• English Nine Honors - Waterville Central Schools

    "In last years nests, there are no birds this year"

    In last years nests, there are no birds this year

    Had Cervantes been talking about English Nine in New York State when he penned these words for Don Quixote, he would have been right. The quote reminds us that everything changes over time. The way that English instruction is delivered and the tasks that students are asked to perform in English Nine in New York State has changed dramatically over the course of the past several years. English Nine is a course that is undergoing steady revision as we continue to implement New York State core curriculum, standards and testing.

    Where at one time, English Nine was heavily dependent on the reading of major works, the focus has shifted to more work with shorter non-fiction pieces and also to a much more detailed approach to close reading of all texts. The writing component delivers a higher expectation for more focused analytical writing, and students are writing much more frequently and at greater depth than they may have in the past. These are just a few broad indications of the many changes we face in implementing the new curriculum. The entire spectrum of these changes is far too imposing to detail here . Certainly I recommend that both students and parents alike visit the site engageny.org to gain a deeper understanding of the implications of the new core curriculum.

    As an ELA high school teacher, I am impressed with the work of the state, and I can see many benefits to the learning that can take place through its adaptation. Still, I remain realistic about its implementation, especially in these first several years. I recognize that our students are being asked to jump into new ninth grade core curriculum without the benefit of  learning much prerequisite material that is only now being introduced  in the new K-8th grade curriculum. The time will come when students who are learning new ninth grade core curriculum will have been taught core curriculum at the lower levels. Naturally, those students are more likely to progress through ninth grade curriculum with greater ease. Fully aware of that fact, I believe we need not only to do our best to implement the new curriculum, but also we must work with a sensitivity to the gaps that will occur  in these early years of implementation. For this reason, we will be taking a common sense approach to implementation that is based as much on the needs of our students as it is on the new core curriculum.  

    Special Notes about the Honors Program

    While the honors program is subject to all of the same new standards and curriculum as the typical English classroom, it is worth noting that the Honors Program at Waterville has always been associated with a higher degree of rigor. That is a tradition we expect to uphold. Even though the content will probably be more similar to the typical ninth grade classroom than it has been in the past, the expectations for students in the honors program will remain elevated. The requirements for depth in writing, classroom discussion, and overall work ethic will  presuppose a more rigorous level of work and accomplishment that continues to challenge our most gifted students.


    Posting Assignments to the web page provides  a wonderful opportunity for students to check and maintain daily course requirements. It is, however, important for students in my classes to understand that student needs exhibited in class during the day can often affect the time line of projected scheduled assignments. More often than not, I am faced with the need to make adjustments to scheduled assignments based on what we were able to effectively accomplish in class on any given day. For me, student daily needs will always drive the schedule more  than my anticipated desire to accomplish certain tasks. For that reason, it is important that students use the assignments and calendar sections of this website as a general guide but closely pay attention to changes as they are articulated in the classroom each day. While I do appreciate the opportunity to post assignments, as they  gives both students and parents a general sense of direction, STUDENTS ARE ALWAYS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CHANGES MADE TO SCHEDULED ASSIGNMENTS IN CLASS EACH DAY .  

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