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Program Descriptions

ELA 1 Honors: ELA 1 Honors is a rigorous course that is intended for students who are ready for a challenging English curriculum. Students improve their reading, writing, listening, speaking, and information-gathering skills while reading a wide variety of classic, multicultural literature. Socratic seminar and debate are an integral part of the class. Students will write narrative, argumentative, and informative essays with instruction that addresses going beyond the typical five paragraph essay. Research skills include integrating information from four sources, locating information, evaluating information for its relevancy, and documenting according to APA standards. In addition to required essays, students will take four reading assessments and complete two performance tasks during the course. Aligned to the SAT, these assessments are used to monitor and measure student growth in reading, writing, and synthesizing sources.

ELA 2 Honors: ELA 2 Honors is a rigorous world literature course that includes classic literature and informational texts from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Students write informational, argumentative, and narrative essays that strengthen their analytic skills and ability to synthesize information. Socratic seminar and debate are an integral part of the class. Research skills include integrating information from five sources and becoming more adept at documenting according to APA standards. In addition to required essays, students will take four reading assessments and complete two performance tasks during the course. Aligned to the SAT, these assessments are used to monitor and measure student growth in reading, writing, and synthesizing sources.

ELA 3 Honors: ELA 3 Honors is a rigorous course that focuses on American literature from a chronological approach. Students will read a wide variety of literary and informational texts from classic American literature in order to trace the development of American literature over time. Writing instruction will focus on increasing proficiency in evaluation, literary analysis, argument, and using narrative to support one’s ideas. Students will continue to develop and refine skills in sentence structure, research, reading, listening, and speaking. Students will synthesize seven sources. In addition to required essays, students will take four reading assessments and complete two performance tasks during the course. Aligned to the SAT, these assessments are used to monitor and measure student growth in reading, writing, and synthesizing sources.

ELA 4: Western European Literature is a fourth year English option for those students ready to take on the challenge of honors level curriculum. During the course students explore diverse selections of texts from Western Europe spanning the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. In addition to reading classic literature and informational texts, students also develop college ready skills in argument, exposition, narration, and evaluation. College level research skills are honed with students effectively synthesizing at least eight sources. In addition to required essays, students will take two reading assessments and complete two performance tasks during the course. Aligned to the Common Core State Standards, these assessments are used to monitor and measure student growth in reading, writing, and synthesizing sources.

Guidelines for ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS Honors placement: 9-12

Honors ELA 1 Eligibility

  • Student must have earned an A or a B as a final grade in his/her 8th grade ELA course and…
  • Student must have a Lexile of 1080 or above per the SRI test and…
  • Student must have earned a 3 or a 4 on the 8th grade Smarter Assessment **

** Only use the score from this assessment as a last option to determine eligibility as this is the first year the test is being administered to students in Delaware.

Honors ELA 2 Eligibility

  • Student must have an A or a B as a final grade for ELA 1 and…
  • Student must have a Lexile of 1080 or above per the SRI test and…
  • Student must successfully complete and submit the Honors eligibility written response by the specified due date and…
  • Receive a positive recommendation from ELA 1 teacher (See below for information)

Honors ELA 3 Eligibility

  • Student must have an A or a B as a final grade for ELA 2 and…
  • Student earns a 42 or higher on PSAT in reading and/or writing and…
  • Student must have a Lexile of 1215 or above per the SRI test and…
  • Student must successfully complete and submit the Honors eligibility written response by the specified due date and…
  • Receive a positive recommendation from ELA 2 teacher (See below for more information).

Honors ELA 4 Eligibility

  • Student must have an A or B as a final grade for ELA 3 and…
  • Student must earn a 3 or 4 on the 11th grade Smarter Assessment OR a 450 or higher on SAT verbal (both reading & writing) OR Accuplacer score that is of equivalent value
  • Student must have a Lexile of 1215 or above per the SRI test and…
  • Student must successfully complete and submit the Honors eligibility written response by the specified due date and…
  • Receive a positive recommendation from ELA 3 teacher (See below for more information)

Other Items

  • Students entering 9th grade who are eligible for honors will be scheduled directly into the course. Students and parents will receive written notification of the placement prior to the start of the school year. Students may “opt out” of the course if there is a strong desire to do so by both the student and parent/guardian prior to the start of the course or within the first two full weeks of the course.
  • Students may not transfer from an honors course to a regular course after the second full week of school.
  • Students and parents/guardians will sign a “expectation” contract agreeing to commit to the program during the first week of school; the signatures will indicate that students understand the course expectations as well as their responsibilities and the time commitment necessary to be successful in an honors course.
  • Schools will make the SRI test available to current students who want to be considered for Honors as long as all the other eligibility requirements are met first (ELA Honors 2-4). Schools will determine the schedule and administer the test.
  • Teacher recommendation forms (only for eligibility into ELA Honors 2-4): A request form for the recommendation must be picked up by the student and given to the most recent ELA teacher. The teacher will receive the request and then fill out the Google form that will be posted on the district ELA Schoology site and/or school’s website. Schools will have the discretion to make decisions based on teacher feedback.
  • Schools will have discretion to override placement depending on individual Circumstances and course availability.