Outside Reading 2020-2021
The Altamont School has a rich tradition of graduating students who are well-read, curious, and committed to the lifelong habit of reading. In keeping with the mission and core values of our school, we believe that
reading is one the most vital ways our students gain exposure to worlds and people different from themselves. Thus, The Altamont School maintains high and rigorous expectations when it comes to reading because we believe that reading is critical to producing “compassionate, well-educated individuals who are capable of independent thinking and innovative ideas.”
Due to the nature of our 4x4 block schedule for the 2020-2021 school year, students will be enrolled in an English class for only one semester. During that semester, the reading load will be extremely heavy. To balance the rigors of an intensive English semester with the semester students will not be enrolled in an English course, we will implement the following structure for outside reading this year:
- At the grade level, all students will vote at the beginning of each quarter on a text from the grade level reading list.
- Once the text is selected by popular vote, all students in that grade (both those enrolled in English and those who are not) will have roughly a month and half to complete the assigned reading.
- Towards the end of each quarter, the grade level teacher will host and moderate an “Honors Reading Seminar style” discussion on the novel for all students in the grade. These reading seminars will be scheduled on a Wednesday, and when possible, we will host them in person on campus. Students will also have the option to attend virtually.
The English Department stands committed to encouraging our students to read challenging, thought-provoking, and enjoyable books. We believe that this format will best enable us to authentically engage with our students and demonstrate the value and importance of reading during this 2020-2021 school year.