Welcome to Academic Literacy 9!

Course Description: 

Academic Literacy is a course designed to accelerate a student’s growth as a reader with specific attention to his or her comprehension, fluency, multi-syllabic word reading, and vocabulary. Students receive direct instruction in key reading strategies including previewing, predicting, inferencing, questioning, annotating, connecting, summarizing, and identifying an author’s purpose.  

Students enroll in this course to receive additional support for the work in English 9 and World Studies. 

Prerequisite: Students are recommended for Academic Literacy through the ninth grade English placement process.      

Full Year Course, Grade 9: 2.0 credits

Course Syllabus: 

Welcome to Academic Literacy, a course in which students develop college-ready literacy skills. This course will help you to feel confident in World Studies and English 9 by providing additional support for the work you do in those classes. The skills we work on in here will directly impact your ability to be successful in the tasks asked of you in your core classes. While many people associate literacy with the ability to read and write, literacy is also defined as competence or knowledge in a specified area. Many of you are highly literate in a number of areas—academics, food, culture, language, fashion, sports, music, dance, technology—all of which are important aspects of a successful life. However, as you progress through four years of high school, you need to improve your academic literacy and critical reading skills to prepare for college and beyond.  Academic Literacy is designed to develop your ability to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate text using reading strategies.  

We will read engaging texts, and we will read challenging texts. We will read written text, and we will read visual text. We will read silently, in groups, and as a class. These activities will require you to be comfortable with challenges and obstacles.  They will require you to read pages of fiction and nonfiction two, three, or even four times: each instance gaining new insight or deeper understanding. In the end, you will become a better, more empowered reader and thinker. I look forward to accompanying you on this journey!


During the first few days, we establish a set of expectations for each other that will set the tone for our classroom.   Those expectations will align with two essential concepts: respect and responsibility.

  1. Students are expected to be “all in” when in class. This means eliminating unnecessary distractions. Cell phones and ear buds should not be used in this class...EVER.

  2. Our classroom should be a place where people feel safe and encouraged. Negative language or insults are not welcome here.

  3. Class time is valuable. You are expected to attend whenever you are not home sick and to show respect for the work that is going on in here. Students should not disrupt the learning environment for themselves or others.

Failure to abide by our classroom expectations will result in consequences as determined by York’s disciplinary team and the York handbook.

Remember...  While it’s important for you to develop responsibility and organizational skills, your life consists of more than just the 50 minutes you spend in our classroom each day.  If there are other factors in or outside of school that are affecting your performance in class, please come talk to me ahead of time (not on the day an assignment is due).  I am always willing to consider working out special accommodations.   



While we do repeat daily and weekly activities in fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar, we will also be adding new skills in a continual fashion.  Each day you can expect to read and apply reading strategies learned in class to become a better academic reader.  Class is broken down to work on each area of literacy (fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar).  The amount of time spent on each area is dependent on lesson objectives of the day, week, and unit.


In addition to the gradebook and your weekly grade checks, you will have two folders in the classroom (provided by the AL team).  In one folder, you will track your progress on certain skills in Academic Lit.  In the other folder, you will track your progress on the major assignments in English and World Studies.  


The majority of a student’s grade will be based on the reading skills of fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar, but 15% of the overall grade in Academic Literacy is based on the following Academic Behavior skills:

  • Preparation/Organization: Student brings all necessary materials to class each day; student completes all assignments by the due date.

  • Timeliness:  Student hands in all assignments by the established deadlines.

  • Engagement: Student engages in all in-class activities consistently and appropriately.


Students who turn in their work late will be penalized in their academic behavior grade.  Because so many of our assignments build from one to the next, missing work can really affect a student’s ability to keep up with the sequence of skills from one lesson to the next.  If the student consistently misses work, I will contact home via email. I also urge both parents and students to check Power School on a regular basis.  Here, I will note whether an assignment has been collected or if it is late or missing.  Finally, no assignment will be accepted 2 weeks after the initial due date.


Feel free to schedule time with me to discuss any aspect of the class.  I will make every effort to be available for you.  I am available most days before and after school if you let me know in advance.


You are responsible for keeping up with our class work to find out what you missed.  The York policy will be enforced, allowing students one day to make up work for each day they are absent. Assignments will also be published on our class website.