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Valley Academyof Arts & Sciences

Brian Padgett » Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Re: 2017-2018 Creative Writing Course Syllabus


Dear Parents and Students,


The following information is intended 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 provide students the tools necessary to express themselves through writing.  Throughout the school year we will be experimenting with a variety of creative writing genres including fictional and biographical narrative, playwriting, poetry, and screenwriting.  We will also be examining various model texts from specific genres to both guide and inspire students as they develop their voice through their writing. 


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:



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


Because so many of the model texts we will be analyzing in class will be posted to the Creative Writing Edmodo account, it is imperative that all students’ iPads be charged prior to entering the class. 


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:

  • Composition Notebook designated for use in Creative Writing class exclusively
  • 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



Students are to read independently on a nightly basis. Additional homework is assigned and is usually due the following day.  

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.  This means students may not attempt to save their grade in the last week of the semester by submitting multiple assignments; such assignments will not be considered.  Assignments submitted during this grace period will not receive full credit at a reduced 10% daily deduction. 


I do, however, understand that extenuating circumstances can occur, and if your student emails me at least one day in advance of an assignment deadline asking for an extension, it is possible that such an extension will be considered.  Extensions are granted at instructor discretion on a case-by-case basis, and should this privilege be abused, no further extensions will be granted for the remainder of the school year. 

  • 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



Grades are determined on a point basis.  Students will be given grades for class and homework assignments, organizational skills (journals), quizzes, exams, essays, projects, and participation.  Grades are based on a percentage of the total possible points. If you receive a D or an F at the end of either semester, you will have to repeat that semester of Creative Writing.

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.



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.