Return to Headlines

Update on ELA 9 and 10 (Including Advanced Learning Options)

Update on ELA 9 and 10 (Including Advanced Learning Options)

Dear Families and Students,

Red Bank Regional has a long-standing commitment to advanced education and educational excellence. Student participation in AP and IB coursework is broad-based and continues to expand. Enrollment in these courses is open to all juniors and seniors and not restricted by aptitude. In 2021-22, over 60 percent of our juniors and seniors took at least one of these college-level programs and many others participated in dual enrollment courses that we offer in partnership with Rutgers, Syracuse, and other institutions.  In total, 65 percent of the courses in core academic areas are accelerated or honors courses and this list does not include electives or academy-based programs, many of which are also offered at an accelerated level. In English Language Arts (ELA) well over 50 percent of our juniors and seniors are enrolled in college-level programs. Moreover, our students perform exceptionally well, both in terms of the grades they earn as well as on the end-of-course assessments. Because of the outstanding work that occurs on the K-12 continuum, our students are achieving remarkable things. 

We are taking steps to make our outstanding programs even better. Starting in 2023-24, select grade 10 students who meet specific requirements will be able to enroll in either AP Language and Composition or Rutgers Writing Composition.  Previously, these college-level courses were open only to juniors and seniors. (Please see the attached document for the selection criteria.)

In ELA in grades 9 and 10, we have continued to strengthen our programs. In 2021-22 a teacher-led committee reviewed our current offerings and proposed upgrades that are currently being implemented. Notable highlights include the implementation of the College Board’s pre-AP framework for monitoring student growth and progress, expanded professional learning for our teachers, and a school-wide focus this year on differentiated instruction.

At RBR we are working hard to bring our ability to differentiate instruction to optimal standards. The Pre-AP framework, for example, emphasizes the critical reading, writing, and rhetorical analysis skills that are prevalent in our highest level courses. This focus on common goals ensures that all of our 9th and 10th grade teachers are able to work collaboratively to design lessons that challenge students and address these complex skills. These professional development efforts are critically important, given that research tells us that differentiating instruction is not easy and needs intensive support to succeed.

We are also taking steps to ensure all students can maximize their full potential. In addition to the new accelerated course offerings in grade 10, students can participate in the merit-based “embedded honors” program in grades 9 and 10. This year we improved the program in grade 9 to include enrichment recitations that provide additional ELA instruction from a teacher currently teaching a college-level course at RBR (AP, IB, or Rutgers Writing.) Students who successfully meet the requirements engage in honors-level work and receive an honors designation on their transcript. Feedback from students and teachers has been positive and over 160 freshmen are participating in the program. We are excited that this program will also be fully implemented in grade 10 in 2023-24 in place of the current tracked honors course.

RBR has embraced this framework in place of tracked honors because it provides an “on-ramp” for students to access accelerated learning experiences. It also avoids the pitfalls that have been linked with conventional tracking, such as skewing classrooms by race and class. When this imbalance occurs, tracking can inadvertently create barriers--some educational, some social, and some linked to self-confidence--that diminish learning and educational opportunities.

Under the leadership of our ELA team, we are working to sustain and strengthen our efforts to elevate learning and student achievement with the intended goal of having every Red Bank Regional student participate and succeed in at least one college-level ELA course by the time they graduate. It’s a lofty objective but we have the right programs and people in place to make it happen. 


Louis Moore, Superintendent

Julius Clark, Principal

Thomas McDonough, Supervisor, ELA, Social Studies, ELL

Michelle Blanco, Director of School Counseling

Jessica Verdigione, Supervisor of Data and Testing


Criteria for Accelerated ELA 10


ELA Spotlight Final


Espanol ELA Spotlight Final