English Language Arts
To promote a consistent and viable balanced literacy program in every classroom across the District, we selected the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Journeys program, which provides instructional support in spelling, vocabulary, phonics, fluency, reading comprehension, writing, speaking, reading and listening. With the opening of the current school year, all grade 1 - 4 classrooms adopted Journeys as the core literacy program and secured classroom teachers, special education teachers, and interventionists as well as comprehensive technology support including.
In 2009, the Falmouth Public Schools was part of a Cape Cod Collaborative grant that brought the Keys to Literacy program into the district. Our faculty has participated in research-based professional development in the three components of KTL: Comprehension, Vocabulary and the ANSWER Key to Open Response. The Key Comprehension Routine is an evidenced-based program that is considered Tier 1 instruction when used by classroom teachers with all students, and Tier 2 instruction when used as supplemental instruction for struggling learners. KTL is another intervention practice that teachers are using to help their students who are struggling with reading comprehension and writing.
In grades 7-12, every grade offers an English course taught by certified English teachers. Courses are grouped under the following designations: College Preparatory (CP1 & CP2), Honors (H), and Advanced Placement (AP). All English courses are designed to teach communication skills, particularly skills involving reading and writing. These courses feature close reading, speaking and listening, and critical thinking activities, as well as a process approach to writing. Some courses feature heterogeneous grouping as well as cooperative and collaborative learning. Other courses, primarily because of their core reading and writing assignments, feature a more homogeneous approach.
Grades 6-12 English Language Arts teachers completed a three-year Pre-AP training program to increase rigor and challenge for all students and increase enrollment in honors and AP courses. English teachers have also received training in differentiation, co-teaching, and using digital tools to provide targeted feedback to students. In 2019, the 7-12 English Department engaged in the DESE pilot text inventory to study the extent to which the texts our students encounter represent diverse cultures and perspectives.