If you are interested in taking English Honors in G7, please read the letter below with your parents. This is simply an informational letter so you are aware of the process and expectations. More details will be sent out closer to the time in semester 2.
An English Honors Program is offered in Grades 7, 8 and 9 at ISM. These classes give students opportunities to enrich their English experience with literature and improve their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The published aims and objectives of the English Honors Program at ISM are:
- To broaden and deepen student appreciation of literature by engaging in a study of challenging literary texts
- To foster a greater sense of the artistry and artfulness of language and writing
- To extend each student’s English skills beyond the regular English curriculum
- To foster a deeper understanding of how communication skills enrich and enhance the learning experience across the curriculum
The Honors Program: What is it and why do we do it?
The English Honors Program is primarily about enrichment; it is not used as a prerequisite for future English courses such as the IB Program in the High School. The Middle School English Honors Program, however, is good preparation if a student wants to pursue English studies in the future.
While the Honors English Program focuses upon enrichment, it is not for everyone. Parents should talk to their child about the challenges of the class. You need to be honest and think deeply about your reasons to apply. Does your son or daughter fit the profile of an Honors student? Before you consider applying, look at the following criteria of what makes an ideal Honors student:
Honors Profile: What does an Honors student look like?
- Students in our Honors Program see the communication skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening as essential components to their lives both in and out of an English classroom.
- They consistently demonstrate mastery of the skills taught in English and therefore function more independently as English learners.
- They achieve and maintain the highest standards of English at ISM as reflected by their English grades at ISM and in external testing.
- They want to extend and deepen their English skills beyond the regular English curriculum.
- They want greater formal exposure to challenging and varied literature.
- They are avid readers and writers who practice these skills beyond required coursework.
How does my son or daughter apply for Honors?
If students presently in Grades 6, 7 or 8 wish to be considered for English Honors in the next school year, they must apply for the selection process by submitting an application form; the official deadline will be announced by home base teachers in January, and the form will only be available through the Middle School office at the start of the second semester.
Each student who applies will be assessed in the four areas of consideration:
1. First Semester English Grade: The minimum requirement is a A-in English.
2. Teacher Recommendation: Teachers will look at each student’s educational dispositions to determine whether they are reflective, self-directed critical thinkers and creative problem solvers.
3. External Assessment Scores: The first semester’s MAP scores for language and reading will be considered as another piece of data.
4. Cornerstone Writing Assessment: In December/January all students participate in a standardized in-class writing prompt. Students will be expected to write extended responses (essays) that will examine each student’s ideas through comprehension, analysis/interpretation, and evaluation as well as technical writing ability as described by voice, word choice, and sentence fluency. Students will be instructed on essay development and writing during the quarter and do not need to do anything extra to prepare.
A grade level teacher panel will conduct a careful review of the information outlined in the four areas for each potential Honors student.
After reviewing the criteria, a teacher panel will select the top candidates for each grade level to be offered a place in the English Honors class for the next year. Decisions will be sent to parents in April.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Burke Simon Gillespie
Middle School English Program Leader Middle School Principal