Dear Parents,   2006/2007

I have written this letter to answer any questions you may have regarding expectations for behavior and work in class and for work assigned in my classroom.  Please read this letter, discuss it with your child, and return the bottom portion to school with your signature. With your encouragement, your child will be a part of many exciting and rewarding experiences involving the culture and language of Portuguese speaking countries during this academic year.


  Required Materials


1. A single subject notebook which must be up to date and be kept until the last day of school.

2. A Portuguese/English – English/Portuguese dictionary for assignments done at home.

3. A folder or binder for vocabulary and criteria charts handouts.

4. A black or blue pen (for all written work) and a red pen for in class self assessments.


  Discipline Plan


Since lifelong success depends in part on self-discipline, I have developed a Classroom Discipline Plan, which affords every student with guidance in making good decisions about their behavior and thus an opportunity to learn in a positive, nurturing class environment. The plan below outlines our classroom rules and consequences for inappropriate behavior. They are:


Classroom Rules:

1. Follow directions the first time given

2.   Raise your hand before talking and listen to your classmates questions and answers

3.   Be prepared to work and bring the necessary materials to class

4.   Respect each other’s space and property, keeping your hands to yourself and using your own material and notes.


To encourage students to follow our class rules, I will enforce these rules strictly, fairly and consistently. However, if a student chooses to break a rule, the following steps will be taken


Be respectful to the teacher and to each other



1st consequence Verbal warning

2nd consequence Second and last verbal warning

3rd consequence   Classroom discipline

4th consequence   Call or note will be sent home

5th consequence   Referral to principal’s office


Homework Policy


I believe homework is a valuable tool in helping students make the most of their experience in school. When learning another language, homework can be especially helpful in reinforcing what has been learned in class and preparing students with the vocabulary necessary for upcoming lessons.


Parents should not be concerned if they are not familiar with the Portuguese language since all assignments done at home are a reinforcement of the material taught during our lessons. Therefore, all students are capable of completing any given assignment at home without any additional help independently of their level of proficiency. However, parents are the key to making homework a positive experience for their children. Please make sure that you convey to your child that homework is part of a student's obligation and will greatly affect their final grade. I ask that you do not allow your child to avoid doing homework, and contact me if you notice a problem.


All students are expected to contribute to class activities and to demonstrate effort in every required assignment. Final grade will take into account all assignments, as well as class participation. Assignments need to be completely finished by class time (including name, date and title of the assignment). No credit will be given to late or incomplete assignments. In the case of absence students will have an additional day to bring missed assignments. Each student is responsible for obtaining the necessary information on the day they return to school, including classroom notes and handouts, homework assignments, upcoming projects, quizzes and tests. Students who were absent when a test or quiz was given are responsible for coming to the teacher to arrange a time to make it up. Failure to do so upon a student's return will result in a zero as the grade for the test or quiz missed.


Assignments will be different for PLA (Portuguese Language Arts) and PSL (Portuguese as a Second Language) students, to challenge each group at their level. In general they should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes each, and will include: oral (pronunciation) and written homework assignments, journal entries, study (for tests and quizzes), reading assignments, book reports, as well as projects that will be required throughout the school year. In addition, students should practice speaking, reading and writing on their own as often as possible.


Projects may require a few weeks to be completed, however, students will be asked to present drafts of their work-in-progress and each one of those drafts will receive a grade that will be included in the overall grade of the finished project. Projects should be started on the day that they are assigned. All work must be typed, including drafts Students should work on their projects daily and only by doing so they will be able to complete and hand their finished project on time and complete. In addition, by doing so, students will be able to clarify possible questions during class while working towards the final copy.




End of the Year Field Trip


Every year, during the months of May or June, a cultural field trip takes place as a culminating activity for the school year. In the past few years those field trips included lunches at local Portuguese and Brazilian restaurants and day visits to a Portuguese community in Newark - New Jersey and a Brazilian community in Danbury - Connecticut. Our day in Newark included visits to a Portuguese bakery, a Portuguese Newspaper, a Portuguese TV station and lunch in a typical Portuguese restaurant. Our day in Danbury included visits to a Brazilian Newspaper, a  "Capoeira" (Brazilian martial arts) demonstration where students participated and tried some steps, a Portuguese Cultural Center and lunch at a typical Brazilian "Churrascaria" (steak house).


This annual field trip is offered to students in 7th. and  8th. Grades, however participation is determined in an individual basis and is conditioned to behavior and academic progress in Portuguese during the whole school year. Students who have received Ds and Fs consistently during the year or that present behavior problems will not be eligible to participate . Details regarding the field trip will be sent home in the months of April or May.


I am also a parent and I want to assure you that my goal is to provide an environment where all children will be challenged and motivated to learn.


Thank you for your support,


Dr. Esther Werneck de Almeida


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I have read and discussed with my child the Classroom Discipline Plan, the Homework Policy and the End of the Year Field Trip information and agreed to support the rules and policies described. 


Name of the student - _____________________________________________   Grade - _____ A(  ) B(  )


Signature of student - _____________________________________________________________________


Name of parent or guardian - ______________________________________________________________


Signature of parent or guardian - ____________________________________ Date  - ______________