Literacy is at the heart of the educational experience. Thus, it is the goal of the English Language Arts Department to ensure students experience numerous opportunities to develop their capacity for deep, critical thinking as well as excellent listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in all disciplines.
In March 2011, Massachusetts released a new set of frameworks for English Language Arts that incorporate the national Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These new frameworks and the supporting documents articulate a vision for literacy that calls for increased rigor and high levels of active student engagement. In 21st century classrooms, students develop independence and motivation, adopt an inquiry stance towards learning in all subject areas, and explore connections across disciplines that can result in new solutions to both local and global problems. Students capable of creating new ways of thinking and designing innovative solutions will be poised to help create a world where more citizens can thrive.
Certain values underlie our approach to language arts and inform the quality of relationships we strive to create in this learning endeavor. Chief among these are a deeply held commitment to active anti-racism and respect for human differences in all aspects of our work with students, families, and colleagues; standards-based teaching and learning rooted in 21st Century skills, and a commitment to helping every student meet or exceed these standards; inclusion (every student counts / every student can succeed): differentiated instruction embedded in effective practices (responsiveness to students' differing learning styles, skills levels, and personal interests); and active, hands-on, constructivist learning that invites students to construct meaning through authentic, intellectually engaging creative experiences.
We offer students numerous opportunities to participate in rigorous interdisciplinary learning experiences that promote deep conceptual understandings, foster respect for a variety of viewpoints, create opportunities for empathetic interactions, and create the ground from which new ideas and solutions can emerge. This comprehensive integrated approach to literacy enables students to develop the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills necessary for personal growth and fulfillment, as well as academic success across all disciplines.