• Don Lugo High School           1                                                

      Be Responsible, Be Respectful, and Be Involved

    American Sign Language 2022 – 2023

    Teacher-Student-Parent/Guardian Agreement  


    Margo Cienik -- Room 55 contact information:

    Videophone: (909) 247-1692

    Email: Margaret_cienik@chino.k12.ca.us


    Hello and welcome to American Sign Language (ASL) class. I am excited to begin a great year of learning/sharing ASL and Deaf Culture with all of you.  This class offers a new and exciting way to communicate with the Deaf Community and understanding of Deaf Culture. Not only will you learn to sign ASL, you will also learn about the history of Deafness and community values. This class is primarily taught in signs without voicing. The classroom expectation matrix is attached.


    Don Lugo is a PBIS school. We have a proactive approach and want our scholars to succeed. Schoolwide there are three major expectations which are always to be met.

    1. Be Respectful
    2. Be Responsible
    3. Be Involved


    Please adhere to the above expectations to avoid disciplinary actions. (Please refer to the student registration packets and/or school website to refer to disciplinary actions according to the school’s guidelines.) Minor misbehavior, class disruptions, or failure to turn completed homework will result in a “Remind message or phone call home.”


    American Sign Language Goal for Don Lugo H.S.:


    Our program at Don Lugo provides high standards of comprehensive and interactive course for students interested in learning American Sign Language as a second or third language. Instructor will be using direct instruction and immersion of ASL, incorporate written English and visual learning support, foster engage learners in acquiring and building levels of proficiency in expressive and receptive use of signing in ASL.


    Absent procedure: If you are absent, it is your responsibility to make-up any work that you have missed in Canvas. Assignments will be posted mostly in Canvas and projects will be in both Canvas and Google Classroom. Announcements will be posted in both Canvas and Google Classroom. Please check both sites. You must complete all the missed work and test prior to the end of each progress grade. Failure to do so will automatically be marked zero.


    Please feel free to contact me anytime. It is best to email me or leave a message in my videophone. * If a student needs extra support or help, he/she may schedule a time with me after school, show up during a scheduled ASL class tutor session, or arrange a virtual  meeting.



    If you are tardy, you have to write your name in the notebook. If you are tardy for a third time after two warnings, you will be given detention. You will have 2 weeks to serve the detention. If you continue to be tardy, you will receive detention every time you are tardy.


    Recommended Materials:

    1. Notebook (have a separate notebook for this class, any kind of composition or spiral notebook will do)
    2. School Chrome Computer must be available for classroom activities and assignments.
    3. Assignments will be mainly in Canvas and projects in Google Classroom. (Free App provides access for students to improve their signing skills by using video.) instructure.com.


    Grading policy: 



    Participation, classwork, homework



    Academic honesty: Academic dishonesty is not tolerated and will result in a 0%.  If a student is caught cheating (including using ASL video translate) or plagiarizing on any assignment including quiz/test, the student will receive a zero and will not be able to redo it or retake it. Talking during exams will be subject to one, or all of the following: an automatic zero, a phone call home and/or referral. Academic dishonestly is not tolerated in the classroom.


    Grade Breakdown:


    90 – 100 % =A

    80 –  89 % = B

    70 –  79 % = C

    60 –  69 % = D

    59 – below = F


    Class Work: The point value of the assignments will be different; however, it should be turned in by the due date. Make sure to stay on top of your assignments. It is easy to fall behind.  Late work, points will be deducted. Once the progress grade report is submitted, late work will not be accepted. It will be marked zero.




    2 – 10 points (assigned Monday through Thursday, and occasionally on Friday, and/or as needed, due at the beginning of the period next day.) It will be checked for completion and understanding. Assignments must be completed to support the learning of the language.


    Oral Presentations: 50 points (assigned in every other chapter or unit. Students are given at least 5 days in advance to memorize and/or prepare. Poster boards are sometimes required.


    25 – 50 points Mandatory Community Projects will be given throughout the year. (Including Angel’s Baseball Game, Football/Sports Games and Homecoming Game, trips to Elementary School, and American Sign Language Performances) It is a part of your grade requirement for completion of ASL. *Due to COVID, substitute community activity may replace as stated above.


    Quizzes: 12 – 25 points (Every Friday)


    Tests: 65-150 points (assigned about every two weeks) Once the unit or lesson has been completed, students work together to prepare and review before the test.


    There will never be a pop quiz/test. All quizzes and tests are informed in advance. *Students may retake a quiz/test once to improve their grade for comprehension or expressive skills.  Make-up or retake Test will only be done on Friday after school by appointment in advance. (Students are responsible to schedule the test on Friday.)

    Semester Finals: Will consist of both receptive and expressive skills.

    Extra credit: No extra credit will be given.  

    Video Assignment:


    1. Make sure you are in a room that is fully lighted without the ceiling fan moving or strong light glaring beside or behind you.


    1. Make sure that you are in the center of the video where I can see the top of your head and the bottom of your chest area. It is crucial to see the signing clearly.


    1. Be sure if using your phone that it is set up horizontally not vertically. Using a computer is the best.


    1. Make sure that the background is not busy and free of “visual noise” that will hinder your signing.


    1. Make sure your arms and hands are not cut off in the video.


    1. Remove hats and do not chew gum. (This will hinder your facial expression.)


    1. Always follow directions to get full credit for your assignment.


    1. Do not hesitate to ask questions for clarification or review prior to filming your signing.


     Immersion Policy:

    Voicing in class has always been a sensitive subject for the ASL student and instructor, especially if either is Deaf. Human languages take place through three modes: speaking, signing, and writing. ASL, as such, takes place through the mode of signing.

    ASL, as a visual/manual language, is best improved by using and refining skills using your hands, face, body, eyes, and space. The use of spoken language in the classroom is to be avoided in order to encourage and foster the development of signing skills. Expect to start class each day in Immersion “mode”. The ability to “listen with your eyes” is paramount. Research has shown that immersion is the most effective method for language learning.

    By incorporating visual means in communicating with each other, even in attention-getting, you allow for the classroom to be universally accessible for everyone in the class including your Deaf instructor. Using your voice to communicate with each other, even in getting another person’s attention, immediately shuns your Deaf instructor and any Deaf people. Some students may feel that their peers are not “catching on” and may feel the need to voice in order to help them. This approach simply does not work. Such students will become dependent on other students’ voicing in order to succeed in class and this is anathema to the concept of learning ASL. Voicing in class also takes away from the rich learning experience that I attempt to foster in the classroom environment, for you and for your fellow classmates.

    Those who continue to communicate via voicing during class, may be asked to stay after school or attend Saturday School for detention. Students that are caught voicing during quizzes, exams, or presentations will receive an automatic “zero” for that assignment and disciplinary action will be taken.

    I encourage you to ask questions regarding sign language and/or any aspects of the Deaf Community, or culture. It is my opinion that there is no such thing as a “stupid” or “unimportant” question- as a matter of fact, I believe that for every question asked, there are 9 unasked questions!!

    American Sign Language Classroom Expectations:

    ASL sign language must be use at all times!  During Culture discussion with permission, voice may be used for ASL 1 and 2.


    Be Respectful

    Be Responsible

    Be Involved

    Entrance / Exit

    * acknowledge teacher or peer greeting


    *maintain eye-contact

    *use sign language upon entering the classroom


    *respect deaf culture always


    *put your backpack on the floor and put away your phone.


    *do not leave class when the bell rings without acknowledging your teacher

    *attend class be on time


    *remind your peers to sign in class


    *be a positive role model


    *put your drinks other than your water on the shelf upon arrival


    *get all the information for the homework assignment and class objective goal for the next day

    * be inclusive

    *Review and practice signing with your peers



    * communicate with your teacher about the sounds in the classroom, for example, a bell ringing, or someone knocking, etc.


    *ask for clarification on homework/assignment prior to leaving class.

    Opening Activity

    (Warm-up /Review)

    *be attentive to the task at hand


    *Model non-disruptive behavior by being ready to focus.

    *have your notebook ready to take notes


    *be ready to follow directions

    *copy and model after teacher signing for review


    Lesson Instructions

    * Always listen attentively by keeping eye contact with your teacher


    *be positive



    * stay on task

    *take notes

    *mistakes are the best tool to improve your signing skills. Do try your best.

    *practice and focus on tasks


    *do not hesitate to ask questions for signing clarification

    Practice Work

    *be respectful to classroom culture


    *always use sign language

    *complete your assignment on time

    *ask questions if you are unsure or need clarification.

    Partner/Group Work

    *stay on task, share and work together as a team


    *be actively listening through eye contact and signing


    * be kind and open-minded without judgement

    *take notes

    *help make positive corrections.


    *encourage partner to practice/review

    *manage time and complete class activities

    * always collaborate through signing


    *ask questions and provide feedback


    Overall Response of the Guided Practice

    *maintain eye contact

    *respect yourself and others



    *ask for help when not understanding


    *cooperate and participate

    *be engage



    *be a role model