on the nature of the assignment. Late work is not accepted after vacations, 3-day weekends, or close of the marking term.
HOMEWORK AND MINOR ASSIGNMENTS: Most homework/classwork that is late for no reason may be turned in up to 2 days late. It will NOT be accepted if it is something which we have already discussed in class, or for which the answers have been given already, obviously. For example, late vocabulary will not be accepted because A) you have two weeks to complete it, and B) answers are given in class. One point is subtracted from the final homework average for each late HW/CW assignment. Homework turned in after the class period has ended is still late.
MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS: A major assignment may be turned in up to 2 days late and loses 10 points per day late. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date.If you submit a major assignment later that day, it loses 5 points. Mark your late work “x” days late—however many days it is past due. Label the assignment at the top so I know what it is (i.e. Reflection CH 1-3).
It is always better to turn in a neatly handwritten assignment (or a previous draft) and lose some points rather than not turn in the assignment at all. At least I can see that you completed it.
Technology WILL malfunction from time to time; it’s a fact of modern life, so hope for the best, but plan for the worst. You are responsible for turning in a hard copy of your assignment on time. I cannot accept submissions of work via e-mail or computer disk. Assignments are accepted in hard copy (paper) only, regardless of problems with computers, printers, papers, or ink. Please do not wave a flash drive and ask to print your paper in class. If teachers were to make an exception for you, they would have to make an exception for every student who asked, and that is not possible. College is just around the corner, and your professors are not going to accept excuses. Stock up on ink cartridges and paper. Learn how to install new ink cartridges. I'm happy to write you a pass to the computer lab; just make sure you give yourself ample time to complete the assignment.
Follow ALL directions for turning in your assignments, including using the plagiarism-detection site www.TurnItIn.com for major assignments, such as essays, or at any time your teacher instructs you to do so. The definition of turning in an assignment on time is as follows: By the time you submit the hard copy of your assignment (the physical paper) in class on the due date, you have already uploaded a soft copy to www.TurnItIn.com. This is your responsibility. If you have completed only half of this by the deadline, then the assignment has not been fully turned in and is late. Please note that you should place your assignment on your desk for collection only if it has been already uploaded to TurnItIn. To be clear, this means that you may not hand in a paper during your class period and then ask if you can upload it to TurnItIn by the end of the day. Nor can you arrive in class and say that the assignment is on TurnItIn but you have no hard copy to submit until later in the day. The assignment is late either way. Staple your receipt to the top of your essay, and save the copy that TurnItIn e-mails to you. If your teacher says he/she did not see your assignment in the TurnItIn database, that receipt is the only acceptable evidence that you submitted your assignment on time or at all. Save your receipt, and give yourself peace of mind. If you're having trouble uploading to TurnItIn at home, I suggest that you e-mail your work to a trusted friend and ask him/her to upload it for you. Alternatively, you could put the work on a
disk/memory stick and upload it in the Media Center before 1st Period.
WHAT ABOUT SNOW DAYS?
Snow does not change due dates. Work will be collected (or quizzes/tests will be given) upon our return to school. During the winter months, please plan ahead and bring home all of the books and materials you will need. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst! That's my motto. If the assignment was one that was supposed to be uploaded to www.TurnItIn.com, then snow should not affect your ability to upload the assignment on time. You can check the Trumbull Public Schools home page for information about weather-related delays, early dismissals, or closings. In addition, NBC Channel 30 News can send you an e-mail when school closings are issued for the Trumbull school district. Just go to the following Web site and follow the simple instructions to sign up. It's free. This is particularly convenient for parents if they are at work and don't know that an early dismissal was announced. http://www.nbc30.com/closings/
ASSIGNMENTS: What format is required for my papers and assignments?
For homework, please use pen, not pencil.
For formal/typed assignments, please use MLA format. The best place to look is my Guidelines for Formal Papers because it
explains everything as simply as possible. It is located on the “Download Documents” page.
ATTENDANCE: If I am legitimately sick, do those absences still count?
"Eighty percent of success is showing up." (WOODY ALLEN 1935- )
To view the attendance policy, please refer to the THS Student Handbook, available on the THS Web site. In short, regardless of whether the student is sick, at the nurse, or on vacation, an absence is still an absence. Therefore, please try to maintain the best attendance you can, and stay healthy!
An “excused” absence simply means that the parent calls to verify that the student is not truant or “cutting” class. A student with an excused absence has the opportunity to make up the work, whereas an unexcused student does not, thereby earning an F for missed work. The Board of Education strongly believes that family vacations should not take place when school is in session. Students who minimize their absences avoid falling behind and increase their chances of success. Let your attendance record convey that you regard school as a top priority.
CONTACT: What is the best way for parents to contact Mrs. Garcia? What about students?
Parents: Because there is no telephone in the classroom, I can respond to you much faster if you e-mail me. I would be happy to do so. I check this school address Monday-Friday:
It is also important to note that this trumbullPS.org address is the one I check daily. The TrumbullHS account gets viewed only a few times a year.
PLEASE NOTE: There is another Trumbull High teacher with a similar name, so if several days pass and you do not receive a response from me, you may want to check that you have sent your message to the correct address.(I am Nicole Caruso Garcia, not Maria Manso-Garcia, but we receive each other's mail by accident.)
Students: During class, please feel free to ask all the questions that are on your mind. If your questions require more discussion, let's schedule a time to meet during your study hall, lunch, or after school. I respectfully request that students do not send an e-mail. Truly, no offense, but you have daily opportunity to seek clarification in class, and the large number of students prevents me from responding to student e-mails or printing out student
assignments. (It's the 'If-I- answer-one-I-have-to-answer-them-all' kind of thing. You understand.)
DETENTION: I'm basically a good kid, but what do I need to know about detention?
Teacher Detention (with me) is usually on Fridays, immediately after school from 2:25 PM until 3:00 PM, in our classroom, B-16.
The detention slip will include the date, time, and location of the detention. Students who do not show up for detention are referred to the House Office for further disciplinary action. Therefore, if you arrive at 2:25 and I am not there yet, please wait outside the room. Do not assume that I have left.
During detention, students sit quietly. That means no talking, no magazines, no iPod, no cell phone, no writing, etc.
(The abovementioned Teacher Detention is not the same as the House Detentions issued by house principals. House Detentions take place from 2:35 to 3:10 on Mondays, Wednesday, and Thursdays
DRESS CODE: What is the dress code?
The dress code for English class with Mrs. Garcia in Room B-16 is the same as the dress code for Trumbull High School. If you would like to see a very clear description of what is appropriate versus inappropriate, please go to the Help Sheets and More page and click the Dress Code policy.
EXTRA CREDIT: How can I earn extra credit?
There are at least eight ways to earn extra credit, and you can read about them on Help Sheets and More page.
They are extra, which implies that you have done most of your regular assignments. Extra credit cannot compensate for neglecting your regular credit work.
EXTRA HELP: When is Mrs. Garcia available for exta help?
First, I may be able to answer your question for you quickly before, during, or after class. If not, you can certainly come for extra help. I know that students are busy with after-school activities. Therefore, if you need to meet with me during your lunch or study hall instead, I'm happy to set up a time. Please let me know in advance that you plan on coming for extra help, and we will schedule a time after school, probably on a Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. I'm also available during lunch/prep/study hall periods, depending on how many students have already arranged to meet with me. You can find me after school in B-16.
GRADES: What's my average? Did you update averages yet?
Students are expected to remain aware of their current grade status. Simply go to the Grades Page and type in your student ID number.
I usually update grades weekly, usually on Friday after school or over the weekend. The date stamp at the bottom of the page shows when grades were last updated. Please keep in mind that at the beginning of each marking term, averages are less representative of your performance, due to the limited number of grades. Your average will more accurately reflect your overall performance as the marking term progresses.
Any student whose overall average is below 70 should come for an extra help session that week. (Let's be honest; if your average is in the D/F range you could be doing better, right?) We will meet to figure out what you can do to succeed, as well as what I can do to help you reach your goals. This is not a detention. Consider it an "attention," because that is what you will get! Schedule a time to meet with me. My schedule is on Teacher Web as well as on the classroom door.
LOST ITEMS: Do I still have to pay to replace a stolen textbook. I didn’t lose it.
After a textbook has been issued to a student, the student is responsible if the book becomes lost, stolen, or damaged. Maybe your book really was stolen, and someone else merely lost his. However, there is no way for teachers to tell the difference. Please treat your textbook the way you would your wallet. You wouldn’t leave your wallet containing $50 in the classroom overnight—not even in a drawer. After all, school is a public place.
If you store your book in the classroom, you are doing so at your own risk. Depending on the text, replacement cost can be $10, $50, or even more. Always take your book with you. Lock your locker. You may have a good conscience, but there are some rascals out there who do not.
For your convenience, there is a Lost and Found box in our classroom, but its contents are limited to items that I find in our room, of course.
PLAGIARISM & ACADEMIC HONESTY: What is plagiarism, what are the consequences, and how can I avoid plagiarizing?
In short, please be honest. Do not use Spark Notes, Cliff’s Notes, or any similar study guide. In most cases, all you need is your book and your brain, not the Internet. No plagiarizing, copying, or cheating. Don't cheat--you're better than that!
USING SPARK NOTES IS ACADEMICALLY DISHONEST. THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT DOES NOT CONDONE USE OF SPARK NOTES,OR ANY SIMILAR "SHORTCUT" SITES. Sure, it might help at first, but in the long run, it's kind of like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.
To view the THS Academic Honesty policy, please refer to the THS Student Handbook, available on the THS Web site.
Academic honesty is discussed in class, but for additional information about avoiding plagiarism, visit the Links to Help You page. There are several helpful sites, as well as online tutorials.
Unless otherwise specified, when a writing assignment is due, you must ALSO submit it to TurnItIn.com by uploading the file. I have provided you with the class ID and password to set up your account. It is your responsibility to retain that information, so please do not lose it. Submit original work only, and cite sources when applicable. Failure to do so, either intentionally or unintentionally, is academic dishonesty, including: copying (in whole or in part) a poem, story, literary analysis, lyrics, or ideas from any source(including the Internet)—even if you replace some words; using information in “help guides” such as Sparks or Cliff’s Notes (online or otherwise); paraphrasing too lightly, or forgetting cite sources or put information in quotes; or having a friend or relative write (ghostwrite) the assignment for you.
The burden of proof does not rest solely on the teacher to prove a student has plagiarized; it rests on the student to prove the work is his or her own. Save notes and drafts at home until the course ends. It’s critical to have documentation to show how your ideas were developed. If there is doubt whether your work is entirely your own, you will be asked to present your notes, drafts, and reference sources immediately. (All students are required to turn in all drafts along with your essays anyway; therefore, you should already have them.) Consequences: One week of lunch detention for the first offense, two weeks for the second offense, etc.; zero on the assignment; parental notification; ineligibility for letter of recommendation; no option to redo the assignment; house office is notified, and the referral goes into your permanent file.
POLICIES: What other classroom policies (i.e. Electronic Devices, Food) should I be aware of?
We all have the right to work and learn in a safe, clean, pleasant environment. Please help maintain an academic environment in which teachers can work and students can learn.
POLICY ON FOOD/DRINK/GUM:
Please maintain a clean and academic atmosphere. School policy states that with the exception of PLAIN water, all food and beverages should be consumed in the cafeteria and not carried out to any other part of the building. Although the school sells snacks, do not bring them to class. Please do not chew gum in class.
POLICY ON ELECTRONIC DEVICES:
Please do not use cell phones during school hours, especially not during fire drills. Teachers must confiscate cell phones if they are used during school hours. For example, you may NOT go outside on the sidewalk and use your phone during school hours. Outside is still "during school hours." Parents, in the event of a true emergency, please call the school and have your child paged. Please show you are paying attention and being respectful by not wearing earphones during class, even if the sound is off. Put away your iPod/MP3/Walkman. These devices will be confiscated and brought to the house office. Also, please show you are paying attention and being respectful by remaining seated and waiting until the end of class to pack up and get ready to leave.
No bullying, harassment, or use of pejorative language. Be part of a class in which every student feels welcome. Students are expected to show respect for their teacher, classmates, and themselves. We're a learning community in which everyone is equal and respected--regardless of race, gender, creed, religion, sexual orientation, ability, or any other factor. Remember, what's "just a joke" to you may offend someone else.
Please don't use the bathroom during the first or last ten minutes of class. Please wait for me to explain the directions for the day and distribute any handouts. After the class is settled, students know what they are supposed to do, and they have begun working, you may ask to use the restroom. Raise your hand and hold your fingers in the shape of an “L” (for lavatory); when I nod that you may leave, sign out, take the pass and go.
You are young adults now, so if you need to get a tissue, throw away some paper, sharpen a pencil, or use the dictionary, feel free to get up and do so.
Please ask before using the computer terminals. Students must sign in/out with day/time/terminal on the clipboard. A hundred students enter the classroom per day; therefore, the computer terminals are NOT for printing out your assignments. Use a computer lab if you need to print. Students may NOT use the computer terminals if there is a substitute teacher.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: What supplies do I need?
Please bring these supplies to class daily:
Pens (Black or dark blue ink only. I would be most grateful if you would use pen instead of pencil. I have poor eyesight, and pencil is difficult for me to read. Thanks!
Loose-Leaf Paper. (White, lined notebook paper.)
A Notebook. (Because I distributed hole-punched handouts, it will be more convenient for you to organize and retain them in a 3-ring binder--a 1” spine will do. However, if you prefer a spiral-bound notebook or folder, do whatever makes you comfortable and organized.
At least one colored pen--other than blue or black. (This is for peer editing.)
Please have the following supplies handy AT HOME:
Stapler. (You can leave it at home, or you can get a mini/portable one. Please make sure that your work is ALREADY stapled and ready to turn in upon arrival in class.
Computer Disk or Memory Stick (flash/jump drive) You should always keep a copy of your work--especially major papers. You need to back up your assignments at home or elsewhere. However, assignments are not accepted on flash drive or via e-mail.
Post-It® Notes. (Annotate on sticky notes because you can’t write in your book.)
Printer Paper. (White, 8 ½” x 11”) Do you have enough?
Printer Ink. (Black ink only. Do you have a spare cartridge? If you don’t have a computer or a working printer, please ask me for a Computer Lab pass well in advance of the paper’s due date.)
(optional) 3-Hole Punch. (Handouts are usually already punched, but sometimes they aren’t.)
I have stocked our classroom's cubby hole with tissues, a 3-hole punch, tape, stapler, paper, scrap paper, thesauri, dictionaries, and spare pens. Each year students donate spare pens, tissues, and cough drops, so thank you in advance if you plan to bring them in!