Syllabus/Guidebook & Parent Letter

Syllabus/Guidebook for French


Mrs. Burgess-Room 401


“The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.”--La Rouchefoucauld


Teacher Contact information:


Classroom phone:  857-3766


Conference availability:  8:00am – 8:45am and 3:15pm-3:45pm

Teacher Webpage:

                                     Then click on teacher’s name.

HHS Website:





The main purpose of all foreign language classes is for students to become proficient in the target language in both written and oral forms and to gain skills in the target language in the presentational, interpersonal, and interpretive modes of communication.  Students must participate in the target language in order to learn these skills. 


The secondary purpose of the class is to gain an appreciation of other cultures, societies, and ways of life, in particular those that use the target language. Students should be prepared to experience material and ideas that are new and different and should show respect for the cultures studied in spite of these differences. 







All foreign language courses at Hartsville High School are designed to address the goals of the Darlington County School District Curriculum for Modern Languages.  This curriculum is aligned with the South Carolina Standard for World Language Proficiency, The State Common Core Standards, The International Baccalaureate Learner Profile and Language B Goals, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Performance Guidelines.



Goals of the Darlington County School District Foreign Language Curriculum


At the completion of their study of foreign language, students should be able to:

  1. Communicate at the highest proficiency level possible for the individual learner in oral, aural, and written forms in the interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes,
  2. Show evidence of cultural knowledge by knowing how, when, and why to communicate what to whom,
  3. Connect with other disciplines to acquire information and concepts that will facilitate their continued learning across the curriculum,
  4. Compare language, social behaviors, and cultural views to observe and analyze their own society and communication system and to develop insight into their own language and culture, and
  5. Realize and understand the interdependence of people throughout the world.


Course unit topics by level:


French I.—Who am I?  Who are you? ( 9 weeks each)

Unit 1-All about me

Unit 2-My family and friends

Unit 3-My school life

Unit 4-My after school life


French II.---What do I do?  What do you do? (9 weeks each)

Unit 1-French I. Review

Unit 2-Let’s go!

Unit 3-Around town

Unit 4-What a day!


French III.—What’s my life like?  What’s your life like? (9-12 weeks each)

Unit 1-French I. & II. Review (My Autobiography including My Past)

Unit 2-That’s the Way it Was

Unit 3-Making Plans for the future

Additional optional unit on French History, Civilization, and Literature


French IV.---What do I think? What do you think? (9 weeks each)

Unit 1-What Was and What Will Be

Unit 2-Life Is Never Easy

Unit 3-Our Changing World

Unit 4-Life is a Celebration


French IB.SL Years 1&2---What is the world like? (pacing varies as needed)

See IB course addendum.



Course topics to be covered:


Specific topics to be covered in this class along with all objectives, lexical content (vocabulary), and support structures (grammar/supporting information) for each level course can be found on the HHS webpage.   To find this information:


Go to the HHS webpage. 

Hover over the “Departments” tab.

Click on the “Foreign Language Department” tab.

Click on the “Quick Curriculum Guide for Levels 1 – 4 & IB” tab.



**These are the minimum number of topics, goals, and expectations, and students will surely encounter more than this at each level.




There are specific expectations and guidelines that will guarantee success for students in Mrs. Burgess’ French classes of Hartsville High School.



Expectations to Meet in Order to Earn a Passing Grade:


  • Learn as much about the French culture, people, and language as possible.
  • Accept that every society or cultural group lives differently.
  • Do what is asked of you when asked.
  • PARTICIPATE COOPERATIVELY in ALL class activities.
  • TAKE NOTES in class.



Class Guidelines and Rules:                                             Consequences:      

  • Be respectful and polite.                                             Warning, Parent Contact, Referral
  • Be attentive and focused.                  
  • Be patient and cooperative.                                         Sunset School           
  • Be on time and prepared.                   
  • Be a positive example to others.                                 Cuisine Days, No HW Passes



Materials Needed DAILY:


  • Paper/Pencils
  • Blue or black pens (for assignments to be graded)
  • 7 divider tabs
  • 1 colored pen
  • 1 highlighter for notes
  • French/English dictionary (optional for I. and II.—recommended for III. and IV.)
  • Large 3-ring binder  (for French notes ONLY)
  • Textbook:  Bien Dit! 1/2/3 and/or Bienvenue/A Bord/En Voyage




  • Follow all school rules!!
  • Come to class prepared everyday with the materials listed above. 
  • Wear your ID and red lanyard every day. 
  • Be on time.  The school wide tardy policy is in effect daily.
  • Dress appropriately according to the school dress code.
  • Put away your book bag, get out your materials, and begin studying, reviewing, or working immediately.
  • Keep all of your notes, work, and handouts from year to year.  You will need them for the next level of French. 
  • Your notebook will be graded at the end of the course and will count as a test grade.  This is your reward for keeping a complete notebook.


Leaving Class:


Any time you leave class you must make up the missed time after class, during lunch or after school.  If you are gone ten minutes, you must make up ten minutes. Do all errands and use the restroom between classes.  Please do not ask to leave at all. If you fail to report to serve time owed, you will have a teacher-assigned detention in room 401.



Make-up Work:                        Yes! If you were absent, you missed something!


It is the student’s responsibility to make up all work missed.  You have 5 days to make arrangements for any make-up work.   Any work not made-up within the time frame/schedule arranged will not be accepted and will be marked as a “0”.  To receive make up work, please see Mrs. Burgess during lunch or after school.  Do not ask in class about make up work.  Make up work, specifically tests, are given on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays after school or at other times by special arrangement with the teacher.


Late Assignments: 


Late homework/classwork is not accepted unless it is late due to an absence (see make-up work policy above).  It is the student’s responsibility to bring late work to the teacher.  The teacher will only ask for work when it is due.  After that, the student is responsible for contacting the teacher and turning in the work on their own.  The best time to do this is after school, during lunch, or when the teacher is not busy with instruction, class changes, or other routine class activities. Work for major grades that is more than two days late will NOT be accepted.  Ten (10) points will be deducted for each day work is late, meaning that late work that is two days late can receive no grade higher than an 80. (IBSL year 1 & 2 students refer to IB attachment for additions.)



Extra Help:


Extra help and tutoring are available after school.  Arrangements can be made with the teacher and with advanced level students for tutoring.  See Mrs. Burgess to make arrangements if you need extra help.  I can also suggest private tutors to you.



Teacher Absences:


Inevitably throughout the school year instances occur where the teacher must be absent for medical, personal, or professional reasons.  Please know that any time the teacher is absent, students are expected to treat the substitute as the regular classroom teacher.  All regular classroom rules will be followed.  Students are responsible for completing their work and assignments and turning them in when designated.  All work left for students during the teacher’s absence will be graded.   


Food and Drink:


Just because there is a place for food to be prepared and/or stored in this classroom does not mean that you may have food/drink in class.  If you have a medical issue that requires this, please feel free to have what is necessary for you at any time.  Other than that, THERE WILL BE NO FOOD OR DRINK as per the school policy unless it is a class activity as part of a project.







Grading Policy



Extra credit is not part of the planned curriculum.  Opportunities to earn extra credit may be earned periodically as a reward.


  • Homework will be given and is checked every time given.
  • Homework may be written or may be a simple study/review assignment.
  • Multiple quizzes/daily assignments are given each week. 
  • A chapter/unit assessment is given at the end of each chapter/unit.


  • There will be a minimum number of the following assignments per nine weeks that will count as follows:
    • Major grades = Tests/Performance tasks/Unit assessments (min. 3)---------------40%
    • Daily grades = Homework/classwork/participation (min. 10)---------------------------30%
    • Minor grades = Quizzes/Interim assessments/Oral readings (min. 5)---------------25%
    • Projects (min. 1)-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------5%


  • Total course grade:    


First semester average------------40% (quarters 1 & 2 count 45% each + midterm exam counts 10%)

Second semester average-------40% (quarters 3 & 4 count 50% each)

            Cumulative final exam-------------20%



Your French notebook should be kept throughout the year.  Your notebook will be taken up and graded on the day of your final exam. It will count as a MAJOR GRADE(TEST) during the 4th quarter.  If you have kept all of your notes and work as we go through the year, this should be no problem.  Any missing notes or items will count off on the test grade.  



Quiz/Test Retake Policy


  • Students can only score a 70 on the retake.
  • Students can only retake a quiz/test if they scored a 69 or below. 
  • The retake grade will replace the first grade in the grade book.  If the retake is lower than the original grade, the highest of the two will count.
  • Retaking applies only to quizzes and major tests.
  • Students can retake TWO times per quarter---ONE test and ONE quiz.
  • Retakes must be taken within 5 school days of grade being entered into PowerSchool or the grade being returned to the student in class.
  • Students must come during regular make-up work times to retake a quiz/test.  No retakes will be done in class.
  • This does not apply to missed homework/classwork, assignments graded only on completion, classwork or homework graded for correctness, or projects.
  • Points deducted for turning in an original assignment late will still be deducted from the retake grade. 
  • Teachers can use the same assessment or a different version of the assessment.  Students are not guaranteed that they will receive an identical retake assessment.





Teacher Professional Biography for Students and Parents





Francis Marion College, Bachelor of Arts, French and Secondary Education

Francis Marion University, Masters of Education


Professional Experience:


26th year of teaching

18th year of teaching at Hartsville High School

Tour guide and interpreter on 3 France Tours

Freelance corporate translator (blueprints, machinery instructions, documents)


 Travel Experience:


10 trips to France and other European countries

7 student tours to France


Recent Accolades:


Hartsville High School Teacher of the Year 2003-2004

Darlington County School District Honor Roll Teacher 2003-2004

2003 Hartsville High School Educator of the Year (from Academic Booster Club)

Many “Teacher Feature” nominations

Member of “Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers”


Other responsibilities at Hartsville High School:


French Club Advisor

Modern Language Honor Society Advisor

SAFE-T Teacher Evaluator

New Teacher Mentor

Academic Leadership Team

Foreign Language Department Chairman

Foreign Language Curriculum Writing Team

Professional Development Facilitator

International Baccalaureate Level II. Certified Instructor










Dear Parents/Guardians,


I am thrilled to be able to teach your child this year in French!  This will be my 26th year of teaching and my 18th year at Hartsville High School.  As this year starts I am looking forward to providing another year of challenging coursework for the students in our French classes.


Our district curriculum provides the challenging coursework that I know you expect for your students in order to help them learn as much as possible in their foreign language studies.  This curriculum adheres strictly to the state and national standards for foreign language learning and is geared to meet the college preparatory needs of post-high school language students and the International Baccalaureate World School objectives. 


In order to be successful in this class, students should follow the guidelines set forth in the “Syllabus/Guidebook for French.”  Listed in the guidebook are steps students can take to ensure their success along with a list of needed materials and other policies.  Please read the guidebook carefully and sign the attached form to be returned to me via your student.  Students should then keep the guidebook for their and your reference in the front of their French notebooks.


I also invite you to attend Open House on Tuesday, August 29 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.


Again, I am looking forward to teaching your student and to spending the year with them, working hard, and learning French!








Christy Burgess, BA, MEd.

Hartsville High School – Room 401

French Teacher, International Baccalaureate Programme

Foreign Language Department Chairman


Phone: (843) 857-3766

Teacher Webpage:   

                                    Then click on teacher’s name.

HHS Website:












Internet/Translator Program Use Agreement for Foreign Language Students



Students: I agree not to use the internet for translation of foreign language documents at school or at home.  I understand that doing so is considered cheating and will result in a grade of zero.  I understand that using translation programs instead of doing my own work is detrimental to my language learning and that it robs me of the opportunity to learn.  Furthermore, I understand that translator programs interpret words literally which is not true language transcription or translation.  Because these programs are seldom accurate in providing correct translations, I will do my own translations to ensure their correctness in content and context.



Parents: I understand that if my student uses computer translation programs, he/she is cheating and will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.  I have read the reasons stated above and understand why it is important for my student to do his/her own work.


Classroom Agreement



Students:  I have read and understand the items covered in this guidebook and the above internet use policy.

I understand that I need to ask my teacher for clarification of the guidebook at any time if I do not understand what is expected of me.  I will keep the guidebook in my notebook so that I (and my parents/guardians) will have access to it when needed.  I intend to comply with all rules of conduct and the procedures listed in the guidebook.


Parents:  I have read and understand the items covered in the guidebook and the above internet use policy.  If I have questions, I understand that I am free to contact the teacher at any time for clarification.  I know that my student will keep the guidebook in his/her notebook so that I and he/she can refer to it at any time.  I will support my student in complying with the rules and procedures listed in the guidebook.



Student Signature _________________________________Date______________



Parent/Guardian Signature__________________________ Date______________



Return this signed form to Mrs. Burgess in room 401 by Friday, August 25. 


Returning this signed form by the deadline counts as a homework grade!