Advanced Language Arts

What is Advanced Language Arts?

Advanced Language Arts is a program for students which provides additional challenge and rigor in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening and language. Students may self-select into this program, using the Criteria for Informed Self-Selection, which is shared during registration, to guide their decision.

How is Advanced Language Arts different than the regular middle school language arts program?

Advanced Language Arts follows a Scope and Sequence similar to regular Language Arts classes, but with added rigor, additional assignment requirements, acceleration, and higher expectations. There are additional curriculum and materials that add complexity and rigor. Students are expected to read and write at a higher volume, respond to open-ended high-level questions, and actively participate in class discussions.

What students are best suited for Advanced Language Arts?

High achieving students who are self-motivated, organized, and willing to embrace a challenge would typically be successful in this class. These students should love to read and write, both in class and independently. The program is not intended for all students and the most important consideration is that students be appropriately placed. Please carefully review the Criteria for Informed Self-Selection in order to make the best decision for your student.

Is Advanced Language Arts for Highly Capable Students Only?

No. However, many of our Highly Capable students choose this offering as it is an appropriate selection for Highly Capable students given that it provides challenge, acceleration and rigor. Advanced Language Arts is open to students who have not been identified as Highly Capable.

Is there more homework in Advanced Language Arts?

Students should expect that there will be more homework in the Advanced Language Arts class than in the regular Language Arts class.

Is Advanced Language Arts a prerequisite for AP, IB and Honors classes in high school?

No. While the added rigor and higher expectations can be a good preparation for AP, IB and Honors classes in high school, the Advanced Language Arts classes do not factor into the high school registration process.

How does my student register for Advanced Language Arts?

Parents will review the Self-Select Criteria and select either the Advanced or Regular Language Arts class for 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.

What criteria are used to place students in Advanced Language Arts?

The District has created a “Criteria for Self-Select” checklist. Please review the criteria carefully and select the option that seems the best fit for your child. The criteria encompasses a range of factors to consider: test scores, behaviors, motivation and time all play a role in the decision making process.

Are the same placement criteria used for MERLIN students as non-MERLIN students?

Yes. As this is an informed self-select program, we ask that parents and students review the criteria and make the appropriate choice for their child.

What if my student didn't attend the Issaquah School District for elementary school?

The Criteria for Self-Select is specific to data a child will have after completing elementary school in the Issaquah School District. If your child is coming in from outside the district, you will need to consider the data and information you have with respect to the intent behind the Issaquah criteria. For example, if you have a highly motivated child who earned high test scores, received excellent grades and has a love of reading and writing, your child could be a good fit for this class.

Once students are placed in Advanced Language Arts, do they need to self-select into the program each year?

Yes. The decision to choose Advanced Language Arts is made each year. If the class has been a good fit for your child, and his or her time commitments outside of school will be similar next year, you will most likely select the Advanced Language Arts option again. If the class has not been a good fit, you may select regular Language Arts for the next year.

What grades must students maintain in order to remain in the program?

Students will remain in Advanced Language Arts as long as they are passing the course with at least a grade of D. They may choose a regular Language Arts class for the next school year.

What if my student decides he/she does not want to remain in the program?

At the end of the school year, students in Advanced Language Arts may choose to select Advanced Language Arts for the next year or may select a regular Language Arts class.

Can my child enter Advanced Language Arts in 7th or 8th grade?

Yes. Please refer to the self-select Criteria posted on the District website to guide you in making this decision for your child.

What if my student is new to the Issaquah School District starting in 7th or 8th grade?

If your child is coming in from outside the district, you will need to consider the data and information you have with respect to the intent behind the Issaquah criteria. For example, if you have a highly motivated child who earned high test scores, received excellent grades and has a love of reading and writing, your child would most likely be a good fit for this class.