c/o 2026


        book cover

        Please Read Before First Day of School

        You have a few options to complete the summer read!

        ● Purchase your own copy
        ● Read from the virtual link (Hyperlink or QR code below)
        Virtual Book Link


        Summer Math Work

      c/o 2025

      • Cass Technical High School Summer Reading Assignment

        Rising Sophomores, Class of 2025

        Attention Rising Sophomores! The 10th grade teachers of the CT English Department have created a brief summer assignment for you to complete in an effort to best support your critical reading, writing, and thinking skills before we return to school. Please read the assignment below as well as the example we provided. All Technicians who will be in the 10th grade for the 2022-2023 school year are required to complete this assignment which will be submitted, read, and graded by your English teacher upon your return to school.

        STEP ONE: Select and Read Your Article

        Visit longreads.com ( https://longreads.com ) a website which showcases thought-provoking and well written non-fiction articles from a variety of accredited news sources. Additionally, recommended sources you can use: New York Times, Washington Post, Propublica.org, and Time.com. Select ONE article to read and use for your written response. Your article must be published after 2015, and cannot be the same article as our example, entitled “The American Prison System’s War on Reading.”

        STEP TWO: Create a SOAPSTONE Chart

        As a non-fiction reader, it is important not only to pay attention to what the author is writing, but also to recognize who they are writing to, and for what reason. Review the SOAPSTONE chart below and create one of your own based on the text you selected. Ensure that you are completing both the claim and the evidence column on your chart. Use short quotes from the text as evidence.



        What’s your argument?


        Where in the text is your proof?

        S- Speaker. The voice that tells the story. Is it the author? A narrator? A character?


        O- Occasion. The time and the place of the piece; the context that prompted the writing.


        A- Audience. The group of readers to whom this piece is directed.


        P- Purpose. The reason behind the text.


        S- Subject. The main idea of the text.


        TONE: The attitude of the author towards his/her subject.



        STEP THREE: Write a Thesis Statement

        Thesis statements allow your reader to know your stance and direction in writing. Identify the topic and claim of the piece you read, provide 2-3 pieces of evidence to complete a thesis statement. This year you will be introduced to the term rhetoric, the art of writing and speaking persuasively.  As you read your article, consider the author’s rhetorical choices:


        • What types of words are they using?
          • Is this diction (word choice) positive, negative, or neutral?
        • Are they creating an emotion in their audience?
          • Are they doing this through imagery? Their tone? Including people’s stories?
        • Are they using data or statistics to support their claim? Are these numbers convincing?
        • Are they interviewing experts in the field to support their claim? Is this convincing?


        In your thesis statement, include the author’s name, subject (from SOAPSTONE), audience (from SOAPSTONE), purpose (from SOAPSTONE) and 2-3 rhetorical choices they utilized to achieve their purpose. Manipulate the following formula to work for you:


        In (author’s last name) article about (subject), (he/she/they) (verb) (purpose) through utilizing (insert 2-3 rhetorical choices here).


        STEP FOUR: Review our Examples

        The Cass Tech English teacher team has completed this assignment using an article we found particularly interesting. Please review our work below, which follows the instructions of what we are asking you to complete, so that you feel better prepared to approach this task. Each example is highlighted in yellow.


        ARTICLE: “The American Prison System’s War on Reading”






        S- Speaker

        ●       Alex Skopic

        ●       “The official narrative is that donated books could contain “contraband which poses a threat to the security, good order, or discipline of the facility”—the language used in Michigan—and should be banned for everyone’s safety. This is a flimsy justification that begins to fall apart under even the lightest scrutiny” (Skopic).

        ●       “In either case, providing books and other reading material is an important and under-practiced form of mutual aid for those who have been locked away—and equally, a way of landing a blow against profiteers and exploiters, who so richly deserve one” (Skopic).

        O- Occasion

        ●       April 2021, Iowa Department of Corrections issued a ban on donating books to prisoners

        ●       Prison systems across the United States

        (including Iowa, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, and Michigan) book restrictions

        ●       American carceral system


        ●       “This April, the Iowa Department of Corrections issued a ban on charities, family members, and other outside parties donating books to prisoners” (Skopic).

        ●       “Across the United States, the agencies responsible for mass imprisonment are trying to severely limit incarcerated people’s access to the written word” (Skopic).

        A- Audience

        ●       American prison population in which books may be not only their access to the outside world but beneficial to their mental health and self-esteem.

        ●       Americans who fail to see how book bans that are traditionally being reported in school systems and libraries are also affecting the prison population

        ●       Lawmakers, prison administration, and approved vendors who contribute to these restrictions that results in rampant price-gouging and profiteering.


        ●       “Other studies have revealed a wide range of mental health benefits, with books providing improved self-esteem, communication skills, and a sense of purpose in life” (Skopic).

        ●       “This omission is part of a shameful pattern in American society, where many people simply don’t think about the incarcerated on a day-to-day basis, let alone sympathize with their worsening conditions” (Skopic).

        ●       “With free books banned, prisoners are forced to rely on the small list of “approved vendors” chosen for them by the prison administration. These retailers directly benefit when states introduce restrictions” (Skopic).

        P- Purpose

        ●       To draw attention to censorship and the restrictions on reading in prison facilities, illustrate the history of restricting information, and the profit and power obtained by this reading censorship

        ●       To amplify the voices of those who are incarcerated and unable to generate the necessary

        ●       “Even in states with no outright ban on book donations, there are still “content-specific” bans on particular titles and subjects. These exist in virtually every American prison and have become more pervasive with each passing year. Like so many things in the carceral system, the pattern of restrictions is flagrantly racist” (Skopic).

        ●       “Restricting the right to read, in this way, is a tactic intimately bound up with the history of American racism and white supremacy” (Skopic).

        S- Subject

        ●       Human rights for American prison inmates

        ●       Availability and profit-based restrictions on reading in American prisons

        ●       Racial inequalities, censorship and book bans on African American works that primarily affect Black inmates reading materials.


        ●       “Officials identify a “radical” book or periodical, perceive it as a threat to the status quo, and move swiftly to get rid of it, trampling prisoners’ human rights in the process” (Skopic).

        ●       “Not only do American prisons have little interest in education, healing, and growth, but they will actively prevent them the moment there is a dollar to be made or an ounce of power to be secured” (Skopic).

        ●       “For instance, many prisons have blanket bans on “urban” novels, a genre revolving around crime and intrigue in African-American communities. These are treated as contraband and can’t be obtained through approved sources. Meanwhile, equally violent novels about white criminals, such as The Godfather or the Hannibal Lecter series, are allowed with no restrictions” (Skopic)


        ●       Outraged

        ●       Informative

        ●       Hopeful


        ●       “This is what profiteering companies like Global Tel Link are trying to take away, all for the sake of lining their own pockets. Not content with locking up the body, they want to slam shut the doors of the mind as well” (Skopic).

        ●       “In the last ten years, budgets for literacy and educational resources have seen dramatic cuts, reducing funding to almost nothing, and incarcerated people have been deprived as a result. In Illinois, for instance, the Department of Corrections spent just $276 on books across the entire state in 2017, down from an already meager $605 the previous year” (Skopic).

        ●       “In another light, though, there may be hope to be found here” (Skopic).


        THESIS STATEMENT: In Alex Skopic’s article, which discusses how agencies responsible for mass imprisonment are trying to severely limit incarcerated people’s access to the written word, he argues through utilizing facts, credible sources, and an empathetic tone that corporate profit, racism, and censorship are at the root of these restrictions.

      c/o 2024

      •  Cass Technical High School Summer Reading Assignment

        Rising Juniors, Class of 2024


        Read all of the instructions below. Open all links, and pay attention to the due date listed at the bottom of the page. Ensure you are doing your best work, as always!

        Step One: Review the history behind “This I Believe” essays here

        Step Two: Search and read through the This I Believe website at (https://thisibelieve.org/). We suggest searching by theme (link here). Find two essays that speak to you and your experiences, or merely select two essays that sound interesting to you!

        Step Three: Read each of your essays and focus on how the author’s voice and rhetorical choices enhance their core belief argument.  Consider the following moves the author makes as you read:

        • What patterns do they create with their diction (word choice)?
          • How do these choices create meaning for you as the reader?
        • What patterns do they create with their syntax (sentence structure and punctuation)
          • How do these choices create meaning for you as the reader?
        • What sensory details do they utilize?
          • How do these choices create meaning for you as the reader?
        • How do the transitions function within the essay? Is this a successful format?

        Step Four: Write a 4-7 sentence response to each essay. Your response should include the title of the essay you read, the author’s full name, the reason you selected it, and answers to some of the questions above.

        Step Five: Write your own “This I Believe Essay”. Craft your response in 500-600 words, type it in Times New Roman 12 point font, double space, and give it a title. In the Fall, your English teacher will read these responses to get to know you as a student and a writer. You will also be workshopping these ideas in class to help lead you to writing clear and concise college application essays. 

        Your individual “This I Believe Essay” plus your two personalized responses are due the first day of school to your English teacher. Come with your work typed, printed, and prepared in order to make your best first impression. 

        We look forward to meeting you and learning what makes you unique!

      c/o 2023

      • CT Rising Seniors: Class of 2023 Summer Novel

        The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

        By Dashka Slater

        57 bus book cover

        Dashka Slater's The 57 Bus, a riveting nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, and punishment, tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California.

        One teenager in a skirt.
        One teenager with a lighter.
        One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

        If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one.

        Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.


        Courtesy of Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/57-Bus-Story-Teenagers-Changed/dp/0374303231

      Summer Math

      • Summer Math for 10th, 11th, & 12th

        Summer math