August 21, 2017

Dear STEAM Academy Honors English 10 Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to class! I’m so excited to be embarking on another year of Honors English 10 within the Spring Mills STEAM Academy.

This year we will read closely, write authentically, and think deeply about great works of literature, and we’ll have a little fun doing it. Honors English 10 is a challenging course that effectively prepares students for continued honors or Advanced Placement English courses. My goal is to not only help students develop necessary English Language Arts skills, but to become better, stronger, more compassionate readers, writers, and thinkers—to develop habits of mind and a classroom community that will be meaningful and endure.

To accomplish this, your son or daughter will be consistently reading and writing over the course of our year. This year we will study:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

I expect students to keep up with their assignments and to purposefully set aside time for reading and study. I strongly encourage all students to purchase copies of the texts we’ll be studying for convenience and annotations. The only exception is The House on Mango Street, which we will read and study mostly in class.

Before I address purchasing options, I do want to inform you of some sensitive material in this year’s texts. Please know that all works are on the Berkeley County approved titles list for 10th grade, but some of the more difficult themes and topics include: justice, death, race, rape, and equality.

As far as purchasing these novels, I recommend Four Seasons in Shepherdstown, 2nd and Charles in Hagerstown, Books-a-Million in Martinsburg, or Amazon. Most book stores will have limited copies of each title, so to streamline the process a bit, I will be placing a group order in early September. Cost for all texts is $32. Please submit cash only. Money is due no later Monday, September 11. If you choose to purchase these texts in our group order, please fill out and return the bottom portion of this letter.

As far as other housekeeping is concerned, please stay in touch by visiting our class web site and feel free to reach out any time by email or by phone 304.274.5141. I’d be happy to chat with you any time about your son or daughter’s progress.

Best wishes as you embark on this exciting year with your children.


Karla Hilliard


I wish to purchase STEAM Academy Honors English 10 class texts.

Name / Cash / Date