Secondary English-Language Arts Curriculum

Through the study of English-Language Arts, our district’s students learn to read, write and think effectively with the goal of becoming positive contributors to society as a whole. Effective Language Arts educators provide varied and rich learning experiences, enabling the district’s students to reach high levels of performance on state assessments and curriculum work.

The current SJCSD Secondary Language Arts curriculum features learning via McGraw-Hill’s StudySync curriculum suite, a state-adopted and approved resource for ELA classrooms. This curriculum allows teachers to prepare students to meet the rigor of instruction required by the state of Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) ELA standards.

The following, excerpted for the ELA B.E.S.T. Standards Book, describes the intent of the design of the standards:

“The B.E.S.T. standards are designed to be user-friendly, so every stakeholder will understand what students are expected to master. Taken together, the benchmarks, clarifications, and appendices represent the expected outcomes for the students of Florida and carry the full weight of the standards.

  • Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards for ELA are built on the following premises:
    English Language Arts is not a discrete set of skills, but a rich discipline with meaningful,
    significant content, the knowledge of which helps all students actively and fully participate in our
  • The standards are clear and concise so they are easily understood by every stakeholder.
  • The texts students read are meaningful and thought-provoking, preparing them to be informed,
    civic-minded members of their community.
  • Standards should not stand alone as a separate focus for instruction, but should be combined

The benchmarks for the standards are mastery goals that students are expected to attain by the end of the year. To build mastery, students will continue to review and apply earlier grade-level benchmarks and expectations. If skills are not mastered, students will be given instruction and practice opportunities to address skill gaps from previous grades.

The reading and writing standards have been written in such a way that they progress together and students are able to use the texts they are reading as accompanying texts for their writing. As a part of that focus, rhetoric will be introduced earlier, now during 6th grade, so that students will have an understanding of the appeals – logos, pathos, and ethos – when starting argumentative writing. It is vital that students have the tools of understanding how argumentation works as they are learning to write arguments. Foundational reading standards are included for secondary students who have a reading deficiency and need targeted instruction. These standards will apply to elective intensive reading and intensive language arts course codes, not core ELA courses. The goal is for targeted skill instruction, outlined by the standards, to make proficient readers of all of Florida’s students, no matter their grade level.”

For specific questions regarding any Secondary ELA curriculum topics, please feel free to reach out to…

Kate Houston

Secondary Language Arts Program Specialist
[email protected]

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