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English Language Arts

Department Goals/Objectives

The English Department's curriculum lends itself to thematic units and activities which readily align themselves in terms of the district goal of Social/Emotional learning. Our units on ethics, justice, identity, and society become a springboard for class discussions, group activities, role playing, independent writing, and self-reflective journaling in order to address the learning needs of the whole child. 

The English Department fosters the ability for all students to be able to effectively communicate ideas through both traditional and contemporary modes of communications. Students are instructed in oral articulation, written language, and electronic communications. The English Department's focus on the power of language prepares students for higher academia, the business world, private communications, and daily life.

We will continue to expand our effort to compel students to read and to respond to as many challenging and varied texts as possible. Those texts will range from traditional classics to non-fiction works to multicultural works to high interest formats of our time (graphic novels, blogs, etc).

Description of Programs

English language arts in the primary and intermediate grades focuses on foundational skills, planting the seeds for twenty-first century literacy skills. In Jericho, teachers, literacy coaches, reading and special education interventionists, and school administrators are interested in developing literacy at the elementary school level. Our primary task is to work closely with students, administrators, and families to develop and promote lifelong literacy learning.

Jericho High School Department of English Language Arts

Course Descriptions for Grades 9–12

Description of Assessments

Purpose of the New York State Testing Program

The New York State Testing Program is designed to evaluate the implementation of the state’s learning standards at the student, school,district, and state levels. To meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), tests in English language arts and mathematics are administered annually at each grade level in grades 3–8. The requirement under NCLB to administer standardized statewide tests of demonstrated technical quality at the high school level will be met by continuing the administration of Regents examinations. All of the state tests serve as important measures of student progress. The grades 3–8 tests provide information about students' preparedness for study at the next grade level, while Regents examinations verify that students are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for high school graduation.

The grades 3–8 English language arts and mathematics tests help schools to identify students for whom they need to provide additional academic assistance. However, the department advises schools that decisions such as promotion or retention should be based on multiple measures of the student’s achievement and not solely on scores from the New York state testing program. This is essential to ensure that important decisions are made on the basis of a student’s overall achievement rather than on the student’s performance on a single measure.

State assessments are also designed to help schools measure the effectiveness of their instructional programs and to measure yearly student progress. The assessments are based on the state learning standards and the core curriculum. The content of the tests should mirror the instruction being provided in the classrooms. Students should not need extensive preparation to do well on the state assessments as long as the curriculum used by the school is aligned with the state’s learning standards and the teachers are effectively instructing students in accordance with the curriculum.

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)

NCLB is a federal education initiative that was passed in 2001.Its purpose is “to close the achievement gap through accountability, research-based instruction, and options for parents, so that no child is left behind .”

Under NCLB, all states that receive federal funding for education are required to test students in grades 3–8 in reading and mathematics in order to measure yearly progress. High school students must be tested at least once in these subjects. The tests used to measure student progress must be aligned with the state’s learning standards.

The information gathered from the results of the tests are used to determine whether schools and districts are making adequate yearly progress toward the achievement goals determined by the state. Schools that meet or exceed the adequate yearly progress goals will be considered for state achievement awards, while schools that fail to meet these goals will be targeted for improvement. Districts are required to develop assistance plans for schools that do not make adequate yearly progress.

More information about NCLB is available on the United States Department of Education website.

Additional Information

Dan Salzman, Ed.D.

Dan Salzman, Ed.D.
Curriculum Associate for English Language Arts

516-203-3600 ext. 3247