Monday, August 11, 2014

Dear Parents/ Guardians,
I am happy to welcome you and ______________________ to English II at Huntington Park High School for the 2014-2015 school year.    My name is Mr. Ta and I am very excited to embark on this wondrous literary adventure. 

To briefly describe myself, I was born and raised in Southern California, hailing from the San Gabriel Valley.  After receiving my bachelor’s degree at the California State University, Long Beach, I attended UCLA’s Teacher Education Program for my Single Subject Credential and Masters of Education.  I chose UCLA because of its focus on Social Justice and dedication to serving underprivileged, multi-cultural areas.  As the youngest son of Chinese immigrants who grow up in a diverse area, I am fascinated by linguistics, culture, and the evolution of language, and my instruction will reflect these passions. 

This year’s course of study will focus on the Common Core Standards required for 10th grade English Language Arts with specific attention exploring the themes of identity, social class, and racial inequality.  In accordance with those crucial themes, we will be reading and discussion literary text such as Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, George Orwells’s Animal Farm, and Francisco Jimenez’s The Circuit and information text spanning from newspaper articles, federal and state policies, and autobiographies.  Students will also be exposed to a variety of media—films, documentaries, podcasts, music, photography, advertisements, etc.  It is essential for students to develop a critical and conscious eye.  In addition to developing life-long skills, enduring understandings, and content knowledge, students will learn testing strategies and techniques that will prepare them for the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) and STAR testing. 

At the beginning of the school year, parents want to know how to help their children succeed.  Here are four quick and easy ways you can ensure your child has a great start to the school year:
1)  Ensure the following supplies are brought EVERY DAY our class meets.  Students will be checked this coming Friday (September 5) and will lose 1 point for each missing item from this list:

·         Three-ring binder (1.5 to 2 inches, any color)
·         10 tabbed dividers for the binder.
·         Loose-leaf notebook paper (paper ripped out of a spiral will not be accepted).
·         2 blue or black pens
·         2 pencils
·         2 red pens
·         Highlighters (at least three colors)
·         Pleasure reading
·         1 box of tissues or hand sanitizer (optional for extra credit)

2) Review course rules, negative and positive consequences, and classroom polices that are outlined in the course syllabus. 
3) Check your child’s Assignments List for all homework, class work, projects, and due dates.  The Assignments List is updated every Monday/Tuesday.  Typically, students will submit a 1-2 page analysis paper every two weeks on top of any other assignment. 
4) Sign and date the below and make sure to include a phone number where you can be reached.  Cut the portion below at the dotted line and return this bottom portion with your student so that he/she can receive ten bonus points for extra credit.

I hope we have a year full of critical investigation and skill-building! I am happy to make myself available on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM and by appointment, or I can be reached via phone or email.  Call ________  or email at my personal email,

For the continued success of every student in my class, I need the help, support, and feedback of parents and students.  Together, we will be able to accomplish our objectives and reach success.  I truly believe that parent involvement and engagement are the key components for an healthy and effective classroom.  Thus, anytime you have thoughts, comments, or suggestions, feel free to contact me.  Your help is much needed and wanted.


Mr. Ta

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