Burgettstown Area School District100 Bavington RoadBurgettstown, PA 15021The Language Arts Department’s comprehensive 7-12 curriculum is structured so that each level builds on skills taught in the previous one. Department members work closely with one another in an effort to design units and lessons that require students to activate prior knowledge and apply it to increasingly complex tasks requiring higher order thinking and writing skills. Our mission is to foster the idea that in today’s world, skills in reading and writing are critical to success after high school. To that end, the middle school curriculum lays the foundation by focusing on techniques that build comprehension and stamina in not only reading literature but also reading in the content areas such as science and social studies. It is also here that students are required to write in a more formal manner. Although they have already been introduced to the writing process in the lower grades, it is now expanded to prepare them for the rigorous writing assignments they will encounter in the high school. They are taught to write with specific purposes and audiences in mind and to increase the maturity of their writing by varying sentence structure and removing informal elements from their writing (I, you, contractions, slang, etc.). Once this groundwork is laid in both reading and writing, students find themselves prepared for the rigors of high school. In grades 9-12, teachers are committed to the strategies outlined in the Pennsylvania Literacy Network (PLN) which are designed to even further increase students’ ability to read and comprehend longer works and to read for longer periods of time. PLN strategies are also used to boost students’ writing ability. All students understand that proficiency on the PSSA exam is required. However, the department further emphasizes that reading and writing well is not a “one time PSSA thing”; rather, we convey to them that these skills are vital in a world where the ability to communicate is a requirement in almost all professions. Thus, in grades 9-12, students are exposed to progressively more complex fiction and non-fiction reading material and to writing that strengthens their ability to inform or persuade an audience. Furthermore, students who challenge themselves by choosing to take the honors or AP courses are involved in college-level reading and writing that requires extensive research and the synthesis of that research into a highly sophisticated multi-paragraph informative piece. The Language Arts Department is continually involved in professional development as a way to strengthen the delivery of our instruction.We will continue to challenge students and are committed to producing young men and women who are able to function well in an increasingly complex 21st century.
Last Modified on September 23, 2020