ELA Department

Welcome to the English Language Arts Department at the High School for Arts and Business.  We are a community of scholars, dedicated to academic excellence in English Language Arts studies.  Our goal is to foster an appreciation of language and literature and communication so that students may express themselves both verbally and in writing with confidence in order to better understand human nature and in so doing, to explore the deepest aspects of what it means to recognize literature, writing, and oral expression as central to their personal and intellectual development.  In that discovery process, our students are encouraged to listen, think, speak, and write critically about important issues raised by literature.  Students are expected to grow as lifelong learners.  It is our intent to enable our students to make connections between literary experiences and issues that touch their personal lives. 


Year One:   English 1and 2-Ninth Grade English

Year Two :  English 3 and 4-Tenth Grade English

Year Three : English 5 and 6: Eleventh Grade English 

(Students will sit for the New York State Comprehensive English Regents at the end of English 5.)  

Elective Courses - in order to fulfill the remaining two credits required for graduation.  Student can choose from the following electives:

-Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Class- This course engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes.  Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.  Students will have the opportunity at the end of this course to sit for the College Board Advanced Placement English Language and Composition class.

-Journalism -this class is designed to introduce students to all facets of the journalist's craft: reporting, writing, design, graphics, photography, broadcast, and multimedia.  Students in this class are responsible for the production and distribution of our School Newspaper, THE SOURCE.

-Playwriting and Drama- This course allows students to experiment with writing short scenes and plays for production. Students will also learn about the origins of drama and study significant plays and playwrights. Drama is a beginning drama course designed to assist students in developing acting skills by participating in theatre games, improvisation, scenes, monologues, and productions. 

New York State Standards


All of our classes are aligned to the New York State Standards and the Common Core Standards.  


During their course of study, student will be able to:

1.  Demonstrate independence.

Students can, without significant scaffolding, comprehend and evaluate complex texts across a range of types and disciplines, and they can construct effective arguments and convey intricate or multifaceted information. Likewise, students are able independently to discern a speaker’s key points, request clarification, and ask relevant questions. They build on others’ ideas, articulate their own ideas, and confirm they have been understood. Without prompting, they demonstrate command of standard English and acquire and use a wide-ranging vocabulary. More broadly, they become self-directed learners, effectively seeking out and using resources to assist them, including teachers, peers, and print and digital reference materials.

2.  Build strong content knowledge.

Students establish a base of knowledge across a wide range of subject matter by engaging with works of quality and substance. They become proficient in new areas through research and study. They read purposefully and listen attentively to gain both general knowledge and discipline-specific expertise. They refine and share their knowledge through writing and speaking.


They respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline.

Students adapt their communication in relation to audience, task, purpose, and discipline. They set and adjust purpose for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use as warranted by the task. They appreciate nuances, such as how the composition of an audience should affect tone when speaking and how the connotations of words affect meaning. They also know that different disciplines call for different types of evidence (e.g., documentary evidence in history, experimental evidence in science).

3. They comprehend as well as critique.

Students are engaged and open-minded—but discerning—readers and listeners. They work diligently to understand precisely what an author or speaker is saying, but they also question an author’s or speaker’s assumptions and premises and assess the veracity of claims and the soundness of reasoning.

4.  Value evidence.

Students cite specific evidence when offering an oral or written interpretation of a text. They use relevant evidence when supporting their own points in writing and speaking, making their reasoning clear to the reader or listener, and they constructively evaluate others’ use of evidence.

5.  Use technology and digital media strategically and capably.

Students employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. They tailor their searches online to acquire useful information efficiently, and they integrate what they learn using technology with what they learn offline. They are familiar with the strengths and limitations of various technological tools and mediums and can select and use those best suited to their communication goals.

6.   Understand other perspectives and cultures.

Students appreciate that the twenty-first-century classroom and workplace are settings in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who represent diverse experiences and perspectives must learn and work together. Students actively seek to understand other perspectives and cultures through reading and listening, and they are able to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds. They evaluate other points of view critically and constructively. Through reading great classic and contemporary works of literature representative of a variety of periods, cultures, and worldviews, students can vicariously inhabit worlds and have experiences much different than their own.


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