Secondary English Weekly #5

VOLUME FOUR, ISSUE FIVE /September 20-24, 2021

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The Ohio Department of Education is now accepting applications for participants to serve on range-finding committees for English language arts (ELA). Ohio’s educators, content specialists, and other stakeholders play a vital role in creating valid and reliable assessments by serving on these committees.

Range-finding Committees for English Language Arts

Range-finding committees are necessary whenever a test contains “open-ended” questions which for ELA are essays. Using sample student responses, these committees establish the range of acceptable responses, from no credit to partial credit, to complete credit. Range-finding committees make recommendations to the Department to ensure all written-response test questions are scored accurately, fairly, and consistently. These ELA range-finding committees will convene virtually for a limited series of meetings. They are not ongoing committees. Meetings will be held in January-February 2022 only but will span several days. After you apply to participate on one of the committees, you will be able to indicate which dates you are available to serve. The dates for each of the secondary grade-level meetings are listed below.

  • Grade 6, Jan. 24 - 27
  • Grade 7, Part 1, Jan. 18 - 21
  • Grade 7, Part 2, Feb. 14 - 16
  • Grade 8, Feb. 7 - 11
  • High School (ELA II), Part 1, Jan. 24 - 28
  • High School (ELA II), Part 2, Jan. 31 - Feb. 4
  • High School (ELA II), Part 3, Feb. 17 - 18

Please note the following:

  • All eligible meeting participants will have the cost of substitute teachers directly reimbursed to school districts. Participants will receive reimbursement guidelines at the meeting.
  • These meetings require participants’ full attention and engagement as if it was an in-person meeting. The materials discussed will be secure. Therefore, please be sure you have a secure location in which to work where no one else will see or hear the meeting or the meeting materials and you will be uninterrupted.
  • Participants will receive certificates from The Ohio Department of Education, Office of Assessment, that can be used for LPDC credit approximately 4-6 weeks after the meetings are completed.

Here is the APPLICATION. If you have any questions please email the Office of Assessment at


Holly St. Myer from the New Albany Community Foundation has extended an invitation for Columbus City School students to participate in the New Albany Student Lecture Series 2021-22 both as avid spectators and through advanced submission of thoughtful questions. If you would like students from your school to participate in any of the following lectures, contact Holly at Here are the upcoming lectures:

  • October 5: Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Bestselling Author (Social Justice)
  • February 16: Abby Wambach, World Cup Champ and Bestselling Author (Health & Wellbeing)
  • March 10: H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor, & Mary Louise Kelly, Co-host of NPR's "All Things Considered" (National Security)
  • April 6: Robert Reich, Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, & Karl Rove, Former Deputy Chief of Staff (Civil Discourse and Debate)

This October 5th event is open to the public--Register Here. All other events are for students only. Contact Holly to attend or participate.

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Monday, September 20

Tuesday, September 21

  • StudySync Webinar: Diagnostics and Beginning of the Year Assessments 4-4:30PM Register
  • Thurber House: Young Writers' Studio (Grades 9-12) 6:30–8:30 pm Register

Wednesday, September 22

  • StudySync Webinar: How Administrators Can Best Utilize StudySync 2-2:30PM Register
  • StudySync Webinar: Basic Training: The Reading Routine-Reading & Rigor in StudySync 6-6:30PM Register

Friday, September 24

  • StudySync Webinar: Engagement Party: Ways to Keep Students Interacting Online and Off Register 2-2:30PM
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Curriculum Maps, Course Folders, and Resource Lists

-Visit these Curriculum/Instructional Resources Quick Links on the ELA 6-12 Webpage for all Secondary English Curriculum.

At these links, you will find your COURSE FOLDERS that have everything you need for your courses including Curriculum Maps, Course Introduction Pages, Standard docs, digital novels, adopted resource trainings/tutorials, etc. To access many curricular and district, you must be logged into Google using your CCS credentials and not a personal account. Curricular documents are also linked on these Google docs:

-Here are the Resource Lists for Secondary English.

  1. The Tier I Instructional Resources are StudySync (English 6-12) and the Bedford Texts/Launchpad (Honors and AP English).
  2. The Tier II Intervention Resource is Achieve3000. The contact person for this resource is Sonja Dill.
  3. The Supplemental Resource is TeachingBooks.
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HERE is a folder with guides and videos to help with the assessment. There is a new FAQ document in the folder that answers the questions that are being asked most often. The window is open through October 14th. For ELA, the tests inside Mastery Connect for the BOY have passages/questions that have been pulled from StudySync Benchmark Assessments. The test is document based and the students fill in a bubble sheet which populates beside the test. The test will measure some standards from the previous year (66%) and some from this year (33%).

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Curriculum Resources: Access, PD, Tutorials, & Trainings

StudySync (Tier 1 Adopted Resource English 6-12)


Bedford/Launchpad (Tier 1 Adopted Resource Honors and AP)


TeachingBooks (Supplemental Resource)


Secondary English Curriculum Videos

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outings, classes, contests, grants, and additional pd



If you are interested in mentoring a university student this school year (student teacher, observation student, OSU FEEP student, field placements, etc.) and have been employed by CCS for at least three school years, consider completing the online application using this link: Your username and password are your old Lotus Notes username and password (same as the ones you use for iLEAD). If you do not remember them, please contact the HELP Desk at 8425. CEU credits for mentoring university students range from .5 CEUs to 7.0 CEUs depending on the type and length of placement. Contact Karmen McCaslin in Professional Learning & Licensure with any questions.


The Ohio Department of Education Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies’ new English Language Arts consultant, Dr. Teresa Castellaneta, is hosting an open forum virtual conversation. Participants can share instructional ideas, discuss professional learning interests and begin cultivating a professional learning community. Questions can be sent to

Thursday, Sept. 30, 3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Teams Meeting Link


Check out the line-up for the remainder of this season.

  • Wil Haygood (Tigerland), October 7, 7pm; Remember this is the book about East High School. You could plan to read it at the beginning of the school year and have your students attend his author talk.
  • Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half) December 5, 2pm


Thursday, October 7, 2021, 11:00 a.m.–3:45 p.m.

Learn about:

  • What research tells us about the adolescent brain and how you can use it to inform your literacy instruction.
  • Unique, cognitively-driven educational needs of this grade span.
  • Insights and strategies that will help your ELA students this year.



In celebration of the release of Wil Haygood’s book, Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World, Gramercy Books is partnering with the Drexel Theatre for an evening of conversation and film on Thursday, October 21st at 7pm. that explores Black filmmaking in Hollywood. In this groundbreaking book, the author of The Butler and Showdown examines 100 years of Black movies—using the struggles and triumphs of the artists, and the films themselves, as a prism to explore Black culture and the civil rights movement in America. Haygood will introduce the series in conversation with Drexel Theatre Director Jeremy Henthorn, entertain a brief Q&A following that evening’s screening of Foxy Brown starring Pam Grier, and sign books in the Drexel lobby. The cost to attend is $10, which includes that evening's film screening, Wil’s talk, a Q&A, and a book signing. Get Tickets!


Join Library Journal and School Library Journal on November 10 for the fifth annual LibraryCon Live! They're excited to present a day-long celebration of fandom lit, with panels devoted to horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and graphic novels. Plus, you can network online with other fans and explore their virtual exhibit hall.


NCTE 2021 will be a fully virtual event this year. From November 18–21, 2021, join your fellow language and literacy educators online for energizing community conversation, inspiring presentations from keynote speakers, and access to timely content to guide our practice and help us serve our students in these precarious times.

As an #NCTE21 attendee, you can look forward to:

  • 25 live general and keynote sessions, 200 live and prerecorded/scheduled sessions, and 300 on-demand sessions
  • Engaging opportunities for connecting with your peers, with authors, and with exhibitors via the online Convention platform
  • Access to archived #NCTE21 sessions for 90 days after the event



Recognizing the extraordinary challenges teachers face, the Bonnie Chambers Grant Committee will award a one-time $2,000.00 grant 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 for the 2021 Bonnie Chambers Grants are available and due by December 31, 2021. Visit the Bonnie Chambers Grant page for more information:


The LifeChanger of the Year Award seeks to honor K-12 educators, teachers, administrators or school staff members who make a positive difference in students’ lives. Submit nominations by Dec. 31.


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250-Word microfiction challenge

The 3rd Annual nycmidnight 250-word Microfiction Challenge is a competition that challenges writers around the world to create very short stories no longer than 250 words based on genre, action, and word assignments in 24 hours. In the 1st Round (October 15-16, 2021), writers are placed randomly in groups and are assigned a genre, action, and word assignment. Writers have 24 hours to craft an original 250-word story in their assigned genre, with the assigned action taking place, and incorporating the assigned word. The judges choose a top 10 in each group to advance to the 2nd Round (December 17-18, 2021) where writers receive new assignments and again have 24 hours to craft original stories. Judges select the top 5 writers in each group from the 2nd Round to advance to the Final Round of the competition taking place February 4-5, 2022 where writers will receive their final assignment of the competition. Feedback from the judges is provided for every submission and there are thousands in cash and prizes for the winners. Sound like fun? It's easy to register. First, download and read the Official Rules & Participation Agreement. Once you've read through everything, you are ready to register by clicking the button below. The entry fee is USD$32*. Register Now.

-*Get $5 off the entry fee just for tweeting! Click here to make a post to Facebook or Twitter and receive a $5 promotional code.


Poetry Out Loud (POL) encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps high school 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 Ohio Arts Council and Wild Goose Creative. 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.




Every other week, local teens gather to write, create, and explore ways to get their stories on paper. Whether it's a passion, or just a hobby, students in grades 9-12 are invited to join Thurber House for an opportunity to spend time with others who also like to write. With Columbus College of Art and Design professor Robert Loss, students will be challenged to take a different spin each week through exploratory exercises designed to inspire out-of-the box thinking. A portion of each session is set aside for young writers who would like to bring in their own writing to be reviewed and discussed by their peers in a creative and nurturing environment. Students who prefer not to bring in work take part by learning how to talk about writing in a constructive way while helping fellow writers improve their pieces. Sessions take place on select Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm. Each session is $15 and can be paid in advance by registering online. They also have a limited number of scholarships available for students who would like to attend. REGISTER


  • Tuesday, September 21 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, October 5 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, October 19 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, November 2 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, November 16 from 6:30–8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, November 30 from 6:30–8:30 pm

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The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up - Official Promo

Carla Mae Phillips

English 6-12 Curriculum Coordinator

Southland Center, Suite 125

Previous Newsletters available on the CCS ELA 6-12 Webpage.