English Language Arts

ELA Overview:

Students in English courses are challenged to read, write, analyze, and explore key literary themes and techniques. They support their analysis of readings in the text, and are asked to show how they formed opinions about the text. While studying literature, students will also practice writing. Students will better understand both the “how” and “why” of the entire writing process. Students will be engaged in writing assignments and projects during each quarter that require higher level thinking skills, research, original and creative expression, and a personal commitment to improving language skills.

Course objectives include: Developing accurate, perceptive reading through close study of major texts representing various literary genres; deepening understanding and appreciation of literature; understanding the technique of poetry as it affects and enhances meaning in a poem; generating independent, thoughtful, and analytical discourse during class discussions; delivering oral reports and lead class discussions with poise and clarity; developing college-level writing abilities; and recognizing works for their literary merit. Classes focus on class discussion, some lecture, group and individual presentations, style and literary analysis of various works and writing/vocabulary/analytical skills.

Our Courses Include:

Ninth Grade English promotes student understanding of literature’s major genres: narrative fiction, non-fictional prose, poetry, and drama. Students will understand and develop a working familiarity with the characteristics of each of these genres, as well as an understanding of universal themes (such as conflict and challenge). Students will learn about the literary devices inherent to good literature. This knowledge will serve as the groundwork for all subsequent high school English classes.    

A.P. English Literature and Composition

This is a rigorous college-level course. The reading and writing is frequent and challenging; the course requires independent thinking. We will function as a community of learners. If you are committed to the work as well as to listening and learning from each other, this class will ultimately become one in which we are all teachers and students. Each member of the class will have a voice. We will learn from each other and share our thoughts, ideas, and observations with each other. While the ultimate goal of the class is to pass the A.P. exam, know that if you actively engage yourself in this class and complete all of the work, you will have taken giant steps in preparing yourself for college.     

A.P. English Language and Composition

Students will be challenged to think, react, and respond at higher than the level of a typical high school English student. This class is designed to not only prepare them for the AP Exam in the spring and your college courses but also for their life in the future. Having a strong foundation in the area of Language Arts will enable them to make sense of and appreciate the society in which they live. While this class will contain a tremendous amount of reading and writing, even more significantly it will contain a lot of questioning (both by you and the teacher). Together, we will look for the answers to our questions as we learn the power and value of communicative expression.

ELA Dept

Maria Acedo (College and Career Readiness, Upper Grades English)

Email: macedo@mckinneyssa.com / macedo@schools.nyc.gov 

Alphonso Dance Jr (Upper Grades English, AP Literature, Department Chair) 

Email: adance2@mckinneyssa.com / adance2@schools.nyc.gov 

Raquel Duenas (Middle Grades Humanities)

​Email: rduenas@mckinneyssa.com / rduenas@schools.nyc.gov 

Althea Hester (Upper Grades English)

​Email: afaithhester@mckinneyssa.com ​ / afaithhester@schools.nyc.gov 

Kenya Mabry (Upper Grades ICT Teacher)

​Email: kmabry@mckinneyssa.com / kmabry@schools.nyc.gov 

Nordia Reynolds-Roye (Middle Grades Humanities)

Email: nreynol@mckinneyssa.com / nreynol@schools.nyc.gov