• Course Titles     English Language Arts 3-4 & 5-6

    Instructor        Ms. Franny Gustafson

    Room               408

    School e-mail    francine.gustafson@dvusd.org


    Course Description:

    This course introduces the student to the concepts and genres of literature. Students will develop skills in reading, writing, literature, speaking and listening. Students will read at least two outside reading novels per semester.

     This course is aligned with the Arizona State Standards which include the Common Core State Standards.

     Course Goals & Objectives:

    The goals for English Language Arts are:

    • To improve each student’s reading fluency and comprehension skills
    • To increase research skills using legitimate sources
    • To be able to apply researched information effectively
    • To be able to write and speak with increased sophistication
    • To be able to present information in a variety of formats

    We will use a systems-based approach to learning, which allows students to know what is expected of them, and encourages students to be knowledgeable about their own progress in reaching each academic goal.

     Course Materials:

    • College ruled lined notebook paper
    • Blue or black pens, pencils, and highlighter
    • Academic email address
    • iPad

     Classroom/Course Expectations:

    • Be respectful towards yourself and others
    • Take responsibility for your education
    • Be prepared to learn every day when the bell rings
    • Absolutely no put downs or derogatory comments
    • Observe all school rules, as discussed in the student handbook.

    Videos – Videos can be a useful way to visually reinforce concepts and skills. Occasionally, we will be viewing clips of videos rated no lower than PG-13 to enhance and supplement a lesson.  Whole class readings – Classic literature most often contains mature material; examples include some dialogue that contains racial slurs or allusions to promiscuity and violence. Please do not hesitate to contact me about any questions you may have about how mature material is handled. 

    Plagiarism:  The ELA department’s policy adheres to the DVUSD Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook, which defines plagiarism as “To steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own.”  The minimum consequence is a loss of credit for the assignment; the maximum consequence is a 10-day suspension and/or loss of credit for the course.

    Electronic Devices:  If students are found misusing electronics in class or otherwise not fully engaged in learning, the device may be confiscated.  Misuse of electronic devices may result in disciplinary procedures in addition to the confiscation of the device.


    Weighted Grading System:

    Final course grades are computed as 80% equaling the coursework done throughout the semester and 20% equaling the final exam portion of the grade.

    Reading                                    30%

    Writing                                     30%

    Speaking/Listening                    20%

    Language                                  20%

    Final Exams                              20%

    Grading Scale

    A         90-100%

    B          80-89%

    C          70-79%

    D         60-69%

    F          0-59%


    Students must retain all coursework throughout the semester and nearly every document will be submitted to Canvas.  If there is a discrepancy in how or what was graded, the student will have evidence of his/her work. Much of the course’s documents will be submitted, evaluated, and housed on Canvas - our teaching platform.

    Test Retakes:

    Students should arrange a retake opportunity at a mutually agreed upon time that does not interfere with regular class time. This retake policy does not apply to District or teacher-created semester exams.

    Extra Credit:  This course occasionally offers extra credit. Extra credit is an opportunity to go above and beyond the class’s expectations and is not required. Extra credit is not a final effort to become eligible for sports or to appease anybody but the student’s thirst for knowledge. Extra credit is not offered to students with missing assignments.


    Attendance and Make-up Policy:

    • Students are expected to be in class daily.  Even though assignments can be made up, experiences and activities cannot always be duplicated.  A student’s attendance is critical to his/her academic success.
    • Students who have an absence which is excused have one day for each day absent to turn in missed work.  Students who are marked unexcused will not receive credit for worked missed but will still receive feedback.  See the student handbook for more information regarding excused and unexcused absences.
    • An assignment which is considered a long-term project is due on the due date and time as stated when the long-term project was assigned.  Long-term projects may be turned in prior to the due date.

    Late Work Policy:

    Late work is strictly discouraged.  ELA Department Late Work Policy:

    All assignments have a due date; however, per district guidelines, assignments will be accepted late for two weeks (14 calendar days) from the due date for full earned credit. After the two week grace period, work will be accepted, but points will be deducted up to a maximum of 50% of the earned score. Work will no longer be accepted once the unit has ended. Ms. Gustafson will inform students of this date for each unit.

    Late work accommodations for students with 504 or IEP plans will be followed as stated in the individual student's plan. Additional accommodations may be negotiated on a case-by-case basis between the teacher and the student/family.

    • If students are encountering problems submitting their work on Canvas outside the classroom, they should immediately email their work to the teacher so it is still on time AND students need to provide evidence (such as a screenshot) of the problem with the error code. Students should still submit the assignment to Canvas as soon as possible and seek help the next day if necessary.
    • Trouble-shooting: Try using the Canvas website (dvusd.instructure.com) instead of the app. Ensure that the file type is correct (use PDFs not Word or Pages).


    The English Department will follow the individual accommodations listed on a student’s IEP or 504 plan.  Students who have late work accommodations as part of their IEP or 504 plan for English must submit what they have done on the due date, and then they will be given a teacher-student negotiated amount of time to complete the assignment.  If the student has not begun the assignment by the due date and shown appropriate progress on the assignment, they will not be granted extra time or full credit for the work.


    If you have a concern and need to speak with me, please contact me via Canvas, Remind app, or email. Communication is the most effective strategy you can use to ensure your success.

    I will facilitate a classroom environment conducive to learning to the best of my ability.  This class will be fun, engaging, and enlightening only if you put forth the effort to make it so.

    Online Learning: COVID-19

    In an effort to protect the safety of all stakeholders, the School Board of Deer Valley Unified School

    District has elected for school to begin in a virtual environment until safety benchmarks are met that

    would allow for a safe and healthy return to school buildings.

    This is virtual learning. Unlike the Home Learning that students experienced last spring, the expectations of

    students are much different.

    • Students are expected to be on ZOOM with cameras on at the scheduled class period time.
    • Students should be dressed and groomed as if they were attending an in-person session.
    • Students need a quiet workspace to complete their school work that is free of distractions, including personal    cell phones.
    • Participation in the learning environment should be the same as if we were in a physical classroom.
    • There may be multiple assignments per week with due dates that count towards the student’s final semester grade.
    • While much of the class is online, students will complete some work on paper and upload it to Canvas.
    • Classes are taught in 2 hour blocks on an A/B schedule. This class will meet every other day.

    Your student’s success is my priority. To achieve this success, I invite students, parents, and guardians to communicate with me regularly. A high school diploma is within reach and I am happy to be able to spend this year of high school with your student.