Secondary English Weekly #20

VOLUME THREE, ISSUE TWENTY /February 22-26, 2021

Big picture

Sunday, February 21st

Monday, February 22nd

Tuesday, February 23rd

  • OCTELA Conference 2021On-Demand Videos Available 10am Conference Site Members/Registered Attendees)
  • Library Journal/School Library Journal Equity in Action: Fostering an Antiracist Library Culture-First Session in Series 2-4PM Register Today!

  • Gramercy Author Event Janet Skeslien Charles The Paris Library 7pm Get Tickets
  • StudySync Webinar New Updates to Customize Your Digital Assignments 4-4:30 PM — Register
Wednesday, February 24th
  • OCTELA Conference 2021 On-Demand Videos Available 10am Conference Site (Members/Registered Attendees)
  • McGraw Hill Literacy Series How Literacy Instruction Supports Civics Instruction So Our Democracy Can Thrive with Dr. James Banks 4:30-5:30 PM Register HERE
  • NCTE and the Library of Congress Teaching Poetry: A Conversation with Rita Dove 4PM Sign up here
  • StudySync Webinar: StudySync Basic Training - Understanding the Reading Routine 4-4:30 PM — Register
  • Reading Like a Historian Institute 1: Introduction to Reading Like a Historian Curriculum and Beyond the Bubble Assessments-First Session in Series 6-8PM Register Here
Thursday, February 25th
  • OCTELA Conference 2021 On-Demand Videos Available 10am Conference Site (Members/Registered Attendees)
  • STUDYSYNC ASK-AN-EXPERT CCS-ONLY SESSION: 3:30-4:00 PM Zoom Link Passcode: 118203 (NOTE: New Link for This Week Only) WEEKLY OCCURRENCE
  • StudySync Webinar: Refresh Your Routines: Backwards Planning for Close Reading 4-4:30 PM — Register

Saturday, February 27th

OCTELA's virtual conference CONTINUES THIS WEEK!


OCTELA 2021 will continue this week with on-demand sessions (Monday-Thursday) and live sessions (Saturday). The live sessions will be highlighted with Keynotes by Dr. Jocelyn A. Chadwick and Dr. Peggy O'Brien. If you have registered, please go to for session information. Registration has closed.

Big picture


At the OCTELA 2021 Virtual Conference on Saturday, February 20th, the following CCS teachers were acknowledged with awards.

NCTE Fund Teachers for the Dream Affiliate Award-Gwen Bess, Independence High School

  • The NCTE Fund Teachers for the Dream Affiliate Award encourages the recruitment and mentoring of English language arts teachers of color and allows OCTELA/OCTELA members to use up to $750 for applicable projects of their choosing.

Bonnie Chambers Grant-Angela Akers, Sullivant Elementary School

  • This award recognizes the extraordinary challenges teachers face in the academic year 2021-22 with a $2,000.00 grant to purchase books for K-6 students. It is designed to help teachers who strongly promote the use of quality literature in their classrooms and the grant money will be used to select and purchase books (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.

Kudos to these CCS Teachers who are serving as leaders or presenters for OCTELA 2021.

  • Allison Volz, Highland Elementary-President-Elect
  • Nicole Brickman, Wedgewood Middle-Exhibitor Liaison
  • Pattie Niese, Dominion Middle-Buckeye Children's and Teen Book Award/Middle School Liaison
  • Courtney Johnson, Fort Hayes-Presenter for Equit-Y-A: Using Young Adult Literature to Make Your Classroom More Equitable (Wednesday, 2-24-21 On-Demand Session)
Big picture

Making Meaning of May 4: The Kent State Shootings in US History Summer Workshop-Application Due March 1st

Kent State University is pleased to announce they will offer the National Endowment for the Humanities-supported Landmarks Workshop "Making Meaning of May 4: The Kent State Shootings in US History" twice during the Summer of 2021: June 20–25, 2021, and July 18–23, 2021 through remote delivery. Graduate credit and contact hour options will be available. They are accepting applications from educators of students in the middle school through high school levels. They also welcome those who applied by the March 1 deadline for 2020 to remain in the applicant pool for 2021. 2020 applicants do not need to submit a new application for 2021.

“Making Meaning of May 4” explores the history of the shooting of student demonstrators at Kent State on May 4, 1970. What Kent State calls “May Fourth” is recognized for changing public opinion about the Vietnam War; setting precedent in the US Supreme Court; changing National Guard armament policy; helping to lower the voting age to 18; impacting culture and the arts; and reminding us all to practice and protect the First Amendment. You’ll work with the best scholar-experts to develop a lesson plan for your students—all disciplines are welcome. Workshop faculty include witnesses to the shootings, surviving casualties of the shootings, K–12 experts, and experts on movements of the 1960s. You’ll also learn how to access extensive archival information to use with students.

  • Remote delivery (100% online)
  • For middle and high school educators
  • Offered twice: June 20–25, 2021 & July 18–23, 2021
  • $1,300 stipend paid to participants
  • Grad credit & contact hour options available
  • Applicants who met the March 1, 2020, deadline will be kept in the applicant pool
  • New applicants should submit applications by March 1, 2021

Learn more here: Apply here: All applicants will be notified of their selection status on Friday, March 26, 2021.

2021 Ohioana Festival Authors Announced

The Ohioana Book Festival will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year. The 2021 festival will be held virtually from April 23 through 25. You can check out the list of authors who plan to participate in this Ohioana Library Newsletter.



This is a professional development series designed for K–12 leaders and ELA educators. Here are the upcoming sessions you may want to attend.

  • FEBRUARY 24th How Literacy Instruction Supports Civics Instruction So Our Democracy Can Thrive with Dr. James Banks 4:30 PM–5:30 PM A moderated discussion with Dr. Banks about leveraging Civics and Social Studies content and critical thinking strategies during literacy instruction. Dr. Banks will talk about how this approach helps students become better readers, writers, and politically literate members of their communities who know, care and act to influence the world around them. This session will illustrate the importance of cross-curricular connections and building knowledge through historical context.
  • MARCH 3rd Creating Culturally Responsive Curriculum with Dr. Michelle Martin 4:30 PM–5:30 PM Dr. Martin will discuss what a culturally responsive classroom is, and the next steps you can take to create an environment that embraces a diversity of thoughts, persons, and experiences. She will provide guidance on building diversity within literacy curriculum.
Register HERE for either or both sessions. Find more information HERE. Certificates of Attendance will be provided.


The Ohio Department of Education is offering all content from the Ohio Literacy Academy 2021 to all Ohio educators. Visit the Ohio Literacy Academy 2021 page to learn more about the content offerings, access videos, see the viewing guides, and take note of further content to be added in March and May. This Vimeo site: Ohio Literacy Academy 2021 on-demand videos has over 35 sessions that you can view. Districts, schools, and early childhood education programs are encouraged to use these resources as part of a comprehensive professional learning plan. Here are the sessions that were included in the 6-12 and multi-age bands:

International Literacy Association Digital Event

Culturally Relevant and Responsive: Literacy Instruction in 2021 and Beyond-Tuesday, March 9 | 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

This is a three-hour event, with a keynote from groundbreaking scholar Gloria Ladson-Billings, designed to guide literacy educators and leaders through the work of creating an inclusive school environment—one that respects and reflects all learners.

Topics include:

  • How educators can identify the effects their own backgrounds and implicit biases have on teaching and learning
  • How to question pedagogy and policies that negatively impact learner outcomes
  • Proactive steps literacy and school leaders can take to dismantle oppressive systems

Registration: $99

Big picture



During the month of February, you can host an African American Read-In (AARI) virtual event. Include your event in the 2021 Report Card by completing this Host Report Card submission form after your event by March 15, 2021.

Ways to Get Involved:


A Quick Search of the StudySync Library (filtered for African American Literature) will bring up 108 texts. This African American Literature in StudySync Google Sheet will show you each of those texts with information about author, year published, text type, and if it is included in a StudySync Unit. Think about how you can celebrate Black History Month through text in your classroom.

Conversation with Poet Rita Dove

Join NCTE and the Library of Congress for “Teaching Poetry: A Conversation with Rita Dove” on Wednesday, February 24 at 4 pm. The event will feature a conversation with former US Poet Laureate Rita Dove and NCTE member Melissa Alter Smith. Dove will discuss her own approach to writing, share and discuss specific poems, and dedicate ample time for Q&A.

-Rita Dove won the Pulitzer Prize for her third book of poetry, Thomas and Beulah, in 1987 and was US Poet Laureate 1993–95. She received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and the National Medal of Arts from President Obama – the only poet ever to receive both. Her many honors include a 2017 NAACP Image Award (for Collected Poems: 1974–2004), the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, and the Academy of American Poets’ Wallace Stevens Award. She is the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. Her eleventh collection of poetry, Playlist for the Apocalypse, is forthcoming from W. W. Norton in the summer of 2021.

-Melissa Alter Smith is the creator of the #TeachLivingPoets hashtag and Smith is also the co-author of Teach Living Poets along with Lindsay Illich. This text opens up the flourishing world of contemporary poetry to secondary teachers, giving advice on discovering new poets and reading contemporary poetry, as well as sharing sample lessons, writing prompts, and ways to become an engaged member of a professional learning community.

This event is open to the public, NCTE membership not required. Sign up today!

Black History Lessons from TeachRock

-You can check out this TEACHROCK BLACK HISTORY COLLECTION for individual lessons the thighlight the intersections of music and black experience in America.

-TeachRock is thrilled to announce the arrival of unit plans and the inaugural unit plan is Civic Environmentalism. Intended for the Middle and High School levels, the unit explores specific details and events related to the origins of the environmental movement in the United States up to the current global climate crisis. With an emphasis on how collective action can address numerous issues, the unit highlights how Black Americans in communities around the nation are frequently more at risk and have experienced greater negative impact from the effects of climate change.

Ohio Humanities: Celebrating Black History

Virtual Events

Recommended Books about Black Ohio History or Written by Black Ohio Authors

Columbus Metropolitan Library Resources for Black History Month

CML honors Black History Month every year by highlighting materials from their collection. Let’s keep talking about race to help us move forward in battling systemic racism, as a community and as a nation. Here are some suggested readings.

Equity in action: Fostering an antiracist library culture

Hear how library leaders are taking actions and using tools to make their libraries more inclusive in our online Equity in Action: Fostering an Antiracist Library Culture course starting February 23. In this three-week, interactive workshop with an exciting guest speaker lineup, you’ll learn how to create an internal culture founded on principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. You’ll complete assignments to build your own equity-based initiative in an interactive online classroom environment with personal coaching from an expert in the field.

The speaker program runs on Tuesdays, February 23, March 2, and March 9, 2:00-4:00 pm ET (recordings available) with an ongoing workshop over three weeks.

View Full Program; Register Today!

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

What are the secondary english curriculum resources?

Here is the CCS Adopted, Supplemental, and Intervention Resources List that contains all of the resources available to secondary English teachers.

  • The Tier I Instructional Resources are StudySync (English 6-12) and the Bedford Texts/Launchpad (Honors and AP English).
  • The Tier II Intervention Resource is Achieve3000
  • The Supplemental Resources (in general) are TeachingBooks and DBQ.

You can see more about StudySync, Bedford, TeachingBooks, and DBQ below in this same section of the newsletter. This information will remain here all year for your convenience.

Visit the ELA 6-12 Webpage for all Secondary English Curriculum/Resources. You will find your COURSE FOLDERS on the Curriculum/Instructional Resources Quick Links for your Grade Level. The COURSE FOLDERS have everything you need for your courses including Curriculum Maps, Standard docs, digital novels, adopted resource trainings/tutorials, Course Intros, etc.

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

Content Priorities-What Matters Most in English Under the Constraints of Remote/Pandemic Teaching and Learning

We all know that remote teaching during a global pandemic inherently leads to a slower teaching and learning pace. The director of Secondary Curriculum asked me to put together some slides for how to adapt to the slower pace by showing what the three main priorities would be for teaching English in our new normal. The priorities are not much different than what they would be in a face-to-face situation, but they are narrowed and more focused.

Priority I: Essential Practice

  • significant instructional time with ELA disciplines: reading, writing, discussion

  • strategies/scaffolds for comprehension and composition that transfer across texts/contexts

Priority 2: Standard Alignment

  • questioning/activities/lessons/assessments that apply standard knowledge and skills to ELA disciplines: reading, writing, discussion

  • heavier focus on targeted standards from OST
  • awareness of PreAP/AP standards (Honors & AP)

Priority 3: Adopted Resource

  • use of StudySync (English 6-12) for integrated, on-grade-level, scaffolded lessons that inherently include Priorities 1 and 2

  • use of Bedford texts/Launchpad (Honors & AP) for foundational, skill, and theme/topic lessons that that inherently include Priorities 1 and 2

-In general, the first priority focuses on the essential practices for your classroom time. The second priority lists the standards that you should focus on the most for questions, activities, lessons, and assessments using the grade-level, complex texts from your essential practice in priority one. It may be that those priority standards become your narrowed focus for the rest of the year. The third priority shows you how the adopted resources inherently meet priorities one and two. It should be noted that in StudySync, you teach all of the standards listed in priority two in the first four CORE ELA units for your grade level. It may be that you try to do just those four units instead of six this school year due to our slower pace caused by remote learning.

-Below are the slides with the priorities detailed including which standards are the most important for preparing a student to be college and career ready and to do well on the OST. You will find resource links from the CCS ELA 6-12 Webpage and our adopted resources for meeting the priorities. You will find research behind each of the priorities and why they are the most important for a narrowed focus. You will want to read through each carefully as they each contain several items of information.


Content Priorities ELA 6-8

Content Priorities English 9-12

Content Priorities Honors 9-10/AP 11-12

-You can also find the Content Priority Slides on the ELA 6-12 Webpage in the "CCS ELA GUIDING DOCUMENTS" section of the Curriculum/Instructional Resources 6-8 and the Curriculum/Instructional Resources 9-12 Quick Link pages.


-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 were for first semester and 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 linking StudySync to Google Classroom.

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

  • DEMO:
  • UN: studysync2021
  • PW: MHEela21


Help Center

Finding the Help Center in StudySync (video)

-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.

Tutorials, Trainings, and Webinars

Ask-an-Expert Sessions

Remote Teaching Documents

Resources/ Links from StudySync Training Presenters

Teacher Resources from StudySync:

Administration Resources from StudySync:

Here are the finalized/updated support emails/numbers for McGraw Hill.

Teacher Support McGraw Hill

Administrator Support McGraw Hill

Student/Parent Support McGraw Hill

studysync usage

StudySync should be used in the same manner as any adopted "textbook." It is the place where the CORE ELA Units for Grades 6-12 are housed (print-student consumable; digital-StudySync online). It is where students access grade-level, complex texts that they will read, write about, and have discussions around. It is the resource that offers scaffolding at point of use for students to access complex texts. It is the place where standards are mastered using reading, writing, and skill lessons. It is the place where you have a up-to-date information on how your students are mastering standards because the StudySync grade book has a Standards view that allows you to see every assignment a student has done aligned to a standard and offers ideas for remediation (StudySync Gradebook & Data Analysis). It is NOT a literacy intervention tool like Achieve3000 that has programmatic goals for students. It is important to make this distinction because teachers need to take ownership of using StudySync as their Tier 1 Instructional resource. The bulk of your curriculum should come from StudySync. Teachers are still free to add and take away from the units, just as you might have a textbook in the past. However, it is not ok to just use StudySync for testing and blasts. If you have been doing that, please make the change to using StudySync's CORE ELA Units. The first read, skill, close read routine found there is exactly what our students need to master standards using complex text. It is also important to note that StudySync is not a supplemental product, like TeachingBooks or DBQ Online. Those are available for your use but should not be the place you go to for the bulk of your curriculum.

BEDFORD/LAUNCHPAD access and support


To get to Launchpad through Clever, click the Launchpad icon and click on the name of class/textbook. Student texts were sent to the buildings. All students have a hardback text, Honors students should also have a workbook. If you experienced problems with Launchpad since the change to second semester, those should be fixed now. Reach out to Tim Wangler if you encounter any other issues.



Trainings and Tutorials
Bedford Overviews, Slideshows, Trainings, and Tutorials

AP Professional Development Online Workshops

Learn More about these online workshops. Register Here.

Updated AP Course Pacing Guides (Due to Pandemic)

TeachingBooks Access and Support


You AND your students access TeachingBooks via the Clever icon or Click on the TeachingBooks icon.

UPCOMING PD (20-Minute Webinars)


-TeachingBooks is the tool that houses the lists of books we have in the warehouse and in the Secondary English Curriculum Office. Use this TeachingBooks Tutorial to learn how to access the CCS book lists.

- TeachingBooks also is a place to get additional novel and author resources. These Overview videos/trainings from TeachingBooks can help you understand the resources: Introduction video I Slide Presentation and Training Script.

-October 16th PD Session for CCS: Virtual and Blending Learning Recording

-February 3rd PD Session for CCS: Booklists, Virtual Ideas, and More on TeachingBooks

DBQ Literature Mini-Qs: Supplemental Resource access and support

DBQ has given us FREE access to the Literature Mini-Qs this school year. You access them via via the Clever icon or Click on the The DBQ Project icon. Each school also has a hard-copy binder of the lessons. Making copies of these for subs would be a great way to have standard-aligned, high-quality lessons since subs will not/may not have access to StudySync.

--Access Live and Self-Paced PD for DBQ Here.

  • Open Self-Paced Courses: asynchronous course with a run time around 5 hours that aims to familiarize teachers with The DBQ Project Method.
  • Open Virtual Workshops: live workshops with a DBQ Project Professional Development Lead. 2 hours long, these workshops are built to help teachers with DBQ Project material and DBQ Online with a specific focus on remote and hybrid-learning needs.

--Here is a Smore for DBQ Online Educator Support.

--Here is a Smore for DBQ Online Student Support

--Check out the newest addition to the DBQ Platform, Unit Trailers, with this sample for

How Does The Great Gatsby Reflect America in the Twenties?

Big picture
Big picture


The next course meeting day is TUESDAY, March 9th. If you have ever wanted to talk to other English teachers in the district about teaching ideas for the course(s) you instruct, now is your chance to join a Zoom session to

  • share how they are making the most of our adopted resources (e. g. StudySync) to maximize student learning,
  • show teaching ideas that have worked well this year,
  • ask other colleagues how they are handling something you want to try, etc.

There is no set agenda for this meetings, so bring your ideas to share. The district will plan to have some Course Meetings every second, Tuesday. The remaining dates are 3/9, 4/13, 5/11. We may not be able to have every course, every month due to the available number of hosting Zoom rooms, but we will offer as many as we can. You will be able to find the ones available for each date in this newsletter the week of the meetings.


Andy Chow with Ohio Public Radio/TV would like to start a speaking/outreach program where he and his colleague talk to high school students about the career possibilities in journalism and broadcasting. They would visit your classes (virtually) to talk about the careers and answer any questions. If you are interested in this, please reach out to Andy at

NCTE SEEKS JOURNAL EDITOR for English Leadership Quarterly

NCTE’s Conference on English Leadership (CEL) is seeking the next editor of English Leadership Quarterly. Finalists will be interviewed via videoconference in spring 2021. The applicant appointed by the CEL Executive Committee will effect a transition, preparing for their first issue in August 2022. The appointment is for four years, renewable for three years. Learn more about the application process here.


-Check out the current offerings HERE.


View the FREE Webinars here.

-Up next is Student-Centered Coaching from a Distance: Coaching for Rigor and Engagement

on Monday, February 22, 2021 - 3:30pm


Here is the line-up for the upcoming author events at Gramercy Books on Main Street in Bexley.


Institute 1: Introduction to Reading Like a Historian Curriculum and Beyond the Bubble Assessments February 24, March 10, and March 24, 2021; 6-8pm ET

Institute 2: Designing and Adapting Reading Like a Historian Curriculum March 3, March 17, and March 31, 2021; 6-8pm ET



Join SLJ for Middle Grade Magic 2021 to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at some of the most anticipated new titles for kids and tweens, from modern coming-of-age tales to eye-popping graphic novels to submersive fantasy. You'll also hear from librarians, who will share how they’ve incorporated programs and activities focused exclusively on this age group. Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out the virtual exhibit hall, chat directly with authors, download educational resources, and enter to win prizes and giveaways.

Middle Grade Magic is still under development so check back for keynote and speaker announcements, additional sessions, exhibit hall and sponsor details, live guest chats and more! Event Hours: 9:00AM ET - 5:00PM ET


Here is the rest of the supurb line-up for this season.

Registration will open soon for the rest of these author talks at the Carnegie Author Series site.

  • Lisa Wingate (Before We Were Yours), August 29, 2pm
  • 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 next school year and have your students attend his author talk.
  • Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half) December 5, 2pm


The Ohio Teacher of the Year program annually identifies exceptional teachers and celebrates their effective, inspiring work both inside and outside of the classroom. The Department currently is accepting nominations for this prestigious honor. Submit nominations by April 9.

Through a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, the Ohio Department of Education and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Chicago invite Ohio English language arts, English as a second language and world language teachers to apply to the Teaching English in Taiwan Program. The program seeks new, experienced, and recently retired teachers who hold current Ohio licensure. Educators selected to work in Taiwan will teach English to elementary or middle school students for one academic year. Teaching contracts are from 10 to 11 months, depending on the placement.

Teaching English in Taiwan Program applications due by April 23

THE EAST ASIAN STUDIES CENTER AT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY is pleased to offer free opportunities for K-12 teachers in Summer 2021. These seminars fill quickly, so register early.

JULY 12-23, 2021: NCTA “The Journey of East Asia: Adventures Through Stories, Games, and Maps”

JUNE 7-18, 2021: Global Teacher Seminar: “Global Social Justice, Activism, and Protests”


AMLE will host an Institute for Middle Level Leadership July 11-14 at Renaissance Orlando at Sea World in Florida. In addition to providing unparalleled training for middle school leaders and teams, the Institute will also be an opportunity for educators to reflect and grow from this past year’s challenges and look to the future. Registration is open! Space will be limited due to social distancing, to save your spot get your name on the list today. Reserve your Spot.

In addition to providing world-class faculty who will provide personalized coaching on the most pressing topics in middle school education, this Institute will be a unique opportunity for attendees to receive in-depth training on AMLE’s newly updated foundational text, The Successful Middle School: This We Believe.


HERE is the contest to win $500 in Books.

HERE is the grant opportunity to win $1,000 in Books

HERE is the contest to win 5 copies of Their Eyes Were Watching God (exp. March 1st)

Save $25 at Bulk BookStore with code: BOOKLOVE ($400 minimum order, expires March 1st)


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways for February 2021.


HERE are the highlighted contests and giveaways.

Big picture
Big picture


Students in 9th–12th grade who love writing stories, crafting new worlds, and building never-before-seen characters, should sign up for Thurber House's Young Writers' Studio! Young Writers' Studio will be held online on Zoom until it's safe to meet in person. They meet every other week 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 way to enjoy writing and meet others!

Click Here to Learn More; Click Here to Register

Winter/Spring 2021 Schedule (6:30-8:30pm on Select Tuesdays)

  • Tuesday, March 2
  • Tuesday, March 16
  • Tuesday, March 30
  • Tuesday, April 13
  • Tuesday, April 27

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


The Winter Writing Wizards Classes for Grades 6, 7, and 8, will meet via Zoom on Saturdays: February 27 and March 6, 13, 20 Learn More; Register for Writing Wizards

You can sign up for one or both sets of classes.

  • Poems for Life 10:00 – 11:30 am ET The world is full of weird events...murder hornets?! You’ll learn to look at real-world events like a poet, and have fun reinventing them through your writing and making your voice heard.
  • Ensembles Assemble! 12:00 – 1:30 pm ET What if we make a whole ensemble of vampires, robots, and more, each created by a person in the class, all in the same shared story? Writing a character is fun—but writing a universe together is magical.


For $15 students aged 9-14 can join a 50-minute class where they will discuss and sing along with Hamilton. They'll discuss how Hamilton came to Broadway, play some trivia, and learn and talk about topics they initiate. Classes are available through March 27th, but they are filling up fast. Check out all of the classes and register HERE.


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.

POL Teacher's Guide I POL Virtual Competition Specifics


Here are two writing contest from NCTE.

Achievement Awards in Writing (for 11th grade students)

This school-based writing program encourages high school students in their writing and publicly recognizes some of the best student writers in the nation. NEW Deadline March 26

Promising Young Writers (for 8th grade students)

This school-based writing program stimulates and recognizes student’s writing talents and emphasizes the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students. NEW Deadline March 26


The Application for the 2021 Princeton Summer Journalism Program is now open!
The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) is a free journalism and college preparatory program for high-achieving current juniors from low-income backgrounds who are interested in journalism. They are currently planning to run the program virtually for the summer of 2021. Over seven weeks, students will attend virtual workshops to learn reporting skills from professional journalists. They will also attend virtual lectures on liberal arts topics led by Princeton University professors. Participants hold a press conference, produce a short documentary, report on a professional sporting event, attend a virtual theatrical production, and interview subjects for their feature stories, which will be published in the Princeton Summer Journal. Review the 2020 Program Schedule for a sample of what to expect. After the program, students work with a volunteer college adviser, a professional journalist or program alum, to complete their college applications.

Program Flyer: PSJ 2021
Program dates: mid-June through early August 2021
Cost: None. There is no cost to students to participate in this program.
Eligibility: To apply, students must be:

  • Current high school juniors (Class of 2022)
  • living in the United States permanently
  • with an unweighted GPA of 3.5/4.0 (or equivalent)
  • who have an interest in journalism (no experience required)
  • and meet one of the financial eligibility requirements below:
    • The custodial parent(s)/guardian(s)’ combined income (including child support received) must not exceed $60,000 annually
    • The student must be eligible for Free/Reduced-Priced Lunch.
    • The student is eligible for a SAT or ACT fee waiver.

Students facing extenuating circumstances should explain their situation on the application.
Applying: The online application is available on this website and due no later than Monday, February 22, 2021. Students must submit an unofficial transcript to be considered. You may read about the full application process and find answers to FAQs online.


Humanities Moments

Through the National Humanities Center’s Humanities Moments project, users submit short videos and essays recalling how an encounter with the humanities, whether through a book, film, document, performance, or something else, profoundly affected their lives.

Big picture
Big picture

Song of the Week

Weathers - c'est la vie (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