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Valley Academyof Arts & Sciences

Brian Padgett » Advisory


Re: 2017-2018 9th Grade Advisory Course Syllabus


                 Dear Parents and Students,


I am looking forward to working with you this school year.  For your convenience, I am attaching the following information to provide you with an overview of this year’s course curriculum and my expectations, homework and assignment policy, and grading rubric.



The primary objective of this course is to reinforce the communication skills demanded of ninth grade students to succeed in all high school courses through a sequence of developmental activities in reading, speaking, listening, and writing using project-based units.  The lessons in this class are guided by the English-Language Arts Common Core State Standards.  You can find these standards detailed at the link below:



Using the Evernote iPad app, students will be designing and maintaining a Digital Portfolio.  For both the fall and spring semesters, students must upload at least 2 examples of classwork each semester that embody their progress toward meeting each of the four VAAS Student-Learner Outcomes, or SLOs:

  • Solve Problems
  • Communicate Effectively
  • Commit Time to Community
  • Remain Curious


As part of your Advisory grade, you are required to attend 2 Arts & Sciences events per semester (4 total per year) and write a critique about the experience.  Attendance and written critiques will be counted as part of your Advisory grade. 



                 Throughout the school year, we will be collaborating on a large culminating project that reflects central concepts discussed in class. 

During the Spring Semester, Advisory students will trace the historical development of scientific or technological phenomena that directly impacts their daily lives.  Students will design a presentation to share with their peers, VAAS faculty, and community members at the conclusion of the Spring Semester to demonstrate their familiarity with their self-selected concept to reinforce their written, verbal, and visual communication skills. 



Students are expected to:

  • Show respect at all times. Rude or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Be in class and in their seat on time.
  • Follow directions the first time they are given.
  • Obtain permission and a hall pass before leaving the room for any reason.
  • Arrive to class with all necessary supplies (e.g. charged iPad, books, notebooks, and paper).
  • Follow all district and school rules set forth in the LAUSD Parent/Student Handbook and the VAAS School Norms Policy
  • Be prepared to participate in their learning process


Please Note: The iPad is an educational resource and should be treated as such.  If a student arrives to class with an uncharged iPad more than three times within a five-week grading period, they will receive a U in Work Habits.


If a student chooses to break a rule, there will be consequences.  Most minor infractions will be dealt with in class, however, if rules continue to be broken, it will be addressed using the VAAS 4-Tier Intervention Plan.


Students are expected to bring the following materials with them to class daily:

  • Ample amount of white lined paper (college ruled)
  • Number 2 Pencils, Ink pens (blue or black ink only)
  • Correction fluid or correction tape
  • Colored pens for editing
  • Highlighters



When applicable, students will have independent reading, writing, and research homework.  Students are responsible for ALL work assigned during an absence.  When students are absent, it is even more crucial that they check the Schoology Class Page to remain updated on class assignments.  Students have a ONE-WEEK Grace period—after the due date of an assignment—to submit the assignment.  Assignments submitted during this grace period will not receive full credit at a reduced 10% daily deduction. 

Assignments submitted after this grace period without adequate and substantial explanation will be allowed only at the teacher’s discretion. 

  • Extra credit assignments are NOT offered on a regular basis
  • No Credit will be given for nameless papers and/or papers without the proper heading



I will continue to maintain and update each Advisory student’s Cumulative—or Cum—file, in which I will file copies of grade reports, test scores, and student goals.  I will be using this information to guide individual meetings to help students remain on target academically and achieve their goals.


                 GRADING RUBRIC

Grades are determined on a point basis.  Students will be given grades for class and project participation as well as academic assignments.  Grades are based on a percentage of the total possible points.

A = 100% - 90%   B = 89% - 80%   C = 79% - 70%   D = 69% - 60%   Fail = 59% - below

Please Note: Grades can be adjusted depending on non-quantifiable factors, such as (but not limited to) effort, work habits, attendance, behavior, and integrity of student work. If you are found to have copied, plagiarized, or otherwise cheated on an assignment, consequences may include docked points, getting a zero, having to re-do the assignment, or having to complete an alternative assignment.


Grade for all classes will be maintained on the Jupiter Grade Book on a regular basis. Students will receive login information for both themselves and for you.  A portion of your class grade will be available for viewing on our class Schoology page, however, keep in mind that Schoology work is only a portion of your class grade. For a complete record of your grade, please remember to check the Jupiter Grade Book regularly.


                 CONTACT INFORMATION:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time through the school office by calling (818) 832-7750 to set up an in person or telephone conference. You may also reach me via email at [email protected]Your active participation in your student’s education is a vital part of their success. I thank you in advance for your help and support.