ELA (English Language Arts)

    English Department
    Carmen Daniels, Assistant Principal

    The English Department provides eight terms of English to fulfill the New York State Regents’ requirements. In addition to the regular courses, the department offers electives, such as Caribbean Literature and Journalism, to seniors. Advanced Placement and honors English classes are avail­able to students who qualify. Literacy classes are offered to improve the reading and writing skills of students in the ninth and tenth grades. The department also publishes 411, the school newspaper, and an anthology of students’ poems, both of which showcase students’ creativity and talents.

    ELA Regents Examination

    From the time they enter school in the ninth grade, students begin preparation for the English Language Arts Regents Examination, which they take in the eleventh grade. The examination is offered to all eleventh graders at the end of the sixth term of English. The only exception to this rule is given to the Honors students, who are allowed to take the examination at the end of their fifth term in English. Students who have failed the examination are also allowed to take it every time it is offered until they pass. No one can graduate unless he or she passes the English Language Arts Regents Examination.

    Honors and Advanced Placement Classes

    Beginning in the eleventh grade, honors students will participate in the Advanced Placement English Writing class, which terminates in the AP Language and Composition Examination in May. This class will also be a stepping-stone to the more rigorous AP Literature and Composition class and examination for Honors students in the senior year.

    Uniform Final Examination

    In addition to these classes, all students take a Uniform Final Examination in English at the end of each term in their English classes. This examination is aligned to the ELA standards and the ELA Regents Examination from grade nine to eleven and the twelfth grade Regents classes (for students who were unsuccessful at the Regents Examination in Grade 11). Second term eleventh grade and twelfth grade Honors students are provided with Uniform Final Examinations that simulate their appropriate AP examinations.

    Special Projects and Required Assignments

    At each grade level, students are involved in special projects, assignments, and or activities that will enhance their performance in class, on the ELA Examina­tion, in institutions of high learning, or in the workplace. All ninth grade students and their teachers work assiduously to produce portfolios of their writing throughout the year. Tenth grade classes are involved in a “Quality of Life” project, in which they select issues of concern in their communities and find solutions to these problems so that they may create a better qualify of life for themselves and the people in their communities. Students in the Honors Writing class participate in the citywide WISE Qualify of Life Competition, through which they can win money to actually work on the issues they high­lighted. Eleventh graders focus on creating a Writing Folder of at least three edited versions of the four types of writing required for the ELA Regents Examination. Seniors focus on the college essay and also the types of writing that would enhance their performance at the college level.

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