• 9th Grade Honors English

    Mrs. Murphy

    Email: jmurphy1@saugerties.k12.ny.us

    Website: http://www.saugerties.k12.ny.us

    School Phone Number: 845/247-6561 x 3115

    Required Materials (excluding materials needed for quarterly projects)

    • 3-Ring binder to be used for English class ONLY
    • Ten dividers
    • Composition Notebook for journaling (not spiral-bound, please)
    • Loose-leaf paper
    • Pens (any color but red)

    Recommended Materials

    • Highlighters
    • USB flash drive


    Course Description

    Reading and Literature

    Focusing on a study of literary genres, students will read, view, and interpret texts from a variety of authors, subjects, and perspectives. They will make critical and analytical judgments about what they read and make connections between conclusions they draw and others’ beliefs. In an attempt to connect literature to their lives, students will recognize the relevance of literature to personal events and situations. They will keep a “reader’s journal” in order to document these recognitions. 



    Students will produce narratives, poems, persuasive essays, and short stories; in addition to their reader’s journals. Students will practice timed writings and continue to use the stages of the writing process to develop short-answer responses, 4-square essays, and writings to demonstrate an understanding of tone, point-of-view, style, organization, author’s purpose, and audience. Students will continue to use research and technology to support reading and writing.



    Students will increase their knowledge of the conventions of language in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They will demonstrate their control of the rules of English, focusing on the correct use of paragraphs, phrases, and the mechanics of punctuation. Sentence construction and usage will continue to be a focus for ninth graders. They will apply their knowledge of conventions of format when producing creative writing, persuasive writing, and informational writing pieces.



    Students will continue to develop their critical listening skills. Through presentations and interactions with the teacher and other students, they will apply effective speaking techniques in small and large group settings. The viewing standards will enable students to develop media literacy skills through the careful examination and comparison of films, videos, and stage versions of written works. 


    *All reading selections and writing assignments are designed to address the student learning described in the course description. For a more detailed description of the Common Core Curriculum, tests, and modules, you may access https://engageny.org/.

    Course Expectations


    Assignment Guidelines

      • All assignments (aside from major papers which must be typed unless otherwise stated) must be written in ink (any color but red). Typing is always appreciated. Of course, you may hand in work on Google Classroom, as well.  
      • Please employ an appropriate heading for each assignment including your full name, my name, our class period, the date, and the assignment name.
      • Timeliness and punctuality are a must.  As an honors student, you must take responsibility for time management. Please make every effort to hand things in on time. 
      • Late work will lose 10%  of its value for each day it is late. 


     *Speak to me in private if you require extra time on a task. *


    Ninth grade Honors English is designed as preparation for English 10 Honors.  The course of study is rigorous and should be attempted only by serious readers and writers. Students who do not maintain the required 92 average may be relocated to 9R+ English, and will most likely not be recommended for English 10H.  It is important for students to be placed appropriately for the overall good of the student and the program. 


    In addition to the required 92 average, the honor student must

    • be behaviorally, academically, and cognitively outstanding.


    • possess enjoyment and passion for English.
    • possess an understanding of basic grammar skills.
    • correctly use conventions of standard written English.
    • work towards cultivating an original and individual voice in writing.
    • be self-motivated and willing to do more than what is asked or required.
    • take full responsibility for all assignments.
    • be tolerant of other people’s opinions.
    • accept instruction and constructive criticism in order to improve oral, written, and interpretive skills.
    • make attendance a priority and make-up missed work without prompting—(i.e.: please see the class website for assignments when you are absent so that you are caught up when you return.)
    • listen carefully in class and take notes.
    • prioritize one’s learning as an ongoing process by refraining from procrastination and “cramming.”
    • demonstrate superior knowledge of the course content by analysis and synthesis of a variety of topics in-class discussion, writings, and assessment situations. 

    Focus on Student Learning

    The following is a representation of the texts students may encounter during the year:

    • The Odyssey by Homer
    • Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
    • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
    • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    • I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier


    • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
    • A minimum of one independent novel (student choice/teacher approved) per quarter


    * Additionally, vocabulary and grammar studies will be paired to complement the readings as will writing workshops in order for students to demonstrate their knowledge acquisition in various student-centered tasks.

    Classroom Policies

    You are accountable for everything in this syllabus and in the SHS Student Handbook.  This includes, but is not limited to, leaving electronic devices and hats outside the classroom.  Failure to do so may result in your forfeiture of the item until the end of the day or a parent conference, depending on the circumstance. 

    Absences and Make-up Work 

    It is your responsibility to complete all work within the prescribed time.  Students have the number of days absent to make up work (i.e.: one day absent provides for one day to complete work and/or arrange makeup quizzes or tests).  Failure to complete an assignment within this timeframe will result in a zero for the assignment.   


    • First, please refer to the class website “Calendar-Current Assignmentssection or our Google Classroom to review what you’ve missed and print any applicable assignments. 
    • If that is not possible during your absence, please see the “Missed Work” shelf immediately upon your return.  
    • Finally, see me in order to schedule makeup exams and quizzes.  



    *If you will be missing class for school-related activities or pre-arranged absences, you MUST get your work ahead of time.  It will be due upon your return to class.  Depending upon the assignment, failure to do so will result in no credit or a late penalty.


    SHS English Department Plagiarism Statement

    Plagiarism is the use of another’s words or ideas and the presentation of them as though they are entirely one’s own. Acts of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

    1. Using words or ideas from a published source without proper documentation;
    2. Using the work of another (e.g. copying another student’s homework, essay, or project);
    3. Using excessive editing suggestions of another student, teacher, parent, or paid editor.
    4. Using an assignment that was previously handed in for another task or to another teacher.


    *Plagiarism on any project, assignment, test, or quiz in this class will result in a zero for the assignment and a referral to the assistant principal.  Unless directly stipulated by me, COLLABORATION ON WRITTEN WORK IS NOT ACCEPTABLE and will be treated as plagiarism. 


    After reading this information over with your grown-up, please sign, have him/her sign, then detach and return the bottom portion of this page to Mrs. Murphy.




    After reading the above syllabus, please contact me directly if you have any concerns or questions at jmurphy1@saugerties.k12.ny.us.  Also, please provide the necessary information below.  Thank you for your concern and support.  Here’s to a great year!


    “I have read and understand the course description and classroom policies.”

    ____________________________________ ___________________________________________

    Student’s Name/ Signature Guardian’s Email Address

    ____________________________________ __________________________________________

    Guardian’s Name/Signature Guardian’s phone number/ok to text? (Y/N)

Last Modified on September 22, 2021