Reading English Language Arts (RELA) Overview
Our secondary level English programs are designed to guide the student through a challenging and diversified literature-based curriculum. An emphasis on the development of language skills is a core component of the curriculum. This emphasis will include direct and contextual vocabulary study and exercises in usage and mechanics. Students will study many literary genres and styles, viewing each as an art form with its respective conventions and contributions to the world of literature, as well as the importance these works hold to their regions and their place in history. Students will also be encouraged to question the issues and themes of the various works critically and creatively and to respond in a variety of ways, including oral and written reports, large-group and small-group discussions, and projects. In learning about the relationship between reading, writing, and thinking, students will be actively involved in the writing process.
At the elementary level, teachers use a balanced literacy approach to implement best practices. At the K-2 levels, students practice phonological and phonemic awareness using the Heggerty model. K-5 teachers also use the curriculum Literacy by Design to practice vocabulary, spelling and comprehension skills. Students at the Upper Elementary School use the research-based Notice and Note program to develop strong comprehension skills by using “signposts” to encourage close reading. Also, at the Upper Elementary, students use a grammar program called Mentor Sentences. Students are exposed to many conventional skills throughout the year, and Mentor teaches the students how to notice, identify, and imitate strong grammar skills in an engaging and motivating way. In writing, K-5 teachers use the Being a Writer curriculum. Students are exposed to professional literature that models “good writing.” While using Being a Writer, students have the opportunity to share, confer, and revise.