Chatsworth Charter High School

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Ryan Hyatt
Special Education Department
Fall 2017


Course Description


Syllabus for American Literature and Composition


Ryan Hyatt

(818) 678-3400 x7076

Room F-39

Course Description: Welcome to 11th grade American Literature and Composition, a year-long reading and writing course that includes standards-based instruction centered on recurrent themes and genres in United States literature from the colonial period to the present and reflects on the diversity of American life. As a means of developing the critical thinking and communication skills necessary for the demands of college and work, students will engage in discussion to prepare oral and written arguments that provide all relevant perspectives and consider the validity and reliability of sources. In this course, there is a concentrated focus on writing. Students will apply and refine their command of the writing process and writing conventions to produce narrative, persuasive, expository, and descriptive texts.


Course Objectives: The primary objective is to prepare students to have the skills needed for 12th grade and beyond. The focus is on academic skills, writing, time management and inter-personal communication skills. Small and large group discussions are a part of classroom learning. All students are expected to participate in them. This course is reading and writing intensive. Participation will make up a majority of your grade.


By the end of this year, students will:


  • Improve ability to read and analyze text
  • Strengthen formal essays/research papers.
  • Develop better note-taking skills.
  • Compare/contrast/synthesize and analyze information.
  • Exercise critical thinking and communication skills in formal and informal discussions.


Required Text: My Perspectives: American Literature.


Course Standards:

This class will focus on the major California Common Core Standards for English Language Arts as they pertain to grade-level reading, writing, speaking and listening skills as they pertain to informational and literary texts. For more information about the California Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, please visit:


Academic Vocabulary: In order to improve the learning and achievement of students in school and beyond, there will be a focus this year in the classroom on key words which students will become familiar with and use in an academic setting to further their English language development and critical thinking skills. These words are: analyze, cite, compare/contrast, elaborate, evaluate, illustrate, infer, justify, paraphrase, predict, summarize, synthesize. In addition, key terms to be learned and used related to grade-level rhetoric include claim, theme, thesis, argument, opinion, main idea, topic, supporting idea/detail, example, essay, persuade.


Course Guidelines:

  1. Be responsible – Arrive on time ready to learn with required class materials. Keep track of your assignments and turn them in on time.
  1. Be respectful – Practice “workplace suitable behavior” by showing respect for yourself and others.
  2. Be safe – Follow directions and use common sense.


Grading System: Tests, quizzes, classwork, homework, and cooperation are based on points. Each student has the opportunity to earn points through work productivity and participation. The points are inputted into a computer and are averaged across all assignments. The percentage value of the assignments is as follows:


Classwork/Participation=50%     Tests and Quizzes=30%       Homework=20%


Students who attend regularly, are respectful, and take part in lessons, discussions and group and individual assignments and turn them in on time will learn as much as possible, and it will reflect positively in their grade. Grades are also based on academic abilities according to IEP goals, teacher and staff’s observations, assessments, and student skills.

    • Due to the numerous off-task behaviors which can impact individual and student class learning, every student will have an automatic 25 participation points given to them at the beginning of each 5-week grading period that will be averaged into their cumulative grade, for a total of 100 points or approximately 10 class assignments, per semester. Points will be deducted from this participation grade, for example, when students are talking out of turn, not following directions, using their phones or headphones at unauthorized times, defiant or disrespectful toward teachers and classmates, etc.
  • Students have ample time to compete assignments in class. Therefore, late work will be accepted on a sliding scale up to two weeks after the date it is due for no grade higher than a “D.” After that time, late work will no longer be accepted, and the point value for the assignment will be counted as a “0.”
  • Homework is usually assigned when students neglect to finish class work or as special individual or group projects throughout the school year. However, independent reading will likely be regularly assigned due to the demands of the ERWC course.


Communication: Major assignments are posted online either through Google classroom, Schoology or on the teacher’s CCHS website:

Go to view the ‘staff list’, look for ‘Ryan Hyatt’, then click on your class subject and period.

  • Major class assignments are posted regularly along with due dates.
  • Subscribe to receive email updates of assignments, due dates, and new postings.


The best way for parents or students to contact Mr. Hyatt for any reason is by e-mail at You can also go to Mr. Hyatt’s page and click ‘send e-mail’.


Information about how parents will be able to access their student grades through the new Schoology system should be forthcoming.


Classroom Preparation/Organization:

I have provided all students with a folder and notebook to use for classwork, the graded contents of which are to remain in my class until the end of each 5-week grading period. Please ensure your student is prepared for class with his or her own pens and & pencils.


Grading Scale in Percentages:





54% or below=F




Contact Information: If there are any questions or concerns about student grades, behavioral issues, class requirements or anything else, email is the best way to reach me at


I look forward to working with your student this school year!

Please sign and return to me acknowledging you have read and understood the syllabus, policies and expectations.

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Student Name (Print)                          Date                            Student Signature

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