The Mount Vernon High School English Language Arts Department is committed to helping students prepare for college and career success. Our approach is to offer 100% of our professional experience, dedication, and energy to each student.
We focus on having students learn the skills necessary to understand and respond to complex literary works representative of the heritage of our diverse student body as well as authentic informational texts. Teaching techniques will include Balancing Informational & Literary Texts to offer students access to the world –science, social studies, the arts and literature. We work with Content area teachers outside of the ELA classroom to emphasize literacy experiences in their planning and instruction. Additionally, those students entering 9th grade who have demonstrated a need for additional skill development will have a Strategic Reading course in addition to English.
In order to prepare students for the complexity of college- and career-level texts, students read the central, grade-appropriate text. Teachers are patient, create more time and space in the curriculum for this close and careful reading, and provide appropriate and necessary scaffolding supports. Writing needs emphasizes use of evidence to inform or make an argument rather than the personal narrative. By focusing strategically on comprehension of pivotal and commonly found words (such as “discourse,” “generation,”“theory,” and “principled”) and less on esoteric literary terms (such as“onomatopoeia” or “homonym”), teachers constantly build students’ ability to access more complex texts across the content areas.
More information about what parents and guardians can do to be active partners with their children’s teachers may be found at http://engageny.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Shifts-for-Students-and-Parents.pdf