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FAQ: Incoming 9th Graders

What options are there for English in 9th grade?

The English Department offers 2 different kinds of English: English 9CP (College Preparatory) or English 9H (Honors).  We also offer two different kind of support classes that are taught with English 9CP: English Support 9 (Strategic) and English 9 SDAIE. 


How do teacher recommendations work?

The English Department teachers will review your performance on standardized tests, your English grades in middle school, your English Placement Assessment, and recommendations from your 8th grade English teacher. From that information we will make a recommendation about whether or not we think you're most likely to be successful in CP or H, or if we think you'll need the support of Strategic or SDAIE.  It's important to remember that ALL these kinds of classes ensure that you will be on track to attend a 4 year college upon graduation. 


Do I need a support class?

If we see information that tells us you may need extra help to be successful in high school English, we will suggest you take either English 9 Strategic or English 9 SDAIE to support you in English 9CP.  These courses are designed to make sure that your skills improve and that you successfully master the College Preparatory curriculum, so that you're on track for attending college after graduation.  Every year, we have students whose skills improve so much during the year that we may move them out of support, and/or we suggest that they move into the honors or AP courses the following year!


Should I take honors?

Honors curriculum for 9th graders is developed to ensure that students who read and write at a highly proficient to advanced level are appropriately challenged.  You should expect to read more material and more difficult material than your CP peers. It is also designed to make sure that you read foundational works important to success in later honors and  Advanced Placement courses.  It isn't necessary to take English 9 Honors to be eligible for honors and AP courses in subsequent years, however, the honors and AP courses are designed sequentially.  


What happens if I take honors and I can't handle it?

Our teachers will want to talk to you and your counselor and your parents/guardians to help you make the best choice for you.  But, there is no problem switching to CP.  


What if I don't sign up for honors, and then change my mind?

We love it when students decide to take more challenging course work!  We'll make it work!  You'll be asked to do some make up work to catch up with your peers, and we'll change it.


And, what about that summer assignment?

Yes, there is a summer assignment for some courses.  All honors/AP courses in English have a summer assignment, as do the academies.  The summer assignments are designed to ensure that students are reading and writing throughout the summer.  It's important to keep reading academically appropriate material and practicing academic writing skills.  Summer assignments are organized with the assumption that students will read about 20 minutes a day, and that they write periodically.  Additionally, summer assignments help give instructors a clearer vision of their students' needs before school starts so we can plan better!


What if I signed up for Banyan?

Banyan students also need to decide if they want to do the CP or Honor's curriculum.