Differentiation between Honors and Core

  •  Grades 6-8

    Honors and Core courses are aligned with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards but follow a different curriculum

    Core: 

    • Most target texts are within the grade-level Lexile band  
    • Most reading occurs during class, supported by evidence-based reading strategies
    • Explicit writing instruction that includes spiraling (small tasks that build up to a culminating task), modeling, gradual release, and graphic organizers; Emphasis on responses to text and multi-paragraph essays
    • Enrichment reading (young adult novels) is encouraged

    Honors

    • Target texts within the grade-level Lexile band, many at the higher end of the band
    • Reading during class and assigned for homework
    • Writing instruction may be less structured and grounded in inquiry; Extended writing tasks (multiple pages)
    • Enrichment reading (young adult novels) is required 

    Grades 9-11

    Honors and Core courses are aligned with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards and follow the same curriculum, differentiated by teachers. Curriculum may be differentiated by texts, levels of instructional support, the rigor of learning tasks and assessments, and pacing.  Students in Honors English 11 will take a midterm and a final exam.

    Grade 12

    Honors and Core courses are aligned with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards but follow a different curriculum

    Core:

    • Curriculum developed in collaboration with Cecil College.  Students have the opportunity to earn a voucher for Cecil College’s ENGL 093, a developmental literacy course that will not transfer to a four-year institution. The voucher will save students time and money
    • Texts are contemporary, address real-world issues (career exploration, racial justice, wealth inequality), and serve as opportunities for research
    • Assessments and writing tasks are aligned with those offered in Cecil College’s ENGL 93 course
    • Students will take a final exam

    Honors:

    • Texts are both contemporary (e.g., Sing Unburied, Sing, Jasmine Ward) and traditional (e.g., Hamlet, Shakespeare), with an emphasis on literary and argument analysis
    • Writing tasks are analytical and extensive
    • Students will take a midterm and a final exam