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Honors English Program

Family information letter Feb.2018

2018-19 English Course Request for 5th, 6th and 7th graders

Marston Middle School English Language Arts Programs:
A Guide for Parents and Students

Marston is excited to offer two options in English Language Arts (ELA) in grades 6, 7 and 8, College Prep and Honors.  Both of these programs offer rigorous, standards-based curriculum that prepares students for college. The Honors program is an option for students who have a passion for literature and can advance through complex material more rapidly.  Students who qualify for the Honors program are not expected to take the Honors courses. All prospective ELA Honors students must submit an application.

Both College Prep and Honors classes have the following attributes:

● Follow a rigorous curriculum.

● Require students to work toward mastery of the California Common Core State Standards.

● Prepare students for high school English.

● Develop critical thinking skills.

● Use the same textbook and interact with a variety of complex expository/informative, argumentative/persuasive, and narrative texts at or above grade level.

● Require students to write argumentative essays, informative texts, narrative texts, responses to literature, and summaries.

● Provide opportunities for students to improve listening and speaking skills through a multitude of oral language activities and through oral presentation.

● Utilize technology to help improve reading and writing skills.

Honors classes differ from College Prep in the following ways:

● Faster speed and higher complexity of study

● Complete some tasks beyond current grade level standards and explore the skills addressed in the subsequent grade level standards.

● Students work more independently, with teacher support as needed.

● Because pacing is faster, students will read additional texts, some of which are done as homework.

● Writing is more sophisticated (stronger vocabulary, more complex and varied sentence structure, greater depth of thought and analysis) and more extensively researched.

● Assigned readings may be at a higher level of difficulty.

Before applying to the Honors program, please consider the following:

● Due to scheduling restrictions, movement between Honors and College Prep may not be possible after the school year has begun.

● Students are expected to meet placement criteria on an annual basis

● The ultimate goal is that each child is challenged and encouraged to develop or maintain a passion for learning   

Students meeting all criteria below will be approved to enter the Honors Program, however an application is still required.  Students meeting only some of the criteria will be evaluated on a case by case basis; priority will be given to students who are closest to meeting all of the criteria.  In some cases, a teacher recommendation may be requested.

6th Grade Criteria

  • Exceeds Standards on 5th Grade ELA SBAC

  • Fountas and Pinnell Level of X,Y or Z

  • Mostly 4s in Literacy Standards on 5th Grade Report Card

7th Grade Criteria

  • Exceeds Standards on 6th grade ELA SBAC

  • Minimum SRI score of 950

  • Semester Letter Grades of A or B in 6th Grade ELA

8th Grade Criteria 

  • Exceeds Standards on 7th grade ELA SBAC

  • Minimum SRI score of 1000

  • Semester Letter Grades of A or B in 7th Grade ELA