• ENGLISH

    ENGLISH I
    5 Credits
    Grade 9
    This comprehensive course incorporates reading, writing, listening, study skills, vocabulary and grammar study, and the uses of technology. Literature study is genre based and includes: the novel, short story, plays, poetry, and nonfiction.  Mastery of both reading and writing will be emphasized. Students will develop portfolios of their writing that will include short baseline pieces, polished longer writing and creative assignments, in addition to book reports, a formal research paper, and independent readings.

    *Academic course level (College Prep, Essentials, Adaptive) will be based on teacher recommendation

    Prerequisite: None

    ENGLISH I HONORS
    5 Credits
    Grade 9
    This course is designed to prepare students who seek to further develop their writing, reading, and critical thinking skills to compete successfully in the rigorous Honors and Advanced Placement program. This course will include readings from a wide spectrum of sources with an eye toward expanding a student’s interests and abilities.  Numerous projects and writing assignments complete the requirements. Students who enjoy reading and reacting to literature in both spoken and written modes and who are motivated and disciplined to meet the rigors of the course curriculum should consider this course.

    Prerequisite: Sending district recommendation and a passing score in reading and writing on the Passaic Valley designated placement test.   

    ENGLISH II
    5 Credits
    Grade 10
    This course includes continued development and integration of literature with a focus on British writers and traditions. The emphasis is on the integration of higher order thinking and learning skills such as analysis and synthesis.  Writing as a process is emphasized, and students are encouraged to read and respond through numerous modes of expression. Aside from the text, all students read outside novels/plays and complete an in-depth research project. Creative writing and vocabulary development is encouraged through the use of reading and writing models. PARCC practice is threaded throughout the year.

    *Academic course level (College Prep, Essentials, Adaptive) will be based on teacher recommendation

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English I at the appropriate academic level

    ENGLISH II HONORS
    5 Credits
    Grade 10
    The English II Honors program is designed for the above average student who has a desire to study literature and can initiate independent projects. The course stresses skill development as well as high level writing assignments based upon British traditions and other literature studied in and out of class. Students will experience an in-depth study of all literary genres, which will prepare them to continue in the Honors English program. Students will meet all requirements for English II and will learn strategies for success to pass the PARCC. Additionally, students will read and write about novels/plays outside of the text, write a research paper that defends a specific thesis, and write baseline and longer polished pieces in response to literature.

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English I with a final average of no less than a B+ (87-89), or English I Honors, with no less than a B (83-86); Students whose grades fall below the above criteria will be required to submit pieces from their writing portfolio

    ENGLISH III
    5 Credits
    Grade 11
    This course combines the elements of writing, grammar and vocabulary within the structure of an American Literature program.  Students will be asked to write analytically, critically and creatively. Writing as a process will be emphasized. Vocabulary study will center on lists culled from literature, PSAT and SAT models. The study of literature will include selections from novels, plays, short story, poetry and nonfiction. Additionally, students will read novels and plays in addition to the text and complete an in-depth research paper on an independent topic, as well as creative projects and baseline and polished writing pieces in response to literature. PARCC skills and strategies will be emphasized during the first semester in preparation for the test.

    *Students in this course are eligible to participate in dual enrollment with Fairleigh Dickinson University.

    *Academic course level (College Prep, Essentials, Adaptive) will be based on teacher recommendation

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English II at the appropriate academic level

    ENGLISH III HONORS
    5 Credits
    Grade 11
    The English III Honors program is designed for the above average student who has a desire to study literature and can initiate independent projects. The course stresses skill development as well as high level writing assignments based upon American authors and other literature studied in and out of class. Students will experience an in-depth study of all literary genres, which will prepare them to continue in the Honors English program.  Students will meet all requirements for English III and will learn strategies for success to pass the PARCC. Additionally, students will read and write about novels/plays outside of the text, write a research paper that defends a specific thesis, and write baseline and longer polished pieces in response to literature.

    *Students in this course are eligible to participate in dual enrollment with Fairleigh Dickinson University.

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English II with a final average of no less than a B+ (87-89), or English II Honors, with no less than a B (83-86); Students whose grades fall below the above criteria will be required to submit pieces from their writing portfolio

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
    5 Credits
    Grade 11
    The AP English Language and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum, which requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their arguments. Throughout the course, students develop a personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Additionally, students read and analyze the rhetorical elements and their effects in non-fiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historical periods. Students in this course are expected to take the AP exam in May.

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English II with a final average of no less than a B+ (87-89) or English II Honors, with no less than a B (83-86); Students whose grades fall below the above criteria will be required to submit pieces from their writing portfolio

    ENGLISH IV
    5 Credits
    Grade 12
    This course combines the elements of writing, grammar and vocabulary within the structure of a survey of Literature program. Students will be asked to write analytically, critically and creatively. Writing as a process will be emphasized. Vocabulary study will center on lists culled from literature, PSAT and SAT models. The study of literature will include selections from novels, plays, short story, poetry and nonfiction. Additionally, students will read novels and plays in addition to the text and complete an in-depth research paper on an independent topic, as well as creative projects and baseline and polished writing pieces in response to literature. Students will read literature from a wide array of genres including horror, true crime, and identity themes.

    *Academic course level (College Prep, Essentials, Adaptive) will be based on teacher recommendation

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English III at the appropriate academic level

    ENGLISH IV HONORS
    5 Credits
    Grade 12
    The English IV Honors program is designed for the above average student who has a desire to study literature and can initiate independent projects. The course stresses skill development as well as high level writing assignments based upon Various genres such as psychology in literature and themes of identity in addition to other literature studied in and out of class. Students will experience an in-depth study of all literary genres, which will prepare them to continue in the Honors English program.  Students will meet all requirements for English IV and will learn strategies for success on the collegiate level. Additionally, students will read and write about novels/plays outside of the text, write a research paper that defends a specific thesis, and write baseline and longer polished pieces in response to literature.

    *Students in this course are eligible to participate in dual enrollment with Fairleigh Dickinson University.

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English III with a final average of no less than a B+ (87-89), or English III Honors, with no less than a B (83-86); Students whose grades fall below the above criteria will be required to submit pieces from their writing portfolio

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
    5 Credits
    Grade 12
    The AP English Literature course is designed for the student who has a serious interest in, appreciation of and willingness to explore literature in all of its forms.  Through exposure to the novel, play, short story and poetry both in and out of the classroom, the student will be able to read, write, analyze and report on a text’s themes, characters, and style by using personal modes of expression as well as recognized criticism and models.  Students’ past reading experiences will figure prominently in the course work. Student practice with models of previous AP exams will be a focus. Students are required to write in various modes of discourse which employ both personal exploration and critical analysis. Students in this course are expected to take the AP exam in May.

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of English III with a final average of no less than a B+ (87-89) or if English Honors or AP Language and Composition, with no less than a B (83-86). Students whose grades fall below the above criteria will be required to submit pieces from their writing portfolio. 

    ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL)
    5 Credits
    Grade 9-12
    English as a Second Language is a daily developmental language course for students of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) to whom English is not a native language and for whom success in regular English curriculum is questionable. Students who are identified as LEP are provided opportunities to develop linguistic, cognitive, and socio-cultural proficiencies in the English language.

    The ESL curriculum provides a sequential program of communication based English instruction in grades 9-12. Language is acquired through meaningful interactive experiences enriched by culturally authentic content. Through English language instruction, students are provided opportunities to reach out to others across the cultural and linguistic boundaries.  Instruction is characterized by progressive learning in developing relevant themes and meaningful tasks involving listening, speaking, writing, and reading. Instruction is based on inquiry, solving real life problems and application of concepts. An appreciation of a student’s learning style is necessary for success in language learning.

    The ESL curriculum, which infuses the WIDA standards for English Language Learners (ELL) to the New Jersey State Learning Standards, explores themes across content areas and make connections to differences, and an understanding of world culture. All students will be tested to determine placement for remaining or exiting the ESL class using the ACCESS for ELL’s computer-based assessment.

    ESL-Beginning Reading and Writing 
    This course will require students to focus on the development of reading and writing skills at the most basic level with emphasis on vocabulary building, grammar, syntax, mechanics, and pronunciation.

    Prerequisite: NJ State approved language proficiency test score of “Entering” or “Emerging.” 

    ESL - Intermediate
    This course is designed for the ELL who can process, understand, produce, or use general, specific, or some technical language of the content areas.  

    Prerequisite: NJ State approved language proficiency test scores of “Developing” or “Expanding.” 

    LITERATURE CONNECTIONS
    2.5-5 Credits
    Grades 9-12
    Literature Connections focuses on building students’ reading fluency through the integration of novel studies, vocabulary, informational articles, and writing while incorporating 21st Century learning skills. The novels chosen for this course are high interest texts that will engage students in collaborative reading discussions for the purpose of building fluency. A novel study approach is used to expand vocabulary and enhance writing responses. Students will be taught reading strategies explicitly through the use of teacher modeling and independent, as well as collaborative student practice. The Literature Connections goal is not only to increase readability among our students but also to enhance test taking strategies.

    Students will be assessed formally and summatively at the beginning and end of the course in order to determine growth using the Gates MacGinitie Reading Assessment. In order to gather a baseline fluency score, students will be assessed during their first week of class. Students will be given this assessment again towards the end of the course, in order to determine growth in reading comprehension and vocabulary skills.

    Prerequisite: None

    DIGITAL JOURNALISM
    5 Credits
    Grades 10-12
    Digital Journalism is a full year elective that is taken in addition to English II, III, or IV.  The primary objective of the class is to write and produce the current year’s VALLEY ECHO, the school’s digital newspaper.  Major areas of instruction include: story development, writing, editing, cartooning, photography, layout and design. Technology skills will include learning and using a digital camera, BlackBoard, the school website and Photoshop. Students will also learn about career opportunities related to the newspaper as well as the importance of journalistic integrity.

    *This course can be used to meet the 21st Century Skills/Career requirement for graduation.

    Prerequisite: Show strong prior academic performance 

    EDITING AND PUBLISHING
    5 Credits
    Grades 11-12 
    The focus of this class is to develop, write and produce the current year’s VALLEY GREEN.  Students must be prepared to work in all aspects of yearbook production. In the fall semester, the class will develop the overall design for the book and lay out the majority of the sections.  During the spring semester, the class will produce the senior supplement, layout the spring sports sections and plan next year’s yearbook. This course is an elective and is taken in addition to English III or English IV.

    Prerequisite: Show strong prior academic performance 

    GENDER STUDIES
    2.5 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    This cross curricular course gives students an introductory look into the key debates and approaches in understanding societal concerns from a gender and justice perspective. It looks at how gender, class, race and power mediate human and environmental interactions and what this means for human health and well-being. Course materials will include academic and activist texts, film, literary essays and photography. This course will alternate yearly with Cinema and Culture and will run in 2019-2020.

    Prerequisite: None

    CINEMA AND CULTURE
    2.5 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    Students in this course will explore approaches to the art, theory, and cultural politics of movie adaptations and well as how multiple cultures are represented on screen. Through readings and screenings, students will be asked to interrogate the popular question: Why is the book always “better” than the movie? Students will read the literary representation of films as well as multicultural texts and analyze the cultural impact certain films have on society.

    *This course will alternate yearly with Gender Studies. Course will begin in the 2020-2021 school year.

    Prerequisite: None