Secondary English Weekly #6

VOLUME THREE, ISSUE SIX /October 12-16, 2020

Big picture


Here are the Secondary English sessions/descriptions/links for Friday's PD Day. Most of these ELA sessions are offered twice so that you can choose the time to attend that fits your schedule best.



  • StudySync: Balancing Print/Digital Resources Virtually

(repeated at 12:30pm)
Teacher Session
Topics for this session include

-Virtual Lesson Planning

-Customizing Assignments

-Using Google Classroom with StudySync

  • StudySync: Admin Assessment and Data Analysis (repeated at 12:30pm)

Administrator Session

Topics for this session include

-Overview of data reporting from the administration level

-Look at data reporting from teacher level


  • StudySync: Assessment/Gradebook/Data Reporting Overview (repeated at 1:30pm)

Teacher Session

Topics for this session include

-Using the Gradebook

-Assessments: Understanding and Customization

-Overview of Class and Individual Reports

  • StudySync: Overview Review for Beginners (repeated at 1:30pm)

Teacher Session

Topics for this session include

-General StudySync Refresher


  • StudySync Q and A Ask-an-Expert Session

English 6-12 Teachers

Topics for this session will be based on attendee questions.

  • Honors English Q and A Ask-an-Expert Session

Honors English 9 & 10 Teachers

Topics for this session will be based on attendee questions and BEDFORD TEXT Q AND A FORM.

  • AP English Q and A Ask-an-Expert Session

AP English Teachers

Topics for this session will be based on attendee questions and BEDFORD TEXT Q AND A FORM.

-The presenters for the Q and A Sessions for the Honors and AP English Bedford Texts would like to know in advance some topics you are interested in, so that they can prepare. Use this BEDFORD TEXT Q AND A FORM to put down some items for which you have an inquiry. Note: There is a separate Launchpad session, so questions about launchpad will be addressed in that session.


  • StudySync: Balancing Print/Digital Resources Virtually (repeated at 8:30am)

Teacher Session

Topics for this session include -Virtual Lesson Planning

-Customizing Assignments

-Using Google Classroom with StudySync

  • StudySync: Admin Assessment and Data Analysis (repeated at 8:30am)

Administrator Session

Topics for this session include

-Overview of data reporting from the administration level

-Look at data reporting from teacher level


  • Launchpad Session

Honors and AP English Teacher Session

Topics for this session include

-Launchpad Training

-Launchpad Q and A


  • StudySync: Assessment/Gradebook/Data Reporting Overview (repeated at 9:30am)

Teacher Session

Topics for this session include

-Using the Gradebook

-Assessments: Understanding and Customization

-Overview of Class and Individual Reports

  • StudySync: Overview Review for Beginners (repeated at 9:30am)

Teacher Session

Topics for this session include

-General StudySync Refresher


  • TeachingBooks: Resources for Virtual and Blended Learning

English Teachers & Librarians

Topics for this session include

-TeachingBooks Overview (Educator Login, Search for Titles and Resources, Text Complexity Tools)

-Virtual Teaching Ideas (Virtual and Blended Learning, TeachingBooks Blog)

-Reading Lists (Columbus City Schools' lists, Custom Reading Lists)

Meeting ID: 980 5354 6035; Passcode: 054856


The designated person to answer questions about StudySync for CCS teachers is Kristin DeJong. She can be reached at

Remember, if you have a question that deals with CCS infrastructure as it relates to StudySync (Clever, rostering, IC, etc.), those questions would be for Tim Wangler or someone internally and would not be answered by someone from McGraw Hill who will be manning the newly-created phone line and email.


Conference Goes Virtual

Due to the current pandemic, OCTELA 2021: Equity will be held virtually on February 20-27th. They hope that this format will satisfy your need for top-notch professional development while also being able to accommodate the various schedules that teachers have this year. This year’s OCTELA virtual conference will include four keynote sessions (Laurie Halse Anderson, David Bowles, Dr. Jocelyn A. Chadwick, and Dr. Peggy O'Brien) that will be live streamed on Saturdays. There will be a mixture of live breakout and pre-recorded sessions available to attendees throughout the week. Virtual seats in live breakout sessions are limited; however, recordings of live sessions will be available for a minimum of thirty (30) days after the conference. All pre-recorded sessions will be available for on-demand viewing for up to one (1) year after the conference. As always, CEUs and graduate credit will be available.

Go to for more information.

2021 Registration Prices: Standard Registration: $73; Undergraduate registration $33

Conference Theme/Submit a Proposal to Present

During the conference, they would like to highlight the work teachers are doing across the state to be inclusive, address social justice, ensure access, and center equity for all.

  • What best practices can be employed to be inclusive, center equity, ensure access, and address social justice?
  • In what ways are teachers utilizing texts and resources to increase access and equity in the classroom and beyond?
  • How can teachers reflect on curricula, teaching practices, and instructional contexts through the lens of equity?
  • How can assessments be developed and used to support equitable practices?
  • How can technology be leveraged to address issues of access, equity, social justice, and inclusivity?

Want to submit a proposal? You can find the form here!


The National Day on Writing® (October 20), an initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English, is built on the premise that writing is critical to literacy but needs greater attention and celebration.Writing is an important part of life. It allows us to communicate and collaborate, to think and learn, to celebrate and share our voices, our struggles, our experiences. The National Day on Writing® celebrates writing—and the many places, reasons, and ways we write each day—as an essential component of literacy. Since 2009, #WhyIWrite has encouraged thousands of people to lift their voices and share why and when and how they write.

Check out the following links to help you prepare to celebrate the National Day on Writing on October 20th.


Pen and Tell It! are one day workshops that expose 6th-8th graders to different themes and topics in their writing. Below is a schedule and short description of the class offerings using the Zoom online format. For more information or to register, please visit If students register for more than one class, they get 10% off each class!

6-8 Grade options *classes are 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Zoom; $20

  • Sunday, Nov. 1: What is NaNoWriMo?!

Teacher: Jody Casella

November is National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) and we are here to help get you started! Young Adult author, Jody Casella, will share tons of ideas on how to get started, where to get ideas, and how to keep going for the month of November and beyond. Who knows, maybe you’ll start the next bestselling novel?

  • Sunday, Nov. 8: Classified Information

Teacher: Frankie Diederich

TOP SECRET: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help create a secret society that will change the world as we know it forever. You’ll practice collaborative storytelling as we work together to design a headquarters, write a secret code, and establish our own rules. Do you have what it takes to be a secret agent? Only one way to find out! This message will self-destruct in 3…2…1… BOOM!

  • Sunday, Nov. 15: A Questionable Activity

Teacher: Justin Martin

Can you tell a story using only questions? What if I told you that Kelly Link did, in a fantastically weird short story called “The Cannon”? What if we tried to do the same thing, tried to write a bizarre interview in which so much is asked, only a little is said, and a lot of crazy stuff is implied? Could it help a writer not only be a better storyteller, but a better journalist—and a fantastic liar?

  • Sunday, Nov. 22: Memories and Music

Teacher: Claudia Owusu

Ever wondered why certain songs bring up specific memories? We’re going to spend time writing prose poetry about our favorite songs and the memories they bring up when we hear them. This session will end with free sharing and a curated fun class playlist.


1. Language, literacy, lesson planning, oh my! A Course By Any Other Name: Building Essentials Skills in Early High School English Courses

Thurs, October 22 at 6:30 PM ET

Presented by Carlos Escobar, John Golden, & Renée Shea

Honors or Pre-AP®, whatever your course is called, there are essential skills that 9th and 10th grade students need to be successful. Join this webinar to explore how an English program works to develop modern students' language and literacy skills.


2. Relevance & Relatability: Using this Year's 'Elephants in the Room' to Deepen Student Learning and Engagement in AP® English

Thurs, October 29 at 6:00 PM ET

Presented by Robin Aufses, Megan Pankiewicz, Renée Shea, & Larry Scanlon

As a future-shaping election, youth-led climate change protests, dynamic social justice movements, and virtual learning become common topics of discussion, the 'new normal' challenges student attention. This webinar demonstrates how to use these opportunities to introduce relevant content into your AP® English course in ways that encourage students to develop skills to read and write at the college level.


3. American Literature & Rhetoric: Engaging with the Past, Framing the Present

Thurs, November 12 at 6:00 PM ET

Presented by Robin Aufses, Kate Cordes, Renée Shea, & Larry Scanlon

Whether through remote learning or in-person classes in 2021, this generation of students will need to be prepared to address critical social, economic, and cultural issues, as well as define their role as active citizens who shape them. In this webinar, BFW English authors Renée Shea, Robin Aufses, Kate Cordes, and Larry Scanlon will discuss how American Literature & Rhetoric offers opportunities to engage with the past in order to frame—and more deeply understand—the present.


Peter Frampton and R.L. Stine Livestream Author Talks

OCTOBER 20TH at 7PM Join rock icon and legendary guitarist Peter Frampton in a live, virtual conversation with rock journalist turned screenwriter/director Cameron Crowe at the launch of Frampton’s revelatory memoir, Do You Feel Like I Do?

Get Tickets

OCTOBER 30TH at 7PM R.L. Stine, the worldwide bestselling author of Goosebumps and the master of scary stories for young readers, has written the third book in his new middle grade graphic novel series, Just Beyond: Welcome to Beast Island. To celebrate the publication of this supernatural horror tale, Gramercy Books is hosting the national Halloween book launch for Stine, live streamed on Zoom Webinar, where he will be in conversation with two middle school students. The audience will get to ask questions as well.

Get Tickets

School Library Journal’s annual Summit: Culture Shift-October 24th

Register for School Library Journal’s annual Summit: Culture Shift, which will take place on Saturday, October 24. Now in its 16th year, this national convening will focus on creating a culture that promotes an equitable world and closes the opportunity gap for all children.

In this free, day-long virtual event, you’ll gain skills, ideas, and support in leading the change you want to see in your library, school, and community.

Request for parent input on Ohio’s State Tests performance standards

The Department is looking for parents interested in participating in six virtual discussion committees to review performance levels for Ohio’s State Tests in English language arts and mathematics. Applications for these parent discussion committees must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16. Interested participants should have online access for viewing the meeting information virtually, but video capability is not required.

Big picture

Questions and Answers

Here are some of the questions I have been asked via email/survey that you may also have been asking. Answers are included:) If you do not see a topic you want to know more on, check the other sections of this newsletter (e.g. StudySync).

-Sometimes StudySync won't launch for a student. What could be causing that?

It could be blocked from launching because of a pop-up blocker. On the Chromebook, go to Settings. In the search bar, type "Pop." Follow the highlight flags: Privacy and Security/Site Settings, Content/Pop-ups and redirects. Then, turn off the toggle. Or, when the 'pop-up blocked' icon shows in the search bar, click allow and refresh the page. That should allow popups from that original site and add it to the Allow list. Also, it could be that the student needs to clear the cache for the browser he/she is using.

-I have assigned something to a students on StudySync, but they don't see it on their sign-in page. What could be causing that?

Some students are aligned to more than one school and they need to select their current school to be able to see the correct homepage. This may need to be done in two places. First, when they click on McGraw Hill SSO and before they launch StudySync, they may need to select their school at the top by their name. Then, once they have launched StudySync, they may need to select their school again above their name.

-Is there a guide for assigning the Benchmarks Assessments and accessing the Benchmark Reports in StudySync?

-How do I link my Google Classroom in StudySync? Use these videos to understand the process.

-How do I rename my classes in StudySync? StudySync-How to Change Course Names

-Is Achieve3000 available this school year? Yes. Achieve3000 is the Tier II Intervention resource for Secondary English. (StudySync is the Tier I Instructional resource.) Achieve3000 should be used in the College and Career Ready courses, can be used in Core Enrichment, and may be used for targeted intervention. Tim Wangler can help with Achieve3000 usage.

-Are we integrating iReady lessons into any of our plans? No. iReady is only being used for testing in Grades 6-8 and is not being used as curriculum.

Big picture
Monday, October 12th
  • StudySync Webinar: 4-4:30 PM Supporting Students with IEPs Remotely Register Now

Tuesday, October 13th

Wednesday, October 14th
  • StudySync Webinar: 1-2 PM How Administrators Can Best Utilize StudySync Register Now
Thursday, October 15th

Friday, October 16th

All Week

  • ILA (INTERNATIONAL LITERACY ASSOCIATION) NEXT ILA Next (October 3–29) is a new professional learning experience for literacy educators across the globe. REGISTER HERE

Big picture
Big picture

What do I have access to for teaching secondary english?

This list shows you all of the resources:

CCS Adopted, Supplemental, and Intervention Resources List

  • In general, the Tier I Instructional Resources are StudySync and the Bedford Texts/Launchpad, the Tier II Intervention Resource is Achieve3000, and the supplemental resources are TeachingBooks and DBQ.

-You can find the curricular and district items on the ELA 6-12 Webpage by clicking on the curriculum Quick Links for your grade level.

Scroll down to see all of the Grade Levels/Courses and to see the Guiding Documents for all Grade Levels once you are on the Curriculum/Instructional Resource page for your grade level.

-Here are some short videos to acclimate you to the new Curriculum Docs/Folders and show the correlation between the maps and the adopted digital resources. These are available at the bottom of each of the Curriculum/Instructional Resource page in the CCS ELA Guiding Documents section.

NOTE: To access many curricular and district, you must be logged into Google using your CCS credentials and not a personal account.

Big picture

The Adopted Tier 1 Instructional Resource


-You AND your students access StudySync via the Clever icon or Click on the McGraw Hill icon. Then, launch the StudySync App.

-Your classes are marked with X and Y. The X classes are for first semester and are the ones you should be using now. The Y classes are for second semester. If you want to change the names of your classes in StudySync, follow this guide: StudySync-How to Change Course Names

-Here is information about liking StudySync to Google Classroom.

Webinar: StudySync Google Integrations

Teachers: Linking Your Account with Google Classroom

Students: Linking Your Account with Google Classroom

-Here is the demo code for StudySync in case you have a co-teacher, building coach, or admin that wants to see the platform and they do not have a class aligned in Clever/IC.


UN: StudySync2021

PW: study2021


When you are in StudySync, you can get to the Help Center by clicking on your name at the top, right. In the dropdown menu, you select "Help Center." Finding the Help Center in StudySync (video)

-If you scroll down, you will see many options for help in the categories of Training, Resources, and Q & A. Of special note is the Resources section with its Teaching Labs that explain and then show lessons happening in the classroom for both middle and high school.

-You may also do a keyword search at the top of the Help Center page by typing in what you want to know about and allowing it to populate the tutorials and documents around that topic. -The speech icon in the lower, right gets you access to a live help desk during office hours.

StudySync Teacher and Student Books

-If you did not pick up a Volume One StudySync Teacher Edition this summer, please have your school's building book person request it from the Hudson Warehouse. The warehouse has sent out the student consumables (Reading and Writing Companion), but will send out the TEs based upon requests from the building since so many of you already picked them up. Volume Two of the TE will be automatically sent to the buildings from the warehouse.

-Student Editions were sent from the warehouse to the buildings. In Grades 6-10, students have one consumable (Reading and Writing Companion) for the year with all 6 units included. In Grades 11-12, students have two consumables (Reading and Writing Companion). Volume 1 is for Units 1-3 and Volume 2 is for Units 4-6.

Big picture

The adopted Teir I Instructional resource-honors/AP


Overview Pages and Slideshows

Launchpad Access

-To get to Launchpad through Clever, click the Launchpad icon and click on the name of class/textbook.

Recorded Trainings/Slides and Follow-Up Letter from Summer

MORE Launchpad Trainings

Bedford Honors and AP Teacher Texts

-If you still need an honors or AP teacher edition, reach out to Carla Mae Phillips (cphillips3865) and she will work with the warehouse to get that delivered to you.

-Students have a hardback text and may have a workbook for Honors 9 and 10.

Honors 9: Foundations of Language and Literature

Honors10: Advanced Language & Literature

AP Language: The Language of Composition, 3rd Edition

AP Literature: Literature and Composition, 2nd Edition

Big picture

Supplemental resource for CCS Book Lists & Novel/Author Items

As you know, TeachingBooks is the tool that houses the lists of books we have in the warehouse and in the Secondary English Curriculum Office (TeachingBooks Tutorial). It also is a place to get additional novel and author resources. Here are some ideas TeachingBooks wanted to share with teachers since we are teaching remotely.



Big picture
Big picture

Assessment Information for Columbus City Schools SY20-21

  • The BOY window for StudySync Benchmark Form 1 (Grades 9-12) runs through 10/23.
  • Use this guide if you need help with Assigning the StudySync Benchmark Assessments.
  • Use this guide if you need help with Accessing the StudySync Benchmark Reports.

  • NOTE: iReady is NOT a curriculum tool for middle school. It is only being used for testing in Grades 6-8 and the BOY window has closed.
  • The testing calendar includes two Reset Readiness Benchmarks from the ODE testing portal for courses that have an OST. These allow students to do full-length tests in the same portal as they will on the OST. These may not be required for ELA.
  • StudySync comes with a full suite of assessments that you have available to you. None are mandated by with the exception of the Benchmark Forms 1-3 in Grades 9-12 for the BOY, MOY, and EOY. You can see them all here: StudySync Suite of Assessments.

Please see these items for additional information about the StudySync Benchmarks/Gradebook.

Check out the latest from ODE on the OST at these links:

Big picture
Big picture


  • 10/12 – Writing Places and Spaces
  • 10/17 – Here There Be Dragons (Master Class)
  • 10/19 – Capturing Joy Through Poetry
  • 10/26 – Going Rogue: Holiday Edition

Learn More About/Register for Thurber's Adult Writing Workshops (6-8PM) HERE


  • 10/12 TeachingBooks Webinar: New Features on TeachingBooks 4pm Register
  • 10/19 TeachingBooks Webinar: Empower Students with TeachingBooks 4pm Register
  • 10/26 TeachingBooks Webinar: Promote Titles to Engage Readers 4pm Register


Everyday Practices that Engage and Empower Readers and Writers

During this workshop, participants will:

  • Design classroom routines and expectations that increase confidence and skill in readers and writers
  • Deepen student engagement by balancing independent reading, book clubs, and core text instruction
  • Gather tools for modeling revision to support the development of writers



ILA Next (October 3–29) is a new professional learning experience for literacy educators across the globe. Digital by design, ILA Next offers a blend of live and on-demand learning anchored by a weekly workshop series. You bring the device; they'll bring the PD!
They've zeroed in on the most important issues in literacy instruction, recognizing the challenges facing teachers right now, such as the following:

  • Distance and hybrid learning
  • Equity and access
  • Social-emotional development
  • Trauma responsive instruction

Each week, you'll have access to multiple hours of live presentations plus additional hours of on-demand content. Informal Office Hours sessions give you the chance to interact with select speakers and fellow participants. REGISTER NOW


Novel Conversations, a fan-favorite podcast about classic literature, is returning for its seventh season! And they are kicking it off with a dystopian theme. Get ready for Big Brother, battles with Morlocks, and some apprehensive book burning. Join them every other Tuesday for eight brand new episodes, featuring titles like Fahrenheit 541 and 1984. See below for all eight books and release dates, or follow us for updates on their Twitter and Facebook pages. Enjoy! Listen Now

Older Episodes: LISTEN NOW

Ep 4: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (1996) Oct 20

Ep 5: The Tenth Man by Graham Greene (1985) Nov 3

Ep 6: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Sterne (1759) Nov 17

Ep 7: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Twain (1889) Dec 1

Ep 8: 1984 by George Orwell (1949) Dec 15


Registration is open for Achieve the Core Tackling the Text: Techniques to Help All Students Grow (Grades 3-12) fall virtual learning 12-hour course. The self-paced course can be taken anytime between October 6—November 16, 2020 and has a $20 enrollment fee. You'll receive a certificate showing 12 hours of professional learning upon successful completion.


*ONLINE* | GLORY: Magical Visions of Black Beauty with Kahran and Regis Bethencourt OCT 27, 2020, 7pm From Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, the dynamite husband and wife duo behind CreativeSoul Photography, comes GLORY, a photography book that shatters the conventional standards of beauty for Black children. With stunning images of natural hair and gorgeous, inventive visual storytelling, GLORY puts Black beauty front and center with more than 100 breathtaking photographs and a collection of powerful essays about the children. At its heart, it is a recognition and celebration of the versatility and innate beauty of black hair and black beauty.


At Gramercy Books on Main Street in Bexley, they share our love of books and the arts through a broad range of programming and events that bring the community together. There’s something for everyone. Be sure to check out Gramercy's calendar of events, and discover something new. This month features the following:

  • October 22, 7pm Fans of high-stakes tension and suspense don’t want to miss this exclusive conversation between two novelists who have taken the thriller to a higher level: Layne Fargo, author of the dynamic psychological powerhouse They Never Learn, and Allison Dickson, author of the clever and sinister, The Other Mrs. Miller.
  • October 26, 7pm Critically acclaimed master storyteller Alex George will join Gramercy Book Club participants after the discussion of his latest novel, The Paris Hours, an exquisitely written and vivid portrayal of lives intersecting in early twentieth-century Paris. Former Columbus Dispatch Arts Editor Nancy Gilson will moderate the group discussion and interview with George.
  • October 30, 7pm Worldwide bestselling author of Goosebumps and the master of scary stories for young readers, R.L. Stine has written the third book in his new middle grade graphic novel series, Just Beyond: Welcome to Beast Island. To celebrate the publication of this supernatural horror tale, Gramercy Books is hosting the national Halloween book launch for Stine, live streamed on Zoom Webinar, where he will be in conversation with two Bexley Middle School students: Nandni Patel and Ben Stebenne. The audience will get to ask questions as well.


Sign up for FREE Camp Corwin Book Club to join Corwin authors as they discuss and engage on timely topics. Camp Corwin Book Club Meetings take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 90 minutes. Books are not included and should be purchased separately

Join any of these book clubs here

  • Comprehension October 13th & 15th 6:00pm
  • Equity by Design October 20th & 22nd 6:30pm
  • Engage Every Family October 27th & 29th 6:30pm
  • SEL From a Distance November 10th & 12th 6:30pm
  • Distance Learning Playbook School Leaders November 17th & 19th 6:30pm
  • Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences December 1st & 3rd 6:30pm


The 2020 Ohioana Awards, originally scheduled for October 15 at the Ohio Statehouse, will now be presented online on Wednesday, October 21, at 7:00 p.m. The event will feature the presentation of awards to our winners:

  • Fiction: Salvatore Scibona, The Volunteer
  • Nonfiction: Jeannie Vanasco, Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl
  • About Ohio or an Ohioan: David McCullough, The Pioneers
  • Poetry: Hanif Abdurraqib, A Fortune for Your Disaster
  • Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature: Jasmine Warga, Other Words for Home
  • Juvenile Literature: Oge Mora, Saturday
  • Readers’ Choice: Kenn Kaufman, Season on the Wind
  • Walter Ramsey Marvin Grant: Brendan Curtinrich

There will no admission charge for the 2020 Ohioana Awards - it is being presented as a free event, open to all Ohioans as a celebration of books and reading. While the event is free, registration is required at this link:

—NOTE: If you missed the Virtual Ohioana Book Festival, the entire festival program is now completely online. You can heck out the panels, discussions, outreach programs, and media interviews, along with drawing and story times for kids, individual author readings, and more. If you did attend the festival, this is your chance to catch something you might've missed - or revisit a program you enjoyed for a second or third time. Go to the schedule page below - click on the title of any linked program and it will take you right there:…/ohioana-book-festival/schedule/.

You can still purchase books featured at the festival by going online to the official bookseller for Ohioana, The Book Loft of German Village:


Class is virtually in session! Just as this is no ordinary year, this is no ordinary conference. You are invited into the #AMLE20 virtual middle school classroom! It’s a space to play, innovate, and be creative. It’s a space to connect with colleagues. It’s a space to contribute and collect tools and resources to meet the needs of your students and your school community. INFORMATION HERE I REGISTRATION HERE


Now, more than ever, educators need to connect and support one another on how to navigate unprecedented challenges due to covid-19. Don't miss the opportunity to join your higher ed and K–12 colleagues at the College Board Virtual Forum, October 26–28.

Attend keynote and panel discussions, colloquia, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, and networking events, and participate in the annual Forum College Fair. Conference topics will include: Trends in higher education in 2020, Keeping students on track, Addressing the digital divide, Best practices for leaders during covid-19, and Realizing social justice in our work. Register Now I View the Preliminary Program


In partnership with the National Association for Media Literacy Education and in honor of Media Literacy Week, Renee Hobbs will speak about her new book, Mind Over Media: Propaganda Education for a Digital Age October 27, 2020, 4 p.m. REGISTER HERE.


Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for the fourth annual LibraryCon Live! They're excited to offer a day-long celebration of fandom-beloved stories and characters, featuring the creators behind mind-bending speculative fiction, innovative comics, and fan-favorite graphic novels. Plus, network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you'll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. Whether you're a public or school librarian, an educator of teens and young adults, or a superfan of graphic novels and sf/fantasy, don't miss this chance to meet and interact with some of your favorite stars across these genres.They are anticipating an unprecedented number of library and education professionals to attend this event, so you may find the environment or live sessions become full during the day. But fear not! All sessions and author chats will be available for viewing on-demand within an hour of their initial broadcast, and the entire event will be available on-demand until February 5, 2021.

The Keynote Speakers are Jerry Craft and John Jennings. REGISTER HERE.

  • Jerry Craft is a New York Times bestselling author-illustrator who has worked on numerous books for young readers, including the Newbery medal-winning graphic novel New Kid. Jerry is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning syndicated comic strip. He has won five African American Literary Awards and is a cofounder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and now lives in Connecticut. Class Act, the companion novel to New Kid, will be published in October 2020. Visit him online at
  • John Jennings is the curator of the Megascope list and illustrator of the graphic novel adaptations of Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred and Parable of the Sower. He is a professor of media and cultural studies at the University of California, Riverside.


NCTE’s Convention is the most historic annual literacy convening for teachers and educators. Now celebrating its 110th consecutive year, the historic event connects educators to the most passionate and energetic minds in literacy. Attendees can expect to hear from leading education voices as well as nearly 300 national authors, all engaging together around the pressing topics of the field. Join them to establish new allies in the work of excellent teaching, new connections with luminaries and authors, and enough new books to fill entire shelves in classroom libraries. INFORMATION HERE I REGISTRATION HERE


Recognizing the extraordinary challenges teachers face in the upcoming academic year 2020-21, a one-time $5,000.00 grant will be awarded to purchase books for K-6 students in an Ohio public school building. This Bonnie Chambers Grant is designed to help teachers who strongly promote the use of quality literature in their classrooms. Teachers will use the grant money to select and purchase their own book choices (fiction or non-fiction) dealing with understanding and coping with COVID, racism and equality issues, and/or mental health issues for children and their families.

Application Criteria

  • This grant is open to any* Ohio public school teacher(s) in grades K-6 who demonstrates a need for money in the purchasing of classroom books for their elementary building.
  • If a group of teachers apply, one teacher will apply on behalf of the building and serve as the contact teacher.
  • Need can be demonstrated through free-lunch ratios, recent school-levy results, extraordinary events, etc.

Applications are available and due by December 31, 2020.

Online Application I Print Application

Visit the Bonnie Chambers Grant page for more information:


HERE is the contest to win $500 in Books.


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways for September 2020.


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways.

Big picture

MLK Breakfast Speaker Contest


CCS will select one student speaker to represent the district at the 2021 Martin Luther King Breakfast, held virtually on January 18, 2021. The competition to become that speaker is open to all students in Grades 6-12. The CCS Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon will introduce our student speaker at the event. Once chosen, our student will be professionally photographed and recorded during the week of December 7th for the event.


Students should write their speeches, then send/share/message a recording (link to the recording) of themselves delivering the speech to Carla Mae Phillips (740-228-1509 or Students/teachers may alternatively make a request for Carla Mae Phillips to record the speeches via her Zoom room and that will be scheduled.

Please put “MLK Breakfast” in the Subject Line when sending/sharing recording link and include the student's name, school, grade, student & parent contact information,

and the teacher’s email & phone number.



  • Tuesday, October 13
  • Tuesday, October 27
  • Tuesday, November 10
  • Tuesday, November 24

6:30–8:30 pm ET on Zoom

What is Young Writers' Studio? Students in Grades 9-12 meet every other week for two hours with author and English professor Robert Loss. They kick off the first hour with quality writing prompts and activities. They wrap up the last hour with the chance to workshop pieces that you or others share. It's a safe, low-key, fun opportunity to enjoy writing and meet others! Register HERE

-A limited number of scholarships are available for this program. Email for more information.


Poetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary heritage and contemporary life. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Teachers, librarians, or administrators register their high schools each year with the Ohio Arts Council and organize contests with one class, several classes, or a whole school. Contests, workshops, and multi-media program materials, including curricula, are free. Poetry Out Loud is aligned with Common Core and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards.

REGISTER YOUR SCHOOL HERE. I Get more information here.


Voting is now open for your favorite book from the nominees below. Voting ends November 10th. You can also make your nominations for the 2021 Buckeye Children's & Teens Book Awards!

For Grades 6-8

  • Supernova (Amulet book 8) by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang
  • Grenade by Alan Gratz
  • Guts by Raina Telgemeier
  • Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

The Teen Buckeye Book Award Nominees (for grades 9-12)

  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña
  • Supernova (Renegades book 3) by Marissa Meyer
  • The Toll (Arc of a Scythe book 3) by Neal Shusterman
  • War Storm (Red Queen Book 4) by Victoria Aveyard
Big picture
Big picture

Weekly Stress-Break Video

The Head and the Heart - "Honeybee" Official Music Video

did you miss earlier issues of the secondary english weekly newsletter?

Each week, this Secondary English Weekly Newsletter will be linked in an email sent to ELA and ELA-related teachers in Grades 6-12 and posted on the CCS English Language Arts 6-12 Page ( It will contain all of the latest information that could prove useful to you and your students. If you know of anyone who needs to be added to the mailing list, please send their name(s) to cphillips3865@columbus.k12.oh. Happy Educating!

Carla Mae Phillips

Lead Secondary English Curriculum Coordinator

Southland Center, Suite 125