Course Syllabus

Instructor:  Sarah Nicely

Contact Information:

 Remind: Text @k7b6aa to 81010                                     

Room: 2315     Conference Period:  4th



1st Four Weeks:

Tues/Thurs: 11:47am - 12:22pm and Friday: 9:00am - 10:00am. (All using Teams)

After 1st Four Weeks:

Tues/Thurs: Last 15 minutes of instruction for in person learning

"Teams Office Hours": 11:47 - 12:22

Course Scope:

We will trace the development of the English Language from the earliest texts in Old English through modern texts. As such, students will be exposed to history, art, and music in order to draw parallels to the prevailing themes in literature of a particular time period.



The student is not required to but may check out an English textbook from the school or may have access to the online eBook provided by Pearson (code available for students). Students will not be required to bring their textbook to class. A textbook for each student will be available in the classroom. (Those books may not leave the classroom for any reason.)


Other Readings: Students will read individual novels in addition to class readings. Students will also read poetry throughout the course. Some books that students may chose might contain mature content. I encourage you to speak with your child about what they are reading. Students are not required to purchase their SSR (sustained silent reading) novel and we will take a class trip to the library so that every student has the opportunity to check one out, however, if a student would like to purchase their novel they are free to. Half Price Books is a great resource and will even transfer a book from another Houston area location if the Pearland store does not have it.


Focus of Instruction: 

High school students are expected to plan, draft, and complete written compositions on a regular basis. Students edit their papers for clarity, engaging language, and the correct use of the conventions and mechanics of written English and produce final, error-free drafts.

In English IV, students are expected to write in a variety of forms, including business, personal, literary, expository, and persuasive texts.

English IV students read extensively in multiple genres from British literature and other world literature. Periods from British literature may include the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Period, the English Renaissance, the Neoclassical Period, the Romantic Period, the Victorian Period, and 20th Century literature. Students learn literary forms and terms associated with selections being read. Students will interpret the possible influences of the historical context on a literary work.

Academic Expectations:  Students are expected to reach a Proficient Level in this course to better prepare them for college, the business world, and the journey of life.


Class Rules:

  1. Be on time.
  2. Be prepared with all necessary items to class (pencil, paper, homework, etc.).
  3. Respect, in every sense of the word.
  4. Do what is asked, when it is asked.
  5. No food, drinks, or candy are allowed in the classroom at any time (except water).
  6. Use of electronic devices is not permitted in the classroom, unless approved by the teacher for use with a lesson. Devices such as iPods, headphones, tape recorders, cell phones, cameras, video cameras, laptop computers, etc. will be confiscated, without warning, and turned in to the assistant principals’ office.

***Students are also expected to follow all rules that are outlined in the student code of conduct, including dress code.


Discipline Procedures:

  1. Tardiness will be handled as explained in the Student Code of Conduct.
  2. Lack of Materials, excessive talking, failure to do work, etc will be handled as follows:

            1st offense = verbal warning         2nd offense = detention           3rd offense = principal referral

  1. Severe violations of conduct will result in immediate referral to the assistant principals’ office.


Grading Policy:

- Major grades will count as 60% of the term (9 week) average.  There will be at least 4 major grades per nine weeks.

- Daily grades will count as 40% of the term (9 week) average.  You will have at least 2 daily grades per week.

- Homework assignments are considered late if they are not turned in before class begins. 

- Late work:  1 day late: 11 points off

                     2 days late: 22 points off

                       3 days late 33 points off

After 3 days I will no longer accept the work, and the 0 will stand.


- Failing grades: Students will have a period of three school days (from the time the teacher posts the grade on

Skyward or returns the test or quiz) to retake a similar test or quiz that they receive a failing grade on. The highest grade the student can earn to replace the failing grade is a 70. If the student earns another failing grade, the higher of the two grades will be given. The student is only given ONE opportunity to retake a failing test or quiz.


  • Extra Credit: Students may come into tutoring for any possible extra credit opportunities. Extra credit is sometimes given to students who want to bump a failing participation grade, or homework grade to a 70. Once the 70 has been achieved, the student may proceed to do another extra credit assignment to bump his or her grade up to a 90. Extra credit should not be relied on as a way to pass the class.


Make-Up Work/Attendance:  Attendance is an important contributor to success in any class.  Students who miss class are responsible for checking the “missed class” file on the turn in table or asking the teacher for the work that they have missed.  If there are any questions about missed assignments, do not hesitate to ask.  A student will have the number of days that he/she was absent to make up any assignments missed.  For example, if a student was absent for three days, he/she would have a total of three days to complete the make-up work, and the work would be due at the beginning of class on the fourth day.  Missed tests need to be taken before or after school, and they must be taken within one week of the missed test, otherwise the test is regarded as a zero.

* If a student is absent on the day that a major project or essay is due, he/she must still turn that project in on the day that it is due - whether it is emailed or turned in by a classmate or parent. Since the assignment was something that the student was aware of and had been given ample time to complete, an absence does not excuse the student from the due date.


* Please refer to the 2020-2021 DHS Student Handbook for the complete grading policy.


Types of Assignments


  • Tests
  • Projects
  • Quizzes
  • Homework
  • Class work
  • Final Drafts
  • Participation in Class


  • Other evaluation measures and assignments may be used at the discretion of the teacher.


Academic Dishonesty: Academic dishonesty is any form of cheating and/or plagiarism which results in students giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in an academic exercise or receiving credit for work which is not their own.


Consequences: Dawson believes the measure of success of our school community is based on the success of our students, so the consequences below shall serve as a deterrent to a violation of the DHS Honor Code. As a result of clear and compelling evidence of student’s cheating on major assessment grades, the following consequences will be enforced and violations of the DHS Honor Code will accumulate throughout a student’s high school career.


Films: Throughout the school year, we will read various novels, poetry and prose selections of British Literature that are required by the State of Texas and Pearland Independent School District.  I would like to (ONLY if time permits) have a viewing of a limited number of films that are in relation to these reading selections.  Please keep in mind this is in compliance with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for English Language Arts and Reading (TEKS). Your signature of this syllabus will allow your student to be able to view these films in class.

Classroom Materials and Supplies:  Students are required to have the appropriate materials in class.


  • Blue or Black pens
  • Pencils
  • A folder to keep work
  • Notebook paper
  • Charged device



























Online Learning Etiquette


Read the below statements and initial them to acknowledge your agreement to the Policy. Students must initial and sign below, even if they are attending in-person due to the large number of students who will be completing assignments online or the changing circumstances of the pandemic.


Please note, that if you cannot comply with the policies below, you may be deemed “unsuccessful in the online setting” and could be required to come back to school in person. “Unsuccessful” may look like: excessive absences or tardies, inappropriate or uncontrollable behavior, or failure to complete work, etc.



_________Professionalism: When you are in class online, you should behave as if you were in the classroom.

  • Dress code: You should be clothed according to the Dawson dress code policy (clothing, facial hair, etc).
  • Distractions: Pay attention to your surroundings. You should not attend class in an environment where your background or ambient noise is distracting to yourself or others in the class.
  • Behavior: Do not engage in distracting behavior, especially while your peers or teacher is talking.
  • Digital Citizenship: Remember that all posts on Canvas, Office 365, and TEAMS will have your name attached. Read (and re-read) before you post. Unless you communicate to the teacher directly, all comments are public
  • Privacy: Similar to the in-person classroom, we may have virtual parent or administrator visitors to class. Furthermore, some lessons may be recorded for absent students to review. This applies when you speak out loud or comment on a public thread/discussion.
  • Attitude: Be respectful of yourself and others.


_________ Communication:

  • Use correct grammar, spelling, and professional language in your communications with the teacher and your classmates.
  • Do not interrupt the teacher or your classmates. If you have a question raise your hand and wait for the teacher to call on you.
  • Mute your microphone unless you are speaking.
  • Do not overuse the chat box and understand that the teacher is not monitoring the chat while they are actively teaching. Attempt to find your own answer before asking the teacher.
  • If you wish to communicate privately with the teacher, use either the teacher’s email or your Canvas message center.


_________ Attendance: To be counted as present, you must:

  • Be logged in and on time. It is better to be early than late.
  • Keep your camera on and stay engaged with the lesson.
  • Do not leave early or miss large parts of the class. This includes turning your webcam off for long period of time while class is in session.


                  Cheating and Plagiarism:

  • The regular Pearland ISD policy is in effect. See the Handbook.
  • Remember you cannot repeat, re-do, or re-assess the zero that you earn from cheating.
  • ANY unauthorized assistance is considered cheating, including your peers, your parents/guardians, the internet, etc. Unless I give you permission in the instructions to use a particular resource, it is not allowed. (For example, if I say you may use your book, but you use OR ask a peer to revise before submitting, this would be considered Academic Dishonesty).





Student and Parent Acknowledgement of Ms. Nicely’s English IV Syllabus

Use the following link to complete a signature for both parent/guardian and student acknowledging that you have read and understand this syllabus.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due