To the Parents of Red Jacket Students Entering Grades 6-12:
With the onset of the Common Core Standards for English, it is a priority of the English Department to align our curriculums and activities to this document. For this reason, we are implementing changes to the Summer Reading Program at Red Jacket for grades 6-12.
Changes – Changes – Changes - Changes
One of the expectations the Board of Regents has for the students of New York is for them to be able to “interpret, analyze, and evaluate” a variety of text by making “connections to: other text, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events and situations” (Standard RL11). They are to self-select texts and “establish and use criteria to classify, select, and evaluate text to make informed judgments.” The summer assignments are now aligned to these expectations.
The details of the program are as follows:
Students entering a standard or Regents level section of English will choose a book to read that is appropriate for his/her reading level and grade level. Recommendations will be provided by the classroom English teachers prior to the end of the year. Books can be borrowed from classroom libraries or the public library. The school and public librarians will aid any student who needs assistance in choosing appropriate book titles. We encourage students to choose books that interest them.
Since creating assignments for all the different titles students will be reading is impossible, classroom teachers have been practicing keeping dialectal journals with their students in preparation for the summer. These journals require students interact with texts in a grade appropriate manner. For example, the Middle School assignments provide more structure while the High School journals are less restrictive. Copies of all the assignments can be found on the District Homepage.
“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed,
and some few are to be chewed and digested.” – Francis Bacon
The English Department hopes that through these new methods, students will make stronger personal connections to literature and therefore find reading more rewarding. We, the teachers, will no longer control what our students should write as answers; instead the answers come from them, “chewed and digested.”
Students entering Honors English classes, AP English or Gemini English classes may receive separate assignments geared to upper level students. These may require more substantial independent writing assignments and/or assessments in September. Students in these classes will also receive the books before they leave for the summer, if applicable, along with appropriate assignments and guidelines.
If you have a student who is attending summer school, please check with the appropriate guidance office for which grade level your child will be moving into to ensure the reading for that grade can be completed. Teachers in September will expect all students to have done the reading.
We look forward to your cooperation in our efforts to provide Red Jacket students with opportunities to reinforce their skills and enrich their education. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Stacy Liberati, ELA Chairperson, at Stacy.Liberati@redjacket.org, or by calling the HS Office at 289-3966.
The Red Jacket English Department