• GPSD Course Syllabus


    Course Title:   Language Arts, Advanced Language Arts

    Grade Level:    7th      


    Teacher Contact Information:

    Name:   Paula Bontrager              Room Number:      C2 

    Email Address:  pbontrager@grantspass.k12.or.us        Phone Number:  541.474.5740 ext. 40135

    District Webpage:    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.


    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. We will also focus on literary studies and vocabulary development.


    Course Expectations:

     Students are expected to be actively involved in their educations. We will be engaging in a variety of activities—journal writing, note taking, discussions, reading, writing, listening, speaking, and other activities. Students are expected to complete all the assignments, work samples, tests, and projects.


    Course Standards:

    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.  Grades will be issued at the end of the first and second semester.  Progress reports will be mailed home according to the District 7 Calendar.  Parents and students are encouraged to follow progress on Power School.  Visit the District 7 webpage to learn more about how to access your account.


    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.

    70 – 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.

    50 – 69%

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

    Specific Course Standards:

    The power standards identified for our course are as follows:

    1. Cite textual evidence: Cite textual evidence to support my analysis of what I read (RL.1, RI.1)
    2. Theme: Determine a theme of central idea of a text (RL.2, RI.2)
    3. Author’s point of view: Identify and explain the author’s point of view within a variety of texts (RL.6)
    4. Plot line: Identify, define, and/or analyze all parts of a plot line within a text (RL.3)
    5. Summary: Provide an objective summary of a text (RL.2, RI.2)
    6. Word meaning: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in text (RL.4, RI.4, L.4, L.5)
    7. Main ideas and supporting details: Write with clear main ideas and supporting details (W.1)
    8. Organization and structure: Use organizational structure appropriate to the writing mode (i.e. informative/explanatory, argumentative, narrative, research) (W.4)
    9. Grammar and conventions: Understand and demonstrate correct usage of standard English grammar and conventions in writing or speaking (L.1, L.2)
    10. Speaking and listening: Present claims and findings in a coherent manner (SL.4)


    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. The grades in this class are based on completed work. I do not accept incomplete work. As I may have many students with the same first names, I do not accept work that does not have the student’s complete name on the paper. 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, timeliness, and other formative assessments. Below is an example of could be included in each area.


    70% Summative Assessments

    30% Formative Assessments and Practice








    Practice work




    During the second semester, we will be including more literature studies. We will include vocabulary development, literature analysis, comprehension, and writing skills. Curriculum may include the following: selected works from the 7th grade text, various novels which may include: Freak the Mighty, The Call of the Wild,  Olive’s Ocean, A Day No Pigs Would Die*, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Giver, Julie of the Wolves, The Lottery Rose, The Cay, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. Some of these readings may contain language or situations which some may find questionable for a middle school classroom. I encourage you to review the list and works and it you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. *This book has been approved but if a parent feels an alternate title should be made available, they may request one from the teacher. 





    Practice Work:

    Practice work will be an extension of the learning done in the classroom.


    Late Work or Missing Work:

     Students must complete assignments and submit them to the teacher in order to demonstrate that they are working toward proficiency.  Daily practice is expected to be turned in on time.  Late assignments may be deducted as part of the career readiness component (behavioral part) of the class.  If extenuating circumstances exist, it is the student’s responsibility to contact me and make other arrangements.  A student who has missed a deadline or assignment due to an excused absence will be given an appropriate extension.  For example, if a student is out for one week due to an illness or family emergency, the student has one week to make up missing assignments.  Remember that assignments and due dates will be posted in the classroom. Late work must be complete to be accepted. Late work will be accepted for two weeks from the due date.  Practice work that is not completed will be marked with a score of M (50%) in the gradebook.


    All redone work is done at teacher discretion. Students may be given opportunities to retake assessments they fail, or wish to retake, in order to demonstrate proficiency, provided that they are making adequate progress toward proficiency. If students have not completed the formative assessments or practice assignments attached to the summative assessment, they will need to complete these before a retake is offered.  All retake and rewrite opportunities stop one week before the end of a grading period and/or subject to teacher discretion. I reserve the right to change the format for all retake assessments.


    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 complete an assessment retake ticket which includes the practice work completed and the completed plan for improved knowledge. The assessment retake ticket must be signed by a parent or guardian. All retakes must be completed within two weeks of the score being reported and recorded in the gradebook. Students will be awarded the highest score that they have achieved. Students may be given only one opportunity for reassessment unless otherwise determined by the teacher. If a student misses an assessment due to absence, they should make arrangements with the teacher to take the assessment as soon as possible.


    Required Supplies:

    200 page (100 sheets) composition book (Not spiral bound)          College ruled notebook paper

    2x3 sticky notes     Pencils    Blue or black ink pens             Colored pencils, crayons, and markers                                                                                                                                 



    Daily attendance is important; the learning experiences a student misses in the classroom are often difficult to make up.  If a student is absent, it is imperative that upon their return they come by my room before school or during working time in class to see what they have missed.  Always check the available materials and with classmates to secure all handouts, assignments, journal prompts, and notes.  I expect that students advocate for themselves and actively seek information that they have missed.



    Class Policies:

     Students are expected to be respectful, personally responsible, organized, and communicative.  All policies stated in the Student Handbook will be observed.  My classroom is a respectful, positive, and productive place.  Routines and procedures will be reviewed and practiced; after that, my expectation is that all students contribute to the environment in a positive way.  Practice work previously assigned is due at the beginning of the period. Practice work turned in after it has been collected from the basket will be considered late and go in the late box.



    Advanced Language Arts:

    Differentiation strategies available in this class may include extension activities, acceleration, or other activities, depending on the needs of the students. Advanced Language Arts may have similar curriculum as seventh Language Arts with a differentiation in expectations and outcomes. If at any time a student is not showing sufficient academic progress meeting the expectations of the Advanced Language Arts class, that student may be moved to the seventh grade Language Arts class at the discretion of the teacher.





    Ms. Paula Bontrager

    Language Arts 7/ Advanced Language Arts 7
























    Please retain the syllabus for information. It will also be available on my website.

    Please return this sheet to Ms. Bontrager by ____________________________________________________







    Ms. Bontrager, Language Arts             Period_________


    I have read this course syllabus and understand the content.


    Student Name_______________________________________________________________________________

    (Please print)


    Student Signature______________________________________________________ Date __________________



    Parent/s Name_______________________________________________________________________________

    (Please Print)


    Parent Signature _______________________________________________________ Date _________________