• GPSD Course Syllabus

     Course Title:   Language Arts/ Advanced Language Arts

    Grade Level:   8th

    Teacher Contact Information:

    Name:   Wendi Snyder           Room Number:     C10

    Email Address: wsnyder@grantspass.k12.or.us Phone Number: 541-474-5740 ex.40142

    District Webpage:   https://www.grantspass.k12.or.us

    Please visit my teacher webpage for additional course information – go to the district homepage, select school, staff webpage, and find teacher.

    Grades will be issued at the end of the first and second semester. Progress reports will be mailed home at the end of 6 and 12 weeks. Parents and students are encouraged to follow progress on Power School. Visit the district webpage to learn more about how to access your account.

    Course Description: Throughout the school year, our primary focus will be on reading and writing. We will be using the writing process to write various types of compositions including poetry, paragraphs, and essays and projects.   We will also focus on literary studies and vocabulary development.

    Course Expectations: Students are expected to be actively involved in their education. We will be engaging in a variety of activities—journal writing, note taking, discussions, reading (both orally and independently), writing, listening, projects, and other activities. Students are expected to complete all assignments, work samples, tests, and projects.

    Course Standards: As required by law, students will be scored on their knowledge and skill on the standards expected for the course. Students will not only be given an overall grade for the course but will also be measured on specified standards aligned with course content.   The power standards identified for our course are as follows:


    1. Reading: Read, comprehend, and analyze literature and informative text, including a variety of novels, essays, plays, poetry, and nonfiction.
    2. Writing: Write to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    3. Language: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English and usage.
    4. Listening/Speaking: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions and presentations.


    Grading Criteria: Academic grades will reflect a student’s mastery of the subject’s knowledge and skills according to state standards. Extra credit will not be provided. Seventy percent of a student’s grade will be determined on summative assessments based on the proficiencies; thirty percent will be based on daily work and other formative assessments. Below is an example of what makes up each percentage.

    90% Summative Assessments

    10% Formative Assessments & Personal Management

    Tests or quizzes






    Daily Practice


    Daily in class work


    Grade Scale





    Mastery:  Superior academic performance through evidence of in-depth understanding and demonstration of skill/standard.

    90 – 100%


    Approaching Mastery:  Consistently meets and sometimes exceeds the basic skill/standard and has a complete understanding, and can demonstrate the skill/standard.

    80 – 89%


    Proficient:  Meets the standard with basic knowledge and demonstration.  Some errors may be present.

    65 – 79%


    Not Proficient/Insufficient Evidence:  Limited achievement of the grade level standards/expectations.  Proficiency cannot be determined due to missing assignments, and/or length of time in school.

    0 – 64%

    For the purpose of final grades, the following grade scale shall be used.


    Class Expectations:

    Work that is late for reasons other than absence will be accepted for no more than THREE weeks after the due date.


    Reassessment is not automatic. The purpose of retaking an assessment is to demonstrate improved knowledge and skills related to course learning targets. Therefore, students must first demonstrate that they have invested additional time and practice to prepare for the reassessment. Students must make sure that all practice work pertaining to the assessment has been completed before a retake will be considered. All retakes must be completed within two weeks of the original test or score being returned to the students. Students will be awarded the highest score that they have achieved. Students will be given only one opportunity for reassessment unless otherwise determined by the teacher. If a student misses a test due to absence, they must take the test within three days of returning to school.

    Materials needed for class:

    Journal – can be spiral or bound

    Binder Reminder


    Blue or black pen

    Red pen for correcting

    Fiction novel- this can come from home or the library

    I’m looking forward to working with both the students and families this year. Eighth grade is an exciting year and emphasis will be placed on getting students ready to be successful at the high school. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have.