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Desk with open book

Virginia Izzo, Assistant Principal

Fort Hamilton High School’s English department is committed to engaging and meeting the needs of all students. We strive to maintain a wide variety of courses ranging from the traditional survey to interdisciplinary, honors, a balanced literacy program, and elective courses. Our approach is based on flexibility, response to student aspirations and goals, with emphasis on the highest standards of scholastic excellence.


To qualify for graduation, students are required to successfully complete eight terms of English and pass the English Language Arts Regents exam given in junior year. In order to qualify for a college and career readiness, students must achieve a score above 75. All instruction is aligned to the New York State Next Generation Learning Standards and adapted from the NYS EngageNY curriculum. Students may opt to study the genre of Drama in the freshman and sophomore year and participate in the Performing Arts.


All classes emphasize a workshop approach to acquiring college-level skills in reading and writing, as evidenced in a portfolio of narrative, argumentative, creative, and research-based writing. A Humanities-based honors program, culminating in Advanced Placement Language is offered in the junior year, and Advanced Placement Literature is offered in the senior year. All seniors who have completed the English Regents requirement have the opportunity to take a college-level selective in the senior year, in place of English 7 and English 8 such as: College and Career Writing; Film and History; Film and Literature; The Immigrant Experience; Journalism; The Language of Shakespeare; Literature of the Holocaust; and Honors Literature and the Arts. ELA electives such as College Inquiry and Research, ELA College Aptitude (SAT and College Prep), and Public Speaking are also offered in addition to Core English in grades 9-11.


Recent immigrant students who are not native speakers have the opportunity to take an elective, Communication Arts, in addition to English, to further develop proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English. Seniors are also offered the Library Research Seminar as an elective to enhance research and study skills.