Course Syllabus

Español 4 Honores Bloque Rojo

Link to Google Assignment & Homework Calendar

Teacher:  Jennifer Desautels         Classroom: 333

Contact Information:

Office Hours: times below by appointment ~ Please email your teacher to make appointment and/or get Zoom link  Thursdays Zoom 1:00-2:30 p.m. and M, T, TH, F 7:30-8:00 a.m. in school in person.          

Additional CML LAB Hours May also be available if you e-mail your teacher!!

Back to School Night Video:

Course Content: Spanish 4H is designed for students who want a challenging course and are considering Advanced Placement Spanish the following year. Students are expected to be confident in their ability to communicate exclusively in Spanish. We work throughout the year to attain a level of sophistication and accuracy in the three modes of communication (interpretive, presentational, and interpersonal) that reflects four years of study. The course focuses on three themes: Identities, Emigration/Immigration, and Human Rights in Latin America. We examine each theme in depth through reading, research, class conversations, presentations, films, and writing. Classroom instruction is delivered exclusively in Spanish and students are expected to communicate entirely in the language. This is a course for an independent, motivated learner. The proficiency target for this course is Intermediate-High on the ACTFL scale.

Course Goals: Spanish 4 students will spend the year with a focus on proficiency.  Proficiency is the degree to which you can communicate in Spanish should you suddenly find yourself in a situation that requires you to speak or understand Spanish without having prepared.  On our path to achieve our target proficiency goal, we will include many authentic resources (videos, articles, websites) that have been created for native Spanish speakers, not for a classroom.  Students will improve their proficiency within the three modes of communication:  Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational.

 ACTFL Performance Guidelines / Can-do Benchmarks for Advanced Low:

Interpersonal Communication - I can participate in conversations about familiar topics that go beyond my everyday life. I can talk in an organized way and with some detail about events and experiences in various time frames. I can describe people, places, and things in an organized way and with some detail. I can handle a familiar situation with an unexpected complication.

Presentational Speaking - I can deliver organized presentations appropriate to my audience on a variety of topics. I can present information about events and experiences in various time frames.

Presentational Writing - I can write on general interest, academic, and professional topics. I can write organized paragraphs about events and experiences in various time frames.

Interpretive Listening - I can understand the main idea and most supporting details on a variety of topics of personal and general interest, as well as some topics of professional interest. I can follow stories and descriptions of some length and in various time frames. I can understand information presented in most genres, even when not familiar with the topic.

Interpretive Reading - I can understand the main idea and most supporting details in texts on a variety of topics of personal and general interest, as well as some professional topics. I can follow stories and descriptions of considerable length and in various time frames. I can understand texts written in a variety of genres, even when I am unfamiliar with the topic.


MATERIALS: Bring the current unit workbook, a small three-ring binder or a section of one, pen or pencil, your computer and headphones each day.  It is necessary for you to keep track of your completed performance assessments and the feedback you get throughout the year.  Please keep your materials organized.

COURSE EXPECTATIONS: Be an active, engaged and contributing member of the class.  Speak in Spanish and require others to do the same! Ask questions in class!! Ask me to help! Be sure to dedicate time each day outside of class to absorb what we did during class in addition to completing homework when it is assigned. 

OFFICE HOURS:  Please email Sra. Desautels to make an appointment.


  • Arrival– Please arrive to class on time.  Three tardies equal one class cut.
  • Electronic Devices– Cell phones are put away.  When in the classroom computer lids are up only with teacher permission.
  • Hablar en español–Your term grade average will be lowered if you don’t speak in Spanish.
  • Active Engagement– It is necessary to participate in all activities and conversations actively. Asking questions, building off what someone else says, and showing that you are listening, are examples.
  • Citizenship– Always be kind and respectful to your classmates and teacher, help others when you are able.
  • Leaving Classroom– It is important that you communicate to me that you are leaving the classroom and where you will be.  At times, I may ask you to finish an activity before leaving.
  • Tareas–Your term grade average may not reach its full potential if you miss the practice and reinforcement from homework assignments.
  • Pruebas- Can have listening, speaking, reading or writing components and may not always be announced in advance.
  • Larger Assessments-Performance Assessments will be announced at least 5 days in advance.
  • Absences- Please do all that you can not to miss Spanish class. Speaking, listening, and engaging with the content in class is something you may not be able to "make up".   Come to class after an absence prepared to turn in work due, and complete the assessment you missed.  If you arrange an appointment for a make-up outside of class time, do not miss that appointment time or you may receive a grade of zero for that assignment.  It is your responsibility to check on-line and/or ask a classmate for assignments when you are gone.  

Classical and Modern Language Category Weights and Descriptors 







for 2020-2021 school year

[All items in this category are stepping stones to having success in the Performance Assessment category.]

-Vocabulary, grammar quizzes (long or short).

-Memorized "learned" material (forms, rules, vocabulary).

-Completion of homework.

-Readiness for class (on time w/ necessary materials).

-Use of support services such as Spanish Extra Help Center and classroom teacher, as recommended by teacher.

Performance Assessments




for 2020-2021 school year

-Real world tasks.

-Use of the target language in class.

-Application of learning in an actual or simulated setting.

Interpretive: One-way communication using receptive skills of listening & reading, sometimes enhanced by viewing.

Presentational: One-way communication using productive skills of speaking & writing, sometimes enhanced by showing.

Interpersonal:  Two-way communication between individuals using receptive skills (listening & reading, sometimes viewing), & productive skills (speaking & writing, sometimes enhanced by showing).  Meaning is negotiated between two or more people.

Other important CML procedures to consider:


-Progressive Grading on large unit Performance Assessments, meaning they may be worth more as you progress through a term.

-Performance target for each task is set at "B".  (B+ for 2020-2021 school year)

-Retakes on performance assessments are unnecessary because students will have been given practice with appropriate feedback/preparation.

-There is no extra credit offered.

-All scores are individual (not group).

The Classical & Modern Languages has Sequential Term Weights. 

During past school years with NO hybrid or remote learning the weights have looked like this:*

*Term 1 = 14%, Term 2 = 22%, Term 3 = 29%, Term 4 = 35%*

*Since we are doing Semesters for the 2020-2021 School Year:  SEMESTER 1 = 40%, SEMESTER 2 = 60%

Power School calculates each letter grade as equal to the percentage listed next to it below. 

This is a WHS policy and NOT your teacher's decision:

A+ = 98%, A = 94.5%, A- = 91%

B+ = 88%, B = 84.5%, B- = 81%

C+ = 78%, C = 74.5 %, C- = 71%

D+ = 68%, D = 64.5 %, D- = 61%

F= 55%

GRADING POLICY FOR THE 2020/2021 SCHOOL YEAR:  (*updated again by CML on 11/10/20)

The 2020/2021 school year will be unlike any we have experienced.  As you can imagine, we will need a flexible grading policy that can accommodate both remote learning and hybrid learning and allow for quick transitions between the two for the foreseeable future. For that reason, the CML department will be adapting the following changes to its grading policy for this school year:

  1. Student grades will be based 100% on communication [the Performance Assessment category] (which is a combination of interpretive, interpersonal and presentational work).  
  2. Students will be able to earn an A, B+, C+, D+ on individual assessments. The breakdown is as follows: 


student’s work shows in-depth inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught


student’s work thoroughly meets the standard


student’s work shows only the simpler aspects of the standard, or has some important errors or omissions



student's work demonstrates only partial ability or is not complete.

A grade of F is reserved for when a student simply does not complete the work.

*This Grading Chart was updated by the CML department in agreement on 11/10/20.

  1.  Although individual assessments will only earn grades of A, B+, C+ D+, term/semester grades will be a mathematical calculation of the grades students have earned on their individual assessments throughout the term/semester and will not necessarily be an A, B+, C+ or D+. 
  2. No extra credit will be offered at any point throughout this year.
  3. Meeting the performance target for the course will earn a student a B+ grade (formerly this earned a student a B grade).
  4. The CML department will still adhere to sequential grading in which chosen assessments throughout a term or semester may increase in weight as the term/semester progresses (meaning a student’s most recent assessments may carry the most weight).
  5. There will be no grades/points given for achievement assessments (or non-performance assessments) such as homework, effort/engagement in class, target language use (except as assessed through performance), vocabulary quizzes etc.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due