3B/4B Syllabus

Burros are Epic


English 3B/4B


Instructor:  David Gerber, MA, EdS

Email:  dgerber@ssusd.org

Website:  https://ssusd.instructure.com/

Prep Period:  3rd Period

Room Number:  H3

Course Content/Units of Study and Ongoing Activities 

The adopted text for the course is Prentice Hall’s Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes (Platinum):

Kinsella, Kate, et al. Prentice Hall Literature. Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes. [Gr. 10] [Gr. 10. Prentice Hall, 2002.

3B: Fall Semester  

  • The Short Story
  • Critical Reading & Writing through Nonfiction & Fiction
  • Grammar and Writing in Context
  • Novel Composition (Formal Essays, In-class Essays)
  • Things Fall Apart

4B: Spring Semester

  • Drama : 
    • Julius Caesar
  • Epic Literature 
    • The Odyssey
  •  Novels 
    • To Kill a Mockingbird, 
    • Lord of the Flies.

Many materials will be provided digitally.  All titles, instructions, and/or links for acquiring texts will be provided through the class learning management system at  https://ssusd.instructure.com.  

Course Materials:  

Many of the materials for this course will be delivered through the Learning Management System (LMS) at  https://ssusd.instructure.com/. Students must use their student ssusd.org Google account to access the LMS.  It is an expectation that each student maintains access to their personal ssusd.org Google account, and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the account is active and available during class time.

Course Objectives / Competencies:

The California Common Core State Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language will be followed in this course. Students will additionally be expected to exhibit 21st Century Skillsets as they work both in groups and independently.  Technology literacy is emphasized throughout the course delivery. The following topics will be emphasized this semester: Short Stories, Critical Reading & Writing through Nonfiction & Fiction, and Grammar and Writing in Context.


This English class is based on technology and follows a digital/paperless philosophy of exchange.

  • Access: Students will be provided time to complete most tasks within the class period; however, they will at times need to make arrangements to complete assignments in a home-work environment.  
  • Assigned Computers:  Each student has been assigned a specific one-to-one computer for his/her use during school. Students are expected to bring their assigned computer to class prepared to function for the full class period. Alternative assignments will NOT be provided. Students who lose computer privileges jeopardize their final grades and course completion status.

Student Personal Technology

Student Personal Technology includes student phones, headphones, tablets, smartwatches, gaming devices, and other technology that is not issued to the student by the school.  

  • Unless requested by the instructor, student personal technology should be out of sight or stowed in a way that removes it from focus,
  • Student personal technology that proves a distraction will be confiscated by the instructor and will be submitted to the front office for student pickup at the instructor's convenience.  In most cases, this will be at the end of the day.
  • Any refusal to relinquish student personal technology will result in immediate referral to administration.  
  • Repeat issues with student personal technology may result in the technology being held in administration for parent or guardian in-person pickup. 

Classroom Management

School Policies must be followed at all times. Students must be: 

  • prepared,
  • respectful to all people,
  • respectful of property and materials,  
  • tidy.

Consequences for failing to exhibit expected behavior could include any or all of the following:

  • Warning and parent contact
  • Parent contact (phone call, email or text), and teacher/department consequence;;
  • Referral.


It is important that students attend classes daily in order to be successful in English 3B. Education Code Section 52066(d)(5)(a) and (b), directs schools to collect information on absences and report absenteeism. Teachers will be taking attendance every class period.

Academic Honesty, Cheating & Plagiarism/Electronic Device Policy

Because we value our academic learning environment and opportunities to support your academic growth and success, the Burroughs High School English Department enforces the Academic Honesty Policy (see reverse). We will also restrict access to cell phones unless explicitly allowed momentarily for a specific purpose. Otherwise, cell phones should be out of sight in a backpack, purse, pocket or seat pouch. 

Academic Success

Burroughs offers several tools to help students be successful. We encourage you to take advantage of these resources:

  • Activate your Aeries account for access to the grade book, attendance, and other information!
  • Use the school website (www.burroughs.ssusd.org)  to check class assignments, posted resources, and helpful links.
  • Use Turnitin.com  to turn in formal written assignments.
  • Click on flashcards and matching game links to learn vocabulary and terms. 

Burroughs High School Standards for Academic Honesty

Burroughs High School requires, along with state education law and simple ethics, that students apply the principles of truth and honesty as they pursue their academic goals. The application of these principles means that all academic work will be done by the student to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind.  

In order for students to apply these principles, they must understand the definition of cheating and plagiarism as accepted by Burroughs High School. 

Definition of Plagiarism 

Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one's own (either intentionally or unintentionally), without giving credit to the source. Such an act is not plagiarism if the thought or idea is common knowledge.

Acknowledgment of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references, i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary. Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to the following: submission of work, whether in part or in whole, completed by another; submission of a work taken from computer-generated resource materials, including the Internet and other online services,  failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another; in written work, failure to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even a part of a sentence, close and lengthy paraphrasing of another's writing. A student who is in doubt about the extent of acceptable paraphrasing should consult the instructor.

Definition of Cheating

Cheating is defined as the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain or aiding another to obtain academic credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent means. Examples of cheating during an examination include, but are not limited to, the following: copying, either in part or in whole, from another's test or examination; discussion of answers or ideas relating to the answers on an examination or test unless such discussion is specifically authorized by the instructor; giving or receiving copies of an examination without the permission of the instructor; using or displaying notes, "cheat sheets," or other information or devices inappropriate to the prescribed test conditions.  Students who plagiarize or who alter/interfere with the grading procedures are also considered guilty of cheating.

It is often appropriate for students to study together or to work in teams on projects. However, such students should be careful to avoid the use of unauthorized assistance, and to avoid any implication of cheating, by such means as sitting apart from one another in examinations, presenting the work in a manner that clearly indicates the effort of each individual or such other method as is appropriate to the particular course. 

Procedures/Penalties for Plagiarism or Cheating

  1. A student who has cheated or plagiarized 
    1. will receive a "0" on the assignment;
    2. may receive an additional penalty, up to failing a segment of the course;
    3. a second, or repeat, offense will receive an "F" for the semester and lose the units earned for the course and will not be allowed to transfer to another course for credit, in place of that failed course.
  2. The consequences and penalty for plagiarizing or cheating beyond a "0" for the assignment will be determined at a conference to be called by the student's counselor. The conference will include the student and his/her parent, the teacher, the department chair, the counselor, and an administrator. The decision of this conference will be considered final, and no other on-campus appeal will be allowed.
  3. A student who knowingly aids or condones another student's plagiarizing or cheating will be considered as guilty as the other student of the offense. Similar penalties may be invoked.


The following scale will be used to determine student grades:

A: 90-100%

B: 80-89%

C: 70-79%

D: 60-69%

F: 0-59%


Grades will be  weighted  as follows: 

Grade Weights
Quizzes and Assessments35%
Writing and Projects35%


Late work will generally not be accepted after two weeks beyond the stated due dates for each assignment.  Extenuating circumstances will be considered on an individual basis.  

Grade Reporting/Feedback

Canvas and Aeries grade books will BOTH be maintained; however, the Canvas grade book will contain the most current grade.  Aeries will be updated every one to two weeks with the exclusion of holidays.  Please keep in mind that while semester grades are evenly divided between each quarter, the reported total grade will ALWAYS be the current semester grade.  

Quarter Grade Weights
Quarter 1 or 350%100%
Quarter 2 or 450%
Semester 1 or 2100%


Additional Help/Tutoring

Before school and lunchtime are great times to get extra help!  Please make arrangements prior to meeting with me so that I can make sure that others have not already scheduled my time.  Feel free to drop by with the understanding that those who have appointments will have priority.  

Daily Class Agenda

Generally, all class assignments and submissions will occur in the Canvas LMS. Students and parents can check weekly and daily assignments as well as provided feedback in Canvas.  

Students should check Canvas to obtain materials and assignments for any missed classes.  While students are always welcome to consult with the instructor, they should always first check online.