Syllabus Information

Mr. Kunkle

Freshman English/Language Arts
Room 141, Spring Hill High School

Class expectations

During the year, we will be discussing a variety of elements and topics. Some of these may be reviews, while others may be brand new. Some items may be confusing or unfamiliar. My expectation for you is that you come to class prepared to learn and give your all on every activity. Learning means making mistakes, and it is OK to make mistakes in the classroom. However, learning also means you are putting effort into the activities at hand. If you agree to put forth the maximum effort and commit to learning, I guarantee you will leave my classroom more prepared for your future than when you entered. 

Class focus

We will be following the Year-at-a-Glance road map that is available on the USD 230 website, and is attached to this syllabus. We will be reading the following texts: 

• Short story unit — ”Gift of the Magi,” “Why the Rich Don’t Give to Charity,” “The Most Dangerous Game,” “When We Hunt, Do We Murder,” “Cask of Amontillado,” “Circle of Revenge,” “The Lady or the Tiger?”
The Odyssey (plus showing clips of the movie issued in 1997)
• Romeo & Juliet (plus showing clips of the movie issued in 1968)
• King Arthur
• Nonfiction unit — ”When I Lay My Burden Down,” “JFK speeches,” “I Have a Dream,” “Chew on This,” “Can Animals Think?” (will also be showing clips of the speeches)

Classroom policies

  • Cell phones – Cell phones should not be used during class at any time. Unless the teacher explicitly states phones can be used, phones should remain in your bag or in your pocket at all times. They should also be silenced before entering the classroom. Phones should not be kept on your desk. If you are on your phone, I will ask that you place your phone in the designated area at the front of the room. It will remain there until the end of the period. Additional consequences may ensue for repeat offenses. If there are extenuating circumstances, however, that necessitate the need to have your phone, please talk to me before class begins

  • Food and drink – So long as they are not a distraction and do not create a mess, I do permit you to have healthy, school-appropriate food and drink in the classroom. You are expected to be responsible for your desk and area, however, and privileges may be taken away if your food/drink becomes a distraction or is creating a mess. 

  • Leaving the classroom – If you need to leave the classroom for any reason, you must sign out on the clipboard at the front of the room. This includes indicating your name, the time you leave, where you are going and the time you return. After signing out, you will take the laminated pass located on the clipboard with you to your destination. You must ask permission before leaving the classroom. Needing to leave the classroom for any reason should be saved for work time in the class period and not during instruction time. Violating class and school hallway expectations can result in a loss of hallway privileges. When using the restroom, we will use the restrooms located on the east side of the classroom. 

  • Materials – You are expected to bring all relevant materials to class each day. A list of required materials will be listed on the white board in the window of my classroom. Generally, you should bring each day your technology, as well as a pencil, notebook, and any book(s) we are reading at that time. 

  • Technology - Your MacBook should remain closed on your desk unless instructed by your teacher to have them open. The technology is a wonderful tool; however, our classroom discussions are valuable and important, and therefore you should be focusing your attention on what is being taught in class. 

  • Tardies - You are expected to show up to class on time every day. On-time means at your seat and working on bell-work when the bell rings! Tardies will be recorded in Skyward. Your first tardy is a warning; a second tardy in a quarter will require a student to report for 10 minutes to Mr. Kunkle’s classroom before or after school. This will be to discuss the tardies and to enact a plan to avoid future tardies. If a third tardy is recorded in a quarter, the student will be required to serve a 30-minute detention with Mr. Kunkle. I will also make contact with parents to alert them to the tardies. Each additional tardy per quarter will result in a discipline referral. 

Homework and late work

Students are expected to turn in any homework assignments by their assigned due date. Dates will be clearly communicated both on the board in the classroom and online. Late work is accepted up until the formal assessment for the unit; turning in an assignment within one week of its due date will allow a student to earn a maximum of 90 percent on the assignment; after one week of the due date until the formal assessment, a student can receive a maximum of 75 percent (C). After the formal assessment, late work from that unit will not be accepted. 

If you are absent, per Spring Hill High School policy, for an excused absence, for each day you are absent, you have two days to make up the work. For an unexcused absence, you will have one day to make up the work before late penalties apply. 

Independent reading

We will be having 10 minutes of independent reading time during classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This time will be held at the beginning of class. During this time, students will be silently, independently reading. Students should not be reading on their phones at this time, and students should come to class prepared with a book to read. If students need a book to read, there will be books available for students to borrow (must be signed out first). 


The grading scale is as follows: 

  • A – 90 to 100

  • B – 80 to 89

  • C – 70 to 79

  • D – 60 to 69

  • F – 59 or below

You should check your grades often to ensure accuracy. If you find that I may have put something in the grade book inaccurately, please email me or talk to me in person. Please make sure you have the original assignment to show the grade. 

Note: Proper spelling and grammar techniques are essential for strong performance in school and in the outside world. Therefore, proper spelling and grammar are crucial for this class as well. On any “minor” assignment (such as homework or in-class assignments), every three spelling and grammar mistakes will result in a 0.5-point deduction from the grade. These mistakes in clued misspellings of words in a student’s ninth-grade lexile; capitalization errors; and basic punctuation skills (periods at the end of sentences, apostrophes with contractions, etc.). 

Disclaimer: There may be opportunities for bonus throughout the year. Mr. Kunkle has the discretion to add or remove activities for bonus points at any time. Bonus points are not guaranteed, however. If an activity is deemed as “bonus,” it will be one that each student in the class has an opportunity to earn. Bonus activities will not be assigned on an individual basis. 


One of my goals for this year is to help YOU become better as a learner and an individual. However, I cannot do that without knowing what questions you have. Please do not hesitate to ask questions throughout the year. I am almost always available before and after school, and am happy to make arrangements to stay later if you need to complete work or make up assignments. Additionally, I can be reached via email at any time; I try to respond to all emails without 24 hours. 


Technology should be used appropriately in the classroom. During instruction time (when the teacher is talking), all earbuds should be out of the student’s ears and put away. Students are allowed to listen to music during independent work time, so long as students are using earphones or headsets, and keeping the volume at an appropriate, responsible level. You should not be playing games or viewing inappropriate material on the iPad. Per school policy, violations of this policy could result in the technology being labeled as a “nuisance item.”