Secondary English Weekly #5

VOLUME THREE, ISSUE FIVE /October 5-9, 2020

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Based on survey input through the English chairs at each building, the secondary English sessions for the October 16th PD Day are taking shape. The finalized list will be published soon with links to each session, but in the mean time, here is what the day looks like in the planning stages. NOTE: TIMES/SESSIONS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED UPON DISTRICT PD DAY CALENDAR NEEDS.
  • 9:30-10:15 STUDYSYNC SESSION B

*The Why StudySync session will be a recording that can be watched at your convenience.

-The StudySync Sessions A and B are going to be on topics from the survey grouped together by their likeness. For example, one session may put together the gradebook and reporting features since they are connected. The session descriptions will contain all topics to be addressed in the session.

-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.

-There will also be sessions on technology tools offered, but I have not seen that schedule yet.


Soon there will be a designated email and phone number for CCS teachers who have inquiries about the adopted McGraw Hill products (StudySync, ALEKS, Reveal, and Number Worlds). This will be a boon for those of you wanting a quick response to questions such as how do I find the area in the Gradebook to view student standard mastery, or how can I customize content/units in Studysync, or how does the annotation feature work, or what do students see when I assign a blast, or where is the TE slideout, etc.

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.

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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).

-Is there a guide for assigning the Benchmarks Assessments in StudySync?

Use this guide if you need help with Assigning the StudySync Benchmark Assessments.

-What data will be available from the StudySync Benchmark Assessments?

Use this guide if you need help with Accessing the StudySync Benchmark Reports. You are able to choose the kind of report features you want, run the report, and export the data. The data can be ascertained based on the following options, dependent upon your role in the district:

  • Results: District, School, Teacher, Group (Class), Student
  • Assessment: You can choose one Benchmark or more than one. Note: If you gave any other tests (Readiness Screener, Reading Comprehension Diagnostic, etc.), those are also available here.
  • Organization: You can choose school (s), teacher (s), group(s), and student(s) for filters.
  • Scores: The most important selection here is Standard. This will break the results down by standard to show you the percentage students scored on questions aligned to tested standards. You can drill down further if you select Standard, then filter for specific standards. You can also get the scores by Assessment percentage and by Question.

NOTE: You also have continuous standard data available to you in the StudySync Gradebook. Use this video to see the Gradebook in Action for Data Analysis: StudySync Gradebook & Data Analysis (video)

-Where are the Teacher Edition items inside StudySync?

When you click on a First Read, Skill, Close Read, Independent Read, etc., inside a CORE ELA unit, you will see a link to a lesson plan for that item listed below its description beside "Teacher Resource." When you preview the item, you will see a slide out TE on the right.

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

Teachers: Linking Your Account with Google Classroom

Students: Linking Your Account with Google Classroom

Webinar: StudySync Google Integrations

-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.

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Monday, October 5th
  • StudySync Webinar: 4-4:30 PM Keep Students Interacting with Peer Review. Register Now
  • TeachingBooks Webinar: Supporting Reading Instruction with TeachingBooks 4pm Register

Tuesday, October 6th

Wednesday, October 7th

Thursday, October 8th

  • StudySync Webinar: 4-4:30 PM Teaching Full Books with Novel Studies Register Now
  • Free Webinar with John Hattie on The Power of Student Feedback 7pm. Sign-up here.

Friday, October 9th

All Week


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

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Assessment Information for Columbus City Schools SY20-21

  • In Grades 9-12, the Benchmark Assessments (Forms 1-3) in StudySync replace NWEA MAP/Reading Inventory testing for the BOY, MOY, and EOY.
  • 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.

  • Teachers in Grades 6-8 will use iReady to replace NWEA MAP, but are free to use the StudySync Benchmark Assessments for their own classroom information. NOTE: iReady is NOT a curriculum tool for middle school. It is only being used for testing. The BOY window for iReady (Grades 6-8) ended on 9/30.
  • 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.


If you have students loaded into StudySync in Grades 9-12, you will be using the StudySync Benchmark Form 1 as the BOY, Benchmark Form 2 as the MOY, and Benchmark Form 3 as the EOY. You have until October 23rd to give your students the Benchmark Form 1. Grades 6-8 are not required to use these Benchmarks since iReady is being used for testing in those grades, but may use them for classroom/student information if they choose.

Since the Benchmarks are leveled across the school year (as indicated below) it is not as important for students to show improvement in each test, but rather that the teacher sees growth with relation to the grade-level standard items, and maintained success with the below grade-level standard items in Benchmarks 1 and 2. In other words, a student that maintains a consistent score from Benchmark 1 to Benchmark 2 would be showing growth, even if their percentage score is below 80%.

  • Benchmark 1: 33% of items on grade-level standards, 66% of items below grade-level
  • Benchmark 2: 66% of items on grade-level standards, 33% of items below grade-level
  • Benchmark 3: 100% of items on grade-level standards.

The StudySync Gradebook indicates that “At or above proficiency (Green)” is a score of 80% or above (see Benchmarks and Gradebook link below). These cut-offs are the preset recommendations in StudySync. It should also be noted that teachers should pay careful attention to skill/standard views of the score to better understand and analyze areas in which a student is showing strengths as well as needs for remediation. Teachers can see standard and standard mastery views.

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


You can check out the latest tools from ODE for the Standards and OST in their Student Readiness Toolkit. It seems that the link to the student testing site on the last page of this document on the ODE site is not working. HERE is the link for that site.

The Restart Readiness Assessments are a suite of optional assessment tools for students in grades 3 through high school that have been developed by the Ohio Department of Education in collaboration with Cambium Assessment, Inc. Comprised of two components, Benchmark Tests and Checkpoint Assessments, the purpose of the Restart Readiness Assessments is to provide schools and districts with actionable performance data using assessments that have been aligned with Ohio's Learning Standards and built using items from Ohio's State Tests. Data gathered by these new assessments will be available for analysis using the Centralized Reporting System. Similar to the Online Reporting System used for Ohio's State Tests, the Centralized Reporting System provides a platform through which assessment data can be analyzed. A recording of the webinars about Restart Readiness will be placed in the Restart Readiness Assessment Portal.

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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 TeachgingBooks 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.

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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.

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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

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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.


  • 10/5 TeachingBooks Webinar: Supporting Reading Instruction with TeachingBooks 4pm Register
  • 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


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Description: These office hours are meant to support district personnel in implementing instructional technology to have the highest impact on teaching and learning. Waiting Room is enabled to assist in controlling the flow of people in breakout rooms.

Meeting Times/Dates: This meeting will occur each Friday from 9:00 - 10:00 am starting September 11th and running through December 18th and will be facilitated by Jesse Ireland.

Meeting Link:

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John Hattie on The Power of Student Feedback-FREE WEBINAR THIS THURSDAY

A Free Webinar with John Hattie on The Power of Student Feedback is been offered THIS Thursday, October 8th at 7pm. Sign-up here. Meet John Hattie, the international author of the Visible Learning Series and The Distance Learning Playbook for a one hour chat about the power of feedback and its impact on achievement. Not all feedback is alike - according to John's research. John will be talking about building a feedback culture in classrooms - whether virtual, hybrid, or in-person - and how the variations of feedback we use impact student achievement.

Learn what students have consistently maintained they need to grow their learning and tips
They will be recording and sending the recording link to registrants as well as answers to questions. Don't miss it!

Sign Up Here: Thursday, October 8, 7:00 PM EDT.


KELLY GALLAGHER and PENNY KITTLE Present an Inspiring Virtual One-Day Workshop

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


Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle will present this virtual workshop on October 19, 2020 (Pacific Time Zone). They will discuss critical decisions that underpin artful teaching across the school year and throughout units of study, as well as the daily decisions that move young readers and writers closer to excellence. In this virtual workshop, Kelly and Penny will share the decision-making process that drives their instruction. In doing so, they will demonstrate how they plan a year of instruction, design specific units of study, and plan and execute a daily lesson. What guides Kelly and Penny in their planning for young readers and writers? They believe all students should develop the reading and writing habits needed for success outside of school: in college, work, and in their personal lives.



Building on the foundational work established in The Distance Learning Playbook, this institute brings forward the latest in effective practices in virtual spaces. Sessions will focus on partnering with parents and explore how we can utilize the best practices from Visible Learning and Distance Learning to improve Teacher Clarity, instruction, and support virtual PLCs. There are two offerings for this in October.

October 13: 11am-5:30pm Going Deeper with Distance Learning Institute

October 15: 9am-3:30pm Going Deeper with Distance Learning Institute

Propaganda Education for a Digital Age

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.

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The Ohio Department of Education is calling for nominations to the new Performance Standards Confirmation Committees. The committees will evaluate the appropriateness of the performance levels (cut scores) adopted for each of Ohio’s State Tests in English language arts. Applications to serve on the committees are due Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. The selected members will meet virtually on Nov. 17-18, 2020, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For all eligible meeting participants, costs for substitute teachers will be reimbursed directly to school districts. Educators interested in participating on one of these Performance Standards Confirmation Committees should complete this application. Applicants selected to participate will be notified during the week of Oct. 26. Applicants must provide an active email address for notifications.


  • 10/5 – True Inflammatory Poems
  • 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 HERE


  • 10/5 TeachingBooks Webinar: Supporting Reading Instruction with TeachingBooks 4pm Register
  • 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


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 3: Advise and Consent by Allen Drury (1959) Oct 6

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* | Historian Phillip Goodrich OCT 7, 2020, 7pm Toss all common beliefs aside that unfair taxation was the sole impetus for the American Revolution. Phillip Goodrich’s Somersett: Or Why and How Benjamin Franklin Orchestrated the American Revolution pieces together the methods and motivations of unlikely leaders who beat the odds against Great Britain by turning the practice of slavery into the call for revolution. The book advances the theory that Benjamin Franklin, using the freeing of a British slave as the catalyst, orchestrated a little-known yet elaborate scheme to spark revolt throughout the colonies and impassion America’s fight for independence from England.

*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

  • Distance Learning Playbook for Parents October 6th & 8th 6:00pm
  • 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


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 (WILL BE LIVE SOON)


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:


On the Bulk Bookstore Facebook page, they are giving away free copies of this fun book The Chocolate Touch. You could be one of six winners of 5 free paperback copies on September 30th.


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways for September 2020.


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways.

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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, September 29
  • 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

Bastille - survivin' (Lyric 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