• While individual teachers have their own classroom expectations, the English faculty expects students to understand and practice these basic procedures:

    1. COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:  Every year, your English teacher will begin the course with a policy sheet that includes the points listed here plus particular procedures that pertain to the course.  It will also include a description of expectations, grading procedures, the teacher's office hours, and an invitation to come in for a conference whenever help is needed.  You'll want to use that policy sheet as well as this Handbook  for reference since they will ensure that you know how the course operates. 
    2. PROMPTNESS:  You'll benefit from arriving in class on time because learning activities will begin when the teacher is prepared to start class.  Chronic tardiness will result in referral to the adviser chair.
    3. ATTENDANCE:  Regular attendance is most important to your success in high school.  Textbooks only supplement the instructional activities of the classroom.  Interaction among students and teacher and the value of class activities are crucial but irrevocably lost if class is missed.  It's true that you can "make-up" the reading and the written work, but you can't duplicate the experiences and discussions of the class.

      When your absence from school is unavoidable, here are the basic procedures:  

      • Call a friend to obtain assignments.  Try to keep up with the work.  You are in charge of your own education, so the initiative must be yours.  If your absence is several days in length or longer, it is your responsibility to make the effort to obtain assignments.  If you need help, you can call your adviser to request that he or she obtain assignments for you.
      • If your absence is short-term (a day or two) and you were in school at the time an assignment was made, you will be given extra time to make up your work. A reasonable amount of extra time for short periods of absence (1-2 days) is usually considered as time equivalent to the length of the absence.  In the case of longer periods of absence, always consult with your teacher when you return to set a make-up schedule.  That schedule may involve some out-of-class conferences with your teacher before you can complete the papers or take the tests.  Don't delay in making an appointment with your teacher to keep current with the class.
      • If you are absent from class for school excursions (field trip, concert, sports, etc.), you are NOT absent FROM SCHOOL. Therefore, you are responsible for handing in your assignments on time and/or consulting with the teacher for any assignment given during the period you were on excursion.  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK WITH YOUR TEACHER FOR ANY ASSIGNMENTS MISSED DURING AN ABSENCE.  Remember, the work of the class goes on, whether you are present or not
      • To set make-up arrangements with your teacher, it is best to arrive early or stay after class or make an appointment to see your teacher later in the day.  Your teacher cannot take class time to conduct private business.
    4.  HOMEWORK:  For each course you are taking, the daily routine will include work done outside of class.  Homework is as much a part of the course as class work.  In fact, class work depends upon homework.  Therefore, you will be successful by establishing from the start a daily schedule of time dedicated to homework in all of your courses.
    5. LATE WORK:  In an English class (as in most other subjects you will be taking), it is important that you do all of the assigned work because the skills you want to develop depend upon your taking each step in sequence.  That's why your teacher will insist that all exercises, including papers, be done, even though some may be late.

      One of the primary purposes of an education is to develop a sense of organization and the ability to meet deadlines.  Thus, if there is no acceptable excuse for late work, such as an authorized absence, then credit for the work is reduced, sometimes a full letter grade for each day late.  Still, the work must be turned in if you are to qualify for credit in the course.  This applies especially to all major papers in English courses.

       When turning in a late paper or any kind of late assignment, always hand your paper to your teacher personally or to the department secretary.  Do NOT leave it on the teacher's desk where it runs the risk of getting lost or shuffled aside.
    6. MATERIALS:  To gain full value from a class period and to contribute actively to the class, always bring the required books and other assigned materials. Always bring a pen and a notebook and use that notebook for making notes on each day's proceedings.  Your teacher will be instructing you on note-taking techniques.  All writing that is turned in to your teacher must be word-processed or written in ink (ball-point pen). 

      One other kind of notebook you will want to keep is an assignment notebook.  This will allow you to maintain a running record of each day's assignments in all courses and will help you organize the requirements of each week's work.  It is particularly useful for recording long-term assignments so that due dates don't sneak up on you.  And, at the end of a semester, you'll have a complete record of the contents of each course - a great resource for review.
    7. CONFERENCES  WITH TEACHERS:  Learning does not stop at the end of a class period.  Frequently, a one-to-one meeting between teacher and student is the best way to shed light on difficult points and to help you over the rough spots - in reading, in writing, in thinking, in organizing.  Take advantage of New Trier's open door policy.  Don't delay in arranging a conference with your teacher for specific help - or just to talk.
    8.  GRADING POLICY: The English Department grading policy reflects the use of +’s and -’s.  The grid below shows percentages expressed as letter grades.

      100-93  A      89-87  B+        79-77  C+        69-67  D+        59-   F

       92-90  A-      86-83  B          76-73  C          66-63  D                     

       82-80  B-      72-70  C-        62-60  D-

    9. PSAE POLICY:  Prarie State Achievement Exam is composed of a series of assessments mandated by the State of Illinois to determine levels of performance in several academic areas.  The New Trier English Department takes seriously efforts to improve standards in reading and writing in Illinois and feels a special responsibility to address the needs of students who do not meet minimum state standards in these areas.  To strengthen student skills and competency in reading and writing, the English Department has designed remediation programs.
    10. JUNIOR RESEARCH EXPERIENCE:  All juniors will demonstrate an understanding of the research process by successfully completing the research paper(s) in accordance with course expectations.
    11. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY:  The New Trier English Department affirms the importance of academic honesty.  Each year English teachers will present and discuss the New Trier Academic Integrity Policy as it applies to English.  Each student will sign a form acknowledging an understanding of the policy and the consequences of violating it.
    12. SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: Learning is an adventure. It involves not only mastery of information, but the ability to risk and experiment with what is being learned.  Learning in its broadest sense is to change behaviors based upon a growing understanding of self and others.  We are all unique individuals from many walks of life.  Behavior based on courtesy, respect, and an appreciation of our differences and similarities will create an environment in which every person can grow and learn.  Every classroom will be a safe place for all regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, class, or level.