Placement Information


English/Language Arts Scope and Sequence

All students are required to take four years of of English at the high school.  Although the instructional focus, the assessment criteria, and to some extent the content of the different course offerings at each grade level differ according to the level of proficiency expected of students entering the course, there is no rigid tracking of students into different course levels: all courses at each grade level follow a parallel curriculum.  Thus students who demonstrate a consistent ability to exceed course requirements at one grade level may transition to an Honors section the following year.   Students may also choose to take multiple sections of 12th grade English as electives, as well as Journalism or Speech &Debate.   Additionally, supplemental classes are offered for those students who need or desire more direct support in writing skills outside the regular English class.

Although a standard 9th grade English/Language Arts curriculum is in place at SKHS, there are significant differences between English 9 and Honors English 9.  Both courses align fully with the Common Core of State Standards for English/Language Arts, and follow parallel scope and sequence guides. Between the two courses, the majority of the course content(instructional units, core texts, and common assessments) largely overlaps.  But, while the course content (both the texts studied and the skills assessed) is the same in both courses, the expectation for students in Honors English 9 is considerably more rigorous in terms of readiness for high-school and college-level work.  Students entering Honors 9 are presumed to have already demonstrated some degree of mastery in the core reading and writing skills that are the focus on instruction in English 9, and thus in need of less direct instruction and scaffolding of those skills.   Students are expected to have the skills already in place and be ready to apply them on a consistent basis with minimal review and guidance.  

English 9
Honors English 9
  • General understanding of most grade-level reading assignments (Lexile® rating of 1050L+), with scaffolded support if necessary, including in-class reading.
  • Knowledge of basic elements of literary text (plot, structure, characterization, point of view, etc.).
  • Basic understanding of how to compose a multi-paragraph essay, with direct guidance from the teacher in the use of visual organizers and the writing process.
  • Proficiency in the use of standard grammar and the conventions of Standard Written English.
  • Self-motivation (willingness to read 20-30 pages of advanced literary texts for homework most nights).
  • Consistent, independent comprehension of literary texts (as assessed through reading quizzes administered before class discussion) at and above grade level (Lexile® rating of 1150L+).
  • Ability to reason analytically about assigned content, and to independently articulate analytical thinking orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently produce multi-paragraph essays on both literary and general topics (establish context, elaborate and reflect on significance, integrate textual support fluently).
  • Mastery (or near-mastery) of standard grammar and the conventions of Standard Written English.

8th Grade Placement
Students who are currently enrolled 8th grade at Curtis Corner Middle School are recommended by their teachers and the SKHS English, Social Studies, and Science departments for placement intotheir respective 9th grade courses according to the following criteria:

Students who meet both of the following criteria are recommended for Honors in grade 9:

  • maintain a summative grade of A (93%) or higher in each of the preceding 2 quarters of their current class in the subject (ELA, Social Studies, or Science);
  • score a percentile ranking of 85% or higher on the STAR Reading assessment.
Students who meet one of the two criteria above may be recommended for Honors placement at the discretion of their current subject teacher.

Students who have not been recommended by their 8th grade Language Arts teacher for placement into Honors English 9 may sign up for the course by completing a course waiver form, obtainable from their counselor.

Students who meet the following criteria will be enrolled in the Readers Workshop program in addition to their regular English/Language Arts course:

  • reading at 1-2 grade levels below 8th grade in the Informal Reading Inventory (IRI);
  • identified as a Tier One or Tier Two student;
  • recommendation by Reading Specialist, in consultation with team members.
Students who are reading more than 2 grade levels below 8th grade and are considered Tier Three readers should not be recommended for the Readers Workshop course.  Further discussions as to the most appropriate level of services for these students should take place with appropriate faculty, the reading specialist and the Assistant Superintendent (if needed).
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