9th Grade Parent Welcome Letter

Dear Ninth Grade Students and Parents,

Welcome to Cleveland Humanities Magnet. As a ninth grader, you will experience an interdisciplinary, thematic, writing-based approach to learning. In your classes, we will study various world cultures through the disciplines of English, Social Institutions (SI), Art and Religion (AR), and Environmental Science (ES) as they are related by themes and connected by subject matter. The ninth grade year begins in the context of a global perspective; you will explore geography, the diversity of cultural expressions and the effects globalization has on nature, societies, and the individual. You will be taught the skills necessary to comprehend, critically think, and synthesize the learning from these disciplines into a coherent essay at the end of each unit.

You will have three periods of what we call “Core.” In one Core period you will have English (recorded on your transcript as Honors English 9A/B) with one teacher all year. In your second Core period you will take Social Institutions and Art and Religion (combined they equal Honors Geography 9 A/B). In order to take both classes during one period, you will alternate between the classes every few weeks. During your third Core period you will take environmental studies with one teacher all year (recorded on your transcript as Honors Environmental Studies). You will also have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography for interested students who qualify based on GPA, Smarter Balanced test scores, and after school availability. Details will be provided.

Culminating this academic year is the ninth grade Student Leadership Conference, which will focus on global issues and their impact on various world cultures. The conference is an exciting way to bring the many elements of ninth grade together.


  1. Coursework
    1. In exploring critical global issues, we will read novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays and various primary and secondary non-fiction materials.
    2. Our coursework includes interdisciplinary unit exams (IUE), quizzes, objective tests, oral presentations, speeches, class discussions, group work, multi-media productions, art projects, labs, research projects and various writing assignments and essays within each discipline.
    3. Absent/Late Work:
      1. Absent Work Policy: Students are expected to makeup all work missed due to absences, including class notes, within one week of the absent date. You must write “absent” on the work, fill out The Form (provided by your teacher) and place in your teacher’s Absent/Late Work Tray. All of these steps must be completed correctly in order for work to be considered for credit.
      2. Late Work Policy: A late assignment turned in after its due date must be submitted within the unit to receive up to half credit. In order to receive half credit for late assignments your work must be completed. For your SI/AR classes, students must turn the assignment in before they switch to the other side of Core. Students must fill out The Form, staple it to the top of the assignment and place in your teacher’s Absent/Late Work Tray. Remember, receiving some credit is better than receiving no credit at all. After the unit or switching sides, late work will NOT be accepted. All of these steps must be completed correctly in order for work to be considered for credit.
      3. Long Term Assignment Policy: We have a very strict policy about assignment due dates. You are responsible for handing in all assignments on time. Failure to do so will result in assignments not being accepted or being dropped a grade depending on circumstances. Long term assignments or projects for which a due date is given in advance will be penalized according to each teacher’s discretion. If you know in advance that you will be absent, the completed assignment must be turned in before the due date. If you do not know in advance, you must email the assignment on the due date or have someone deliver it to your teachers.
    4. Turnitin.com: Students must create and maintain a turnitin.com account where they will be required to submit most of their assignments. When submitting work, students must ensure they turn in their assignments to the correct class and period. An assignment that is required to be submitted to turnitin.com and has not will be dropped one grade.
  2. Grades
    1. Interdisciplinary Unit Exam (IUE): At the end of each unit you will write a two-hour in-class essay. You will receive the question/questions a week before you write the essay, and we will review for each IUE in class as you are not allowed to bring notes or any other outside materials. We encourage you to take the opportunity to form a study group.
    2. Participation: The Ninth Grade Core teachers require that you develop your voice not only through writing, but oral participation as well. In order to accomplish this, you must demonstrate engagement by attending classes daily, asking questions, making comments, sharing experiences, listening, providing insights, synthesizing and responding respectfully to your peers. Your participation in each of your Core classes will be evaluated at the ten and twenty week grading periods.
    3. Summer Assignment: Summer assignments, which were due on the first day of school, will be utilized in your English class to develop writing skills. Students will also take a reading exam to assess their comprehension of the novel. Both of these grades will be included in the formulation of your final grades at the end of first semester.
    4. Formulation of Final Grades: At the end of each semester (twenty weeks) your final grades are a compilation of the grades you earn in your four Core classes (two final English grades because it is a year-long course, one grade for Social Institutions, one for Art and Religion, and one grade for Environmental Studies), both IUE grades, and participation grades. You will also receive a separate grade for Environmental Studies.Progress reports, however, are graded differently. The English and Environmental Studies teachers will give their own grades for their class periods. You will also receive a Geography grade for the five-week progress report given only by the teacher whose name appears on the progress report, although for the ten and fifteen week progress reports both teachers during that period will confer on your grade.
    5. Schoology: It is each student’s responsibility to keep track of his/her own grades through the creation of an Schoology account. The ninth grade teaching team also encourages parents to create their own Schoology accounts in order to track their child’s academic progress. If parents have questions about their student’s progress in a particular class, please do not contact teachers through Schoology. Teachers must be contacted through their corebaby email addresses. Emails are listed below.
    6. Communication Regarding Grades: Parents will be notified if a student has a D or Fail in Core on the ten-week progress reports. Meetings with parents will be scheduled for students with a D or Fail or any other issues that may arise in the classroom. If you need to contact your son or daughter’s teacher please follow our parent/student/teacher protocol as described below. (see Parent/Student/Teacher Communication) Please use proper email etiquette and keep in mind that the teacher will determine with you if a meeting is needed. Parent meetings are attended by all of your son or daughter‘s ninth grade Core team teachers as well as the counselor and magnet coordinator, if necessary. Any student who fails both semesters of ninth grade will need to repeat ninth grade the following year.
  3. Attendance and Tardiness
    1. We expect excellent attendance in all Core classes. Students’ active involvement in our curriculum is vital to their success. Excessive absences and/or tardiness may impact a student’s grades.
    2. Chronic absences will have a serious impact on your final grades. Tardiness is unacceptable! The Core teachers reserve the right to exclude students from special 9th grade activities (e.g. field trips, luncheons, Student Leadership Conference, etc.) due to poor attendance and/or behavior in ALL classes (not just Core).
    3. We do not support or condone cutting or dismissing other classes to prepare for Core affiliated assignments, projects, or exams.


  1. Approved Materials
    1. Every day you must bring to class a pen, a highlighter, lined paper, three-ring binder, handouts for the unit, appropriate books, and anything else your teachers may require.
    2. Most of your readings will be in the form of handouts, and you will be taking many notes.
    3. To stay organized, you must maintain a structured notebook/binder. Because we consider these supplies to be important tools for success, they will be collected and graded periodically throughout the year.
    4. Each teacher may have a different structure for maintaining your notebook and/or binder that is appropriate for that discipline. You must adhere to those specific guidelines.
  2. Unapproved Materials
    1. Unapproved use of cell phones (including texting), magazines, yearbooks; multi-media players and any other non-essential paraphernalia will be confiscated by your teacher according to school policy.
    2. Finishing assignments from other classes during class time will not be tolerated! In other words, do not do Core homework in other classes and do not do homework from other classes in Core!
    3. Food and drinks (other than water) are not allowed in class.


You are to be critical thinkers: to raise questions, to share insights, and to provide resources. We want you to actively contribute to class discussions to develop your “voice” and to experiment with new learning challenges. In order to do this, we expect you and your peers to take an active role in creating an inclusive and supportive learning community at Cleveland.

  • Cleveland has an exceptional reputation for having courteous, well-behaved, and enthusiastic students who enjoy learning and ask intelligent questions. We expect you to continue this tradition in every class, at luncheons, or on field trips.
  • Our magnet is proud of our diverse student population. We emphasize appreciation of what makes us different as well as what we have in common. Therefore, we do not tolerate any form of harassment, particularly bullying at school or on the Internet. Although this seems to be a growing problem in the nation, we expect Cleveland students to give each other utmost respect.
  • You are responsible to know your assignments at all times.
  • If you know in advance that you will be absent for an Interdisciplinary Unit Exam (IUE), you must take the exam before you leave. If you are unexpectedly absent the day of the IUE, you are responsible for contacting one of the ninth grade coordinators, Mrs. Oh or Ms. Del Pino, to take the exam. An IUE must be made up or it will result in an automatic fail and a lowered semester grade. Make-up IUEs are given after school from 3 to 5 p.m. on ONE scheduled make-up date. There will only be one make-up for each IUE and the student must be responsible for making arrangements to be there. Also, each student has only ONE opportunity to make up an IUE during the school year.
  • Cheating is absolutely unacceptable. Our magnet has a very strict policy against cheating, not only on quizzes and exams, but also copying homework, notebooks, and projects. Any involved parties, both the student who copies and the one who shares their work, will be considered as cheating. Be aware that anything submitted to turnitin.com will immediately show any duplication of work whether it be from your peers, students from previous years, or anywhere on the Internet. There will be immediate consequences as listed in our Magnet Code of Ethics.


Our protocol is that parents discuss issues in the classroom with the teacher first. Going directly to the teacher is a much more effective approach as it gives teachers the opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings that may be taking place between students and teachers and creates more accountability as teachers have had a chance to speak to parents one on one. Teachers generally respond to emails within 48 hours (not including weekends and holidays). If you don’t find satisfaction at this level, then please follow the guidelines below:

If your child is having an issue in a CORE class, please contact the teacher directly, either by email or phone (see below for contact information). If you do not find satisfaction, email/call the grade level coordinator.

9th Grade Coordinators:
Grace Kim-Oh
Marisa Del Pino

If the issue is still not resolved, then email/call the Magnet Coordinator, Jennifer Macon (jmacon@corebaby.org).

Our contact emails are:
Grace Kim Oh – goh@corebaby.org (Social Institutions/Coordinator)
Marisa Del Pino – mdelpino@corebaby.org (English/Coordinator)
Enzo Loconte – vloconte@corebaby.org (Environmental Studies)
Albert Fuentes – afuentes@corebaby.org (English)
Hala Dillsi – hdillsi@corebaby.org (Art & Religion)
Joseph Kim – jkim@corebaby.org (English/Social Institutions)
Jessica Lin- jlin@corebaby.org (Environmental Studies)
Tony Saavedra – tsaavedra@corebaby.org (AP Human Geography)
Lori Howe – lhowe@corebaby.org (Magnet Counselor)

Congratulations on being accepted to our nationally recognized program! We look forward to your contributions to our learning community and anticipate that you will be a disciplined, hard-working student who has integrity and an open mind.