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dear parents/guardians,

Welcome to the English department website.  Our department consists of 16 teachers, a Department Chair, Mr. John Tacapan, an ELA Specialist, Clinton Fernicola, a Site Administrator, Noemi Gonzalez, and District Administrator, Dr. Paula Rodriguez, who oversee the department.  Instruction and learning is at the forefront of everything we do, which is why we meet by grade level and as a department.  It takes a village to ensure that our students graduate on time, so parents/guardians please reach out if you have any comments, questions, and/or concerns regarding your child's learning.  We are here to support you.

Curriculum-What textbooks/books are students reading?

Our teachers use our district adopted textbook, Pearson for grade levels 9th through 11th.  Students receive two sets of consumables that they should bring to school every day.  Students can also access the textbook online using their Classlink account.  The textbooks contains Fictional and Non-Fictional texts with text based questions, academic vocabulary, close reading questions, and grammar.  Teachers can supplement using Newsela and other site administrator approved grade level textbooks and/or books.

Our Pre-AP and AP teachers use AP Classroom to prepare our students for the rigor of college level work.  Students are able to see their assignments, videos, and assessments.

Instruction- What are students learning?

DHS teachers meet weekly to discuss, implement, monitor and improve instruction in their classroom.  Teacher lessons are created using  Common Core Standards .. These standards/skills are taught throughout the year and include reading, writing, language and vocabulary and speaking and listening. All our English classrooms have also implemented the following:

  • Whiteboard information with an Essential Question, Student Learning Objective (SLO), and Agenda
  • AVID strategies such as note taking, academic vocabulary, annotations, sentence starters to support student reading, writing, and discussions.
  • Partner/group seating to encourage student learning and discussions.

Assessments-How are students informed about their learning?

District assessments are given to students to improve instruction and increase student learning in our classrooms. The following are assessments that are given throughout the year: 

  • STAR diagnostic (all grades)- provides students lexile reading score
  • Common Assessments (grades 9-11).-reading comprehension data given as a  10-20 multiple choice questions
  • Performance Task-(grades 9-11) writing. language, and vocabulary data given as a short response and multi-paragraph writing
  • ICA (11th grade only)-English exam that provides us with invaluable data about your students readiness for the state exam.

Teachers also give assessments after each unit of study, which is typically 4-8 weeks.  Those assessments vary and include retakes with the exception of Finals.

Common Grading Policy-How are students grades determined?

The English department implemented a common grading policy and every teacher is using this scale for grading purposes.  

  • Weighted category of 40%- Assignments (do now/warm-ups, classwork/homework,...)
  • Weighted category of 60%- Assessments (formatives/quizzes, paragraphs, essays, presentations, projects, ...)
  • Minimum value of 40% 
  • Late work will be graded on mastery and no points will be deducted for lateness.
  • Final marks are as follows:
    • 90-100 A
    • 80-89 B
    • 70-79 C
    • 60-69 D
    • 40-59 F

Click on the button to see each teacher's syllabi.  This informs you what your child is learning in his/her/their classroom and gives you information about how to contact your child's teacher if you have questions and/or concerns about their grade and/or behavior. 

9th Grade Teachers

  • Gale Cal.   English 1
  • Sean Foster  English 1  and     Pre-AP
  • Dorothy Morris English 1

10th Grade Teachers

  • Zoltan Chancy English 2 and Pre-AP
  • Tommy Horne English 2   and   AP Seminar
  • Nakara Sim   English 2

11th Grade Teachers

12th Grade Teachers

ELD Teachers

SDC Teacher

  • Gurmeet Sangha