The English Department

Find the Summer Reading Program 2020 here. 

To graduate and earn a Regents Diploma: Students MUST earn four English units of credit and a grade of 65 percent or better on the Common Core English Exam. To earn a Regents Diploma With Advanced Designation: Students must earn a Regents Exam grade of at least 65 percent on the Common Core English Exam.

ENGLISH 9R

1 Unit of Credit
To graduate and earn a Regents Diploma: Students MUST earn four (4) English units of credit and a grade of 65 percent or better on the Common Core English Exam.
To earn a Regents Diploma With Advanced Designation: Students must earn a Regents Exam grade of at least 65 percent on the Common Core English Exam.

ENGLISH 9R

1 Unit of Credit
This course focuses on preparing students to meet Common Core standards for listening, reading, writing for information, literary response, and for critical analysis and evaluation. This course is designed for students on grade level; the course puts less emphasis on basic skills and more emphasis on interpretive skills. The literature units include novel, mythology, poetry, short story, research, non-fiction and drama. Writing projects include units in narrative/descriptive, persuasive, and expository writing. Skill work in the mechanics of grammar and usage is integrated, as needed, into the writing and reading units. Time management and note-taking skills also receive attention and vocabulary and spelling units are utilized throughout the year. There are also opportunities in listening skills and oral expression. The “Elements of Writing” series may be the writing text used for this course.

ENGLISH 9AD

1 Unit of Credit
This course is designed for students who can learn at a more accelerated pace. The literature units include mythology, essay, novel, drama, short story, research, non-fiction and poetry. The thrust is towards a deeper analysis and discussion of the literature and the elements of literature. Additional
literary works are covered (especially in the area of novels). Expository, persuasive and narrative writing are covered. The projects in writing are expanded on this level. Skill work in the mechanics of grammar and usage is integrated, as needed, into the writing and reading units. Time management and note-taking skills also receive attention. Spelling and vocabulary units are covered throughout the year. There are more opportunities on this level for oral expression. The level of difficulty in the AD course is designed to offer a challenge to capable students. The quantity of material studied as well as the level of expectation of assignments is one to two grade levels above the standard R course. Students in the AD course are expected to participate more and willingly meet this challenge for which a weighted percentage is added to the earned grade. The Elements of Writing series may be the writing text used for this course.
Students requesting English 9AD must have maintained a 90 or better average in Advanced English and must receive a teacher recommendation from the current English teacher of the middle school in order to qualify for this course.

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION SERVICES (GRADE 9, 10, 11)

No Credit
The non-credit course is designed for students who have been identified as needing additional help in reading and writing skills in preparation for the high school English curriculum and the New York State Common Core examination in 11th  grade. Student will be selected based upon multiple measures including, class averages, academic performance and/or scores of the 8th grade New York State Assessment examination and other factors. The focus will be on skill work in reading and writing as well as practice on examination test-taking skills. This class meets daily or every other day depending on the level and/or need.

ENGLISH 10R

1 Unit of Credit
This course focuses on preparing students to meet Common Core standards for listening, reading, writing for information, literary response, and for critical analysis and evaluation. Units of study include short story, novel, drama, research, non-fiction and poetry genres. The critical analysis of printed and filmed texts is emphasized. Writing includes units in narrative, persuasive, argumentative and expository writing emphasized at this level is enhanced by creative writing opportunities. Skill work in the mechanics of grammar and usage is integrated, as needed, into the writing and reading units. Time management and note-taking skills also receive attention. Vocabulary and spelling units are utilized throughout the year.
“The Elements of Writing” series may be the writing text used for this course.

ENGLISH 10AD

1 Unit of Credit
The difference of the 10AD level is the depth of work, not simply the quantity of work. The course provides an enriched opportunity to develop self-awareness and self-expression beyond the literal and informational level. Opportunities include extended tasks such as research projects and performed responses in dramatic, poetic and public speaking forms. Vocabulary and spelling units are utilized throughout the year. Students are evaluated on their ability to work cooperatively on group activities designed into most units of study, as well as on their initiative and individual
performance. The level of difficulty in the AD course is designed to offer a = challenge to capable students. The quantity of material studied as well as the level of expectation of assignments is one to two grade levels above the standard R course. Students in the AD course are expected to
participate more and willingly meet this challenge for which a weighted percentage is added to the earned grade. The Elements of Writing series may be the writing text used for this course. Students will take the Common Core Regents for graduation credit.
Students requesting this course must have maintained an English 9AD class average of 88 percent or better and must receive a teacher recommendation from the current English teacher in order to qualify for this course.

ENGLISH 11R

1 Unit of Credit
This course focuses on preparing students to meet Common Core standards for listening, reading, writing for information, understanding, literary response, and for critical analysis and evaluation. The course focuses on the refinement of communication skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Analytic skills are stressed in the study of literature and non-fiction. The literary focus is on a variety of literature: essays, short stories, novels, drama and poetry. Teachers design activities to foster word recognition, awareness and knowledge in preparation for the PSAT, ACT, SAT and Regents exams. Vocabulary and spelling units are utilized throughout the year. Skill work in the
mechanics of grammar and usage is integrated, as needed, into the writing and reading units. Time management and note-taking skills also receive attention. Writing deals with literature essays, argumentative essays, and formal compositions, each are important components of the Regents
exam. Opportunities include extended tasks such as research projects and performed responses in dramatic, poetic and public speaking forms.
“The Elements of Writing” series may be the writing text used for this course.

ENGLISH 11AD

1 Unit of Credit
This course focuses on preparing students to meet Common Core standards for listening, reading, writing for information, understanding, literary response, and for critical analysis and evaluation. This course encompasses all of the communicative and analytic skills of English 11R and allows for the enrichment of students in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Again, deeper analysis of literature is fostered, and there is more opportunity for creative writing. Writing also stresses literature essays and formal composition. Vocabulary and spelling units are utilized throughout the year. This allows for more preparation for the College English 101/102 and AP
programs and further enrichment in the language. The level of difficulty in the AD course is designed to offer a challenge to capable students. The quantity of material studied as well as the level of expectation of assignments is one to two grade levels above the standard R course. Students in the AD course are expected to participate more and willingly meet the challenge for which a
weighted percentage is added to the earned grade. Opportunities include extended tasks such as research projects and performed responses in dramatic, poetic and public speaking forms. The Elements of Writing series may be the writing text used for this course.
Students requesting this course must have maintained an English 10AD class average of 88 or better, an 85 or better on the English Regents and must receive a teacher recommendation from the current English teacher in order to qualify for this course.

ENGLISH 12R

1 Unit of Credit
This course deals with Shakespearean drama, modern short stories, non-fiction, novels and poetry. There is an emphasis on narrative, descriptive, persuasive and expository writing. Texts may include: Adventures in Modern Literature, Hamlet, The Bell Jar, Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, A Streetcar Named Desire, etc. Listening and speaking skills are incorporated in the course and an extended research paper is a course requirement. Skill work in the mechanics of grammar and usage is integrated, as needed, into the writing and reading units. Vocabulary and spelling units are utilized throughout the year The Elements of Writing series may be the writing text used for this
course.

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION SERVICES (GRADE 12)

No Credit
Students in this non-credit course will be refining English skills necessary to pass the New York State Common Core examination for their graduation requirement. The course is designed for students who have not yet passed the New York State Common Core examination in 11th  grade. Students will
learn skills to improve reading, writing and listening and will work with preparation test materials to practice all task requirements of the state examination. This class meets every other day. Students may exit this program after demonstrating proficiency by passing the Common Core examination.

ELECTIVES

ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LITERATURE and COMPOSITION

1 Unit of Credit
This course is a college-level course based on deep reading and analysis of selected works and expository writing assignments based on those works. Discussion is a major importance, where speaking and listening skills are stressed Student discussion is fostered so that the critical thinking skills so necessary for the Advanced Placement Examination will be reinforced. Vocabulary and spelling units are utilized throughout the year. Practice in both the short answer and essay format of the Advanced Placement Examination will be stressed. All students in AP will be expected to sit for the AP Examination in May. Valley Central grade and credit will be awarded in June; however, students may be eligible for college credit depending on their AP Examination score in July subject to the policy of their selected college or university. Students requesting this course must have achieved an 85 or better on the English Regents Exam and also maintained an English 11AD class average of 88 or better and must receive a teacher recommendation from the current English teacher in order to qualify for this course.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE and COMPOSITION

1 Unit of Credit
This course is a college level course based on helping students to become skilled writers of prose written in a variety of contexts while examining rhetoric. Writings and readings will make students aware of a writer’s purpose, audience and genre. This course will help students to prepare to write effectively and confidently across disciplines. Students will write both formally and informally to gain authority and to learn to take risks in writing. Practice in both the short answer and essay format of the Advanced Placement Examination will be stressed. All students in AP will be expected
to sit the AP Examination in May. Valley Central grade and credit will be awarded in June; however, students may be eligible for college credit depending on their AP Examination score in July subject to the policy of their selected college or university.
Students requesting this course must have achieved an 85 or better on an English Regents Exam and also maintained an English 10AD class average of 88 or better and must receive a teacher recommendation from the current English teacher in order to qualify for this course.

COLLEGE ENGLISH 101/102

1 Unit Credit/6 College Credits
This course emphasizes student practice in expository writing and library skills. Reading and class discussion center on the formal and informal essay. The second half of the course emphasizes continued student practice in expository writing based on fiction, drama and poetry. Research papers required. Students requesting this course must have achieved an 85 or better on the English Regents Exam and also maintained an English 11AP class average of 88 or better and must receive a teacher recommendation from the current English teacher in order to qualify for this course. Those students will receive 3 college credits for each course upon successful completion (possible 6 credits). Fee and textbook purchase required.

JOURNALISM

.5 Unit of Credit
Journalism introduces students to the many styles and principles of responsible journalism. Students learn several types of news writing including: leads, editorials, features, sports, writing and column writing. Students are required to produce, edit and publish the school newspaper. Reading
quality publications and developing skills in proofreading and editing are stressed. The course provides hands-on experience with the world of communications and allows students to work under deadline conditions. Students will explore the world of broadcast journalism in addition to
the coverage of advertising, obituaries, weather and press releases.

PUBLIC SPEAKING

.5 Unit of Credit
This course is offered to those students wishing to better participate in public speaking. It will provide the necessary training to enable the student to speak in public with positive self-adequacy. Emphasis will be on sound research, speech preparation, organization, as well as delivery, voice and
diction. The course requires active participation and provides excellent preparation for successful adult-world communication.

CREATIVE WRITING

.5  Unit of Credit
This course is designed to motivate students who would like to write fearlessly and with confidence. Students will try their hands at poetry, short stories, playwriting and other genres to give each student a taste of the world of writing. Students who take this class will set and meet a variety of
writer’s deadlines. Students will understand the process of seeing their work expand and take shape through the study of free writing, clustering, outlining and revising. This class will enhance the students’ ability to express and understand their writer’s voice in a clear and descriptive manner.
They will revise and expand on the materials developed for the purpose of publication and performance. Students will explore chosen genres from their portfolios. Students will learn to edit, proof, and critically evaluate their work in order to meet requirements for manual and electronic submission for publication.

ELEMENTS OF FILMMAKING

.5 Unit of Credit
In this survey course students learn the basics of screenwriting, production planning, photographic composition, camera techniques, lighting design, and digital editing. Most learning is hands-on: after each concept is introduced, student gain proficiency with it through a lab exercise (completed
with a group during class) and then apply it to a creative project that is filmed outside of school and then edited on the school’s computers. Creative projects may include short films, movie trailers, commercials, public service announcements, music videos, and news stories.

SHAKESPEARE

.5 Unit of Credit
The Shakespeare elective is designed to provide extensive reading and analysis of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. The course is created to stimulate the student’s enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare. Explore the plays of William Shakespeare that you don’t get to read in other classes by acting out scenes and watching films. Like to act? Develop your skills! Don’t like to act? No worries! Create a visual project or translate a scene into modern English! There is something for everyone in this class. As long as you are interested in the plays of William Shakespeare, this is the class for you!

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN LITERATURE

.5 Unit of Credit
This is a course for students who want to read compelling literature and discuss how it relates to real life. Students will examine contemporary novels, short stories and poetry that express voices from various cultures and social backgrounds.

RACE, IDENTITY, AND JUSTICE: SEEKING COMMON GROUND

.5 Unit of Credit
Over the past several years topics related to race and identity—including Ferguson, the NFL, Charlottesville, and immigration—have been in the news. This interdisciplinary course will examine the history and literary expression of race and identity in America as a means towards understanding why so many of us are confused, frustrated, and divided by this issue. If you have
questions about race and identity but no place to ask them without fear of feeling ignorant, this is the course for you. If racism or prejudice affect you and you want to better understand how they work, this is the course for you.
Topics to be discussed include the psychology of prejudice, the origins and history of racial classification, race in popular culture and sports, and the present-day impact of racial ideology on law enforcement and other institutions—as well as connections to discrimination with regard to
religion, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, and ability. Students will learn strategies for thoughtfully discussing controversial topics and for safely responding when witnessing or experiencing bias outside of the classroom.
This course focuses on preparing students to meet Common Core standards for listening, reading, writing for information, literary response, and for critical analysis and evaluation. This course is designed for students on grade level; the course puts less emphasis on basic skills and more emphasis on interpretive skills. The literature units include novel, mythology, poetry, short story, research, non-fiction and drama. Writing projects include units in narrative/descriptive, persuasive, and expository writing. Skill work in the mechanics of grammar and usage is integrated, as needed, into the writing and reading units. Time management and note-taking skills also receive attention and vocabulary and spelling units are utilized throughout the year. There are also opportunities in listening skills and oral expression. The Elements of Writing series may be the writing text used for this course.