• Welcome to 8th grade Advanced Language Arts and U.S. History with Dr. Suitts! 



    English Language Arts 8 provides students with opportunities and resources to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  Students read a variety of literature and informational texts as well as routinely write to examine a topic, convey ideas, and support claims. Focus is placed on developing analytical skills, where students cite textual evidence and provide elaboration to support that evidence. Speaking and listening skills, vocabulary development, and grammar instruction are integrated throughout reading and writing experiences. 

    Advanced middle school courses are intended to be a preparation for higher-level classes in high school. Students enrolled in advanced courses will be responsible for extended responsibilities and expectations, both inside and outside of class. It is vital for students to have strong work habits and be ready and willing to put forth the effort necessary to be successful.  


    • 3-ring binder (1 inch) with 3 tab dividers
    • College ruled filler paper
    • Pens/pencils
    • Highlighters
    • Dry erase markers (fine point work best)

    The following are available for classroom use, but you may want to have your own: glue, scissors, colored pencils, ruler, and stapler. Donations of facial tissue and filler paper are greatly appreciated!


    Students will be assessed on how well they demonstrate each standard. Therefore, there is no extra credit. Please refer to the grading criteria handout. Students may monitor their scores on Aeries.                         

    Standards Assessment Scale

    1st Semester Scale

    2nd Semester Scale


    Masters Standards

    Students can independently extend learning with complex thinking and elaboration.

    In order to earn an A, students are expected to consistently meet standards and are approaching mastery.

         A       3.3 - 4.0

         B       2.6 - 3.2

         C       1.9 - 2.5

         D       1.1 - 1.8

         F           0 - 1.0

    In order to earn an A, students are expected to consistently master standards.

         A       3.5 - 4.0

         B       2.9 - 3.4

         C       2.2 - 2.8

         D       1.5 - 2.1

         F           0 - 1.4


    Meets Standards

    Students can independently demonstrate an understanding of subject matter concepts/skills.


    Approaches Standards

    Students demonstrate a foundational understanding of subject matter concepts/skills and require some support.


    Attempts Standards

    Students are beginning to understand subject matter concepts/skills and require significant support.



    All information will be posted and updated weekly on PowerSchool. This includes copies of all class assignments, handouts, and PowerPoint presentations. All students are assigned a Microsoft 365 account. Your login is: 9-digit number@student.murrieta.k12.ca.us All writing assignments, PowerPoints, etc. should be saved here so that they are easily accessible from both school and home. 


    It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and complete work missed due to any absence, for any reason.  If something is due and you are absent, it must be submitted the day you return, or it will be considered late.


    Late work will be accepted without penalty to the grade during the 6-week grading period in which it is due. After the grading period ends, it will no longer be accepted and will be scored a as a zero.


    Students may rewrite/retake any assessment through the semester. Students must demonstrate that 100% of the unit work has been completed and explain a clear study plan when making an appointment for a retake. Semester deadlines for do overs are December 6th and May 15th.


    I have two major expectations in my classroom: Be Respectful and Be Responsible. I expect all school rules to be followed. Disciplinary action will occur if a student is disruptive or acting with disrespect to the teacher or to other students (refer to student handbook). Students will be given a grade for meeting expectations regarding respect and responsibility.


    • Is prepared for class
    • Uses class time effectively
    • Submits assignments on time
    • Participates in learning activities


    • Is respectful to others
    • Arrives on time for class
    • Exhibits a positive attitude
    • Uses appropriate language



    Needs Improvement



    Consistently meets expectations; Serves as a model for peers “Leading the Way”


    Usually meets expectations


    Sometimes meets expectations; inconsistent



    Seldom meets expectations



    • Students may have water in class, but no other food or drink is permitted.
    • All non-class materials must be kept in the student’s backpack.
    • It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of any devices brought to school. Students taking cell phones out in class may have their device sent to the office, which may be picked up at the end of the school day.


    Any student who plagiarizes, lies, cheats, or otherwise misuses the academic environment will be referred to school administration. Violations include, but are not limited to: 

    • Knowingly allowing another student to copy from your paper 
    • Copying from another student’s paper or any other prohibited material
    • Copying directly from the text, other printed material, or an internet source without citation