In the junior year, students prepare for the NYS Regents Examination in English and the SAT and ACT exams. The focus is on American Literature, including essays, short stories, novels, plays, and poetry. The course emphasizes reading comprehension, critical thinking, and vocabulary skills; crucial to success on the standardized tests and for college/career preparedness. The students read and write responses to a wide variety of material from many disciplines including; journal articles, images and newspapers and improve proficiency in research, literary criticism, text analysis, and close reading. Students focus on the importance of multi-level questioning imperative for deepening their understanding of both the literary arts and multiple perspectives in the world. They will explore, in addition to the texts themselves, the context from whence the work came; providing historical and cultural background necessary for deeper understanding. In addition, students will be required to participate in discussions which demonstrate their understanding of the readings and concepts at hand. There is also a shift to more subjective analysis rather than purely objective or factual surface level reading, important at this stage of development. There are a number of tests, papers, summative, and formative assessments given to evaluate students’ work throughout the year. Students will take a school midterm exam, and the NYS CC ELA Regents grade also serves as the final exam. Students also engage in independent reading projects throughout the year.