Honors Enrollment Changes for the 2023-2024 School Year
Starting with the 2023-2024 school year, enrollment in Grade 9 Honors-level English Language Arts (ELA) and Global Studies classes is open to ALL students. All prior eligibility criteria have been removed for these two courses.
What does this mean?
Beginning in September 2023…
- All ninth graders will have the option to self-select into Honors-level ELA and/or Global Studies classes.
- Prior eligibility criteria have been removed (for these two classes only).
Honors Enrollment FAQs
(This page will be updated as the District receives new questions.)
Why should a student consider Honors ELA and/or Global Studies?
In an Honors class, a student will develop the skills to:
- Be more self-motivated
- Learn time management skills
- Gain college readiness skills
- Prepare for the types of writing pieces they will need to add to their college portfolio
How does a student self-select into Honors classes?
Students will self-select during the annual schedule-planning process with their Guidance Counselor.
Are enrollment requirements waived for other classes also?
No, the only classes affected at this time are Global Studies 9 and ELA 9 Honors. For other courses, you can find the enrollment requirements here.
What is the difference between course credit and weighting?
Students earn credit upon successful completion of a course. Students must earn 22 credits to graduate. Both Regents and Honors-level English 9 and Global 9 courses are worth one credit upon completion.Weighting does not affect course credit; it applies to a student's final GPA (grade point average) and class rank. A course’s weighted average is scaled based on the difficulty level of a course, with more challenging courses allocating a higher percentage towards a student’s average. This means that a student who chooses more challenging courses may potentially end up with a final grade that is higher than 100%. In addition, it means that more difficult (weighted) courses have a greater impact on a student’s GPA and class rank.Will there still be weighted grades for Honors classes?These two courses–grade 9 ELA and Global Studies–will continue to be weighted in the same way as other Honors and Accelerated courses. All grade 9 Honors and Accelerated courses are weighted 1.03, which impacts both GPA and class rank.See the chart below for how different courses are weighted:
Courses will be weighted in the following three categories:
Do Honors classes require work outside of the classroom?
Honors classes are designed for students to become deeper critical thinkers who can navigate their workload independently. Students should expect to read and write outside of the scheduled class time. For example, if the class is doing a project or writing a paper, students might have more to do outside of class that week.
If a student is expected to do "extra" work as part of the Honors program, will they be able to complete the work during normal class time or will they have to stay after school?
Will adjustments be made for student athletes that have practices/games and can't commit to staying after school?
Any student who chooses to challenge themselves is accepting the responsibility to complete the work required for an Honors level course. Students will have assignments that need to be completed outside of class. Students might have study halls, and all have access to the Student Success Center where work can be completed. In addition, all students have an activity period during 9th period where they can stay with their teachers to work on assignments. The only time student athletes would not have access to 9th period would be for away games.
What is the difference between Regents and Honors-level courses?
While the curriculum and standards are similar, Honors classes incorporate a greater breadth and depth of skills within the first year. Students will move through certain concepts and skills faster in an Honors class than in a Regents class.
What should a student do if they need extra help with Honors classwork?
Students should reach out to their teacher for guidance about additional resources to support their learning.
As in Middle School, Kingston High School has an activity period–9th period–at the end of the day, during which students can receive specialized help through their teacher or peer tutoring, or by utilizing the Student Success Center.
Does taking Honors classes affect a student’s chances of entering AP classes?
Honors classes will help students gain the skills to be successful in an AP class faster, but are not a requirement to enter AP courses.
How will taking Honors classes affect a student’s student/life balance?
Core Honors classes will not disrupt a student’s bell schedule, but student/life balance is an important consideration. Students will want to make sure that they can manage balancing their time between homework, studying, and their extracurricular activities.
What makes an “Honors” student?
According to teachers, an Honors student is:
- Someone willing to work hard and who has foundational skills–even if they’re not the best student initially.
- Someone who enjoys learning new things and is excited to work with their peers to create a learning community.
- Someone who comes to class with either a skillset or a willingness to gain that skillset. That might mean attending extra help sessions.
- Someone who is intrinsically motivated and responsible.
- “Responsible” means regular attendance!
If a student opts-in to an Honors class, and decides it is not the right fit for them, can they drop back to Regents? And, if a student is doing well in Regents, can they move up to Honors?
Students will have the flexibility of moving between Honors and Regents classes in the beginning of the school year. The established deadlines for switching classes remain the same. Students will need to commit to the class or have their schedule changed by the seventh week of school.
Is there any penalty to drop back to Regents classes once a student has started an Honors class?
There is no penalty incurred by switching to Regents ELA or Global Studies classes. Students will just need to make their schedule change before the end of the first seven weeks of school.
What are the grading, attendance, and late work policies for Honors classes?
The grading, late work, and attendance policies for all core content classes are similar. Students will receive clear guidelines about these policies in their first week of school from all of their teachers.
Keep in mind that regular attendance is an important part of being successful in any class.
Is there a required average to remain in Honors classes?
No. There will be no required average to stay in Honors for these two courses. If a student chooses to challenge themselves with an Honors class, they are accepting the responsibility to complete the required work and meet the expectations of an Honors class. Supports are available within the class, as well as peer tutoring, the Student Success Center, and period 9 Activity Period with their teacher. If a student is having trouble with the assigned work and requirements of the course, conversations will take place with the student, their parent/guardian, and guidance counselor, along with their school counselor and teacher, regarding the best placement for that student for the remainder of the year.
What are the technical needs for Honors classes?
Students should only need their assigned Chromebooks to complete class assignments.
What type of reading can a student expect in Grade 9 Honors ELA?
Much of the reading, including poetry, short stories, novels, plays, and articles, will be centered around the Grade 9 ELA theme, “perseverance.”
Here are some of the titles a student might see:
- The Odyssey by Homer
- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
My question is not answered here. Who should I contact?
Please contact the student’s Guidance Counselor:
- M. Clifford Miller Middle School: Kellie Darling, firstname.lastname@example.org
- J. Watson Bailey Middle School: Lisa Colucci-Anson, email@example.com