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Upper School Corner - Mr. Clay Heller

Friday, 10 June, 2016 - 12:33 pm

From the Desk of Clay Heller 

On May 11th, three brave seniors at the Hebrew Academy took the three and a half hour long AP English Language and Composition exam. This test measures their work against a college standard for a Writing and Composition class. It is very difficult, and only 56% of the students who take it are able to pass it. We have very high hopes that the three students who took it this year will be successful. 

Even though our students travel unique paths after high school, the value of the class should be something that stays with them throughout their lives. Each girl practiced developing strong arguments, as they learned how to support their claims with fact-based evidence and statistics. Each girl practiced analyzing rhetoric, as they studied famous works of American history like the Declaration of Independence and speeches of Thomas Paine in an effort to understand how people convince us of their positions. Each girl studied how to synthesize different sources into one coherent argument, taking topics as diverse as foreign language education and the purpose of the penny, and composing clear, well argued positions on the matters. 

In concluding the course, each of the students has been hard at work on a small project. They are writing four different types of text--a descriptive essay, a non-fiction narrative, an argumentative essay, and a poem--about a place that had a large impact on their lives. Each of these projects will be considered the capstone for the larger portfolio of work that they will take away from the Hebrew Academy and be able to reflect on later in life. We are all, again, so proud of the work that these girls have done through the year, and wish them the best as they move on to whatever's next. 

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