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    Welcome to the English Department Page

    Thank you for visiting our department page. The English Department is honored to teach and engage the students of Vanden High School in the study and application of English Language Arts. Each level of English includes an intensive study of the dynamics and structure of the English language, including composition and writing style, critical reading and thinking, and discussion of various writing styles and genres. 
    Each course of English adheres to the specifications outlined in the California Common Core Standards and uses texts approved by the Travis Unified School District Board. Teachers design lessons, assignments and curriculum to meet these goals and specifications.
    Learn more about California Common Core Standards by clicking here.
  • English Department Policies:

    Each teacher in the English Department has his/her own classroom policies and procedures that are specific to his/her class and course. However, there are several policies which are common to all of Vanden's English courses.
    • Late Work
      • Late homework and classwork is accepted for half credit as long as it is turned in within 1 school day of the original due date. After 1 day, students may no longer turn in the missing assignment.
      • Summative assignments such as essays and projects will not be accepted late (this does not include in-class assessments and tests).
    • Incomplete work will not be accepted nor assigned credit
      • Late work will not be accepted if it is incomplete
    • Handwritten work must be in MLA format and submitted using blue or black ink, only
    • Typed work must be in MLA format
    • Technological problems will NOT be accepted as an excuse for failing to turn in an assignment on-time
    • All school rules will be enforced, including policies regarding attendance, dress-code and academic dishonesty

    Grading scales:

    Summative Assessment (Unit Exams) 35%    
    Formative Assessment (Skills Development): 25%
    Self-Study (Homework and Classwork)    20%
    Final Exam  20%

    Academic Integrity:

    Academic Integrity is incredibly important, especially in our modern culture where information is literally a web search away. Students will be expected to do their own work and to give any authors whom they quote, reference or paraphrase credit for that authorship. The truth is, when we copy and paste from the internet or copy someone else's answers, we effectively steal their work and then lie to whomever we give it to, passing it off as our own. This is why cheating and plagiarism are known as academic dishonesty. This is an issue that the English Department and the Administration of Vanden High School take very seriously (please click here to see Vanden's policies and consequences regarding Academic Dishonesty).
    Turnitin.com is a website that helps students learn the skills to avoid plagiarism and maintain academic integrity. The website allows students to submit their work digitally and see exactly how much of the material in their work is from other sources. Turnitin.com not only makes it unnecessary for students to print all their papers out, but it also allows students to understand correct source attribution. 
  • Honors and Advanced Placement

    Are you an Honors or AP Student looking for the summer assignment? Click Here!
    Are you thinking about applying for Honors or Advanced Placement English next year? If that is your goal you will need to meet the following requirements:
    1. Have an overall GPA of 3.1 or better
    2. Have a B- or better in your current English Class
    3. Obtain a positive recommendation from your current English Teacher
     *Please note that these are minimum requirements and that placement in Honors and Advanced Placement courses is highly competitive Please talk to you current English Teacher and your Counselor if you make the decision to sign up for the Honors and AP Program.