Grade 9

English Language Arts

Secondary English Language Arts teachers will be focusing on the 11 highest priority standards for student learning we have identified. This priority instructional content selected represents the standards most foundational to ELA instruction:

  • Close Reading of Complex Texts, and

  • Volume of Reading to Build Knowledge

The 11 priority content standards are:


  • Students read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

  • Students determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

  • Students interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

  • Students analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

  • Students read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.


  • Students write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  • Students draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Speaking and Listening

  • Students prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


  • Students demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • Students demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  • Students acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.

Though these standards are common across all secondary grade levels, instruction will be aligned to the corresponding grade-specific level of performance articulated in the common core standards.


Ninth grade students enrolled in Algebra 1 will develop their math content knowledge with a problem-based approach using the Illustrative Mathematics curriculum. Each day's lesson is organized around a larger theme for the unit, and Algebra 1 students will study linear equations and inequalities, explore one-variable and two-variable statistics, and be introduced to exponential and quadratic functions.

Family materials with unit narratives, videos of lesson summaries, and sample problems can be viewed here.

Ninth grade students enrolled in Geometry will develop their math content knowledge with a problem-based approach using the Illustrative Mathematics curriculum. Each day's lesson is organized around a larger theme for the unit, and Geometry students will study congruence, similarity, right triangle trigonometry, coordinate geometry, and conditional probability. Students will also receive an introduction to quadratic functions.

Family materials with unit narratives and sample problems can be viewed here.


Students in high school will be working to complete a sequence of required laboratory science classes aligned with the a-g requirements. These typically include a sequence of biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as one or more science electives such as biotechnology or physiology. Your student's counselor will help them identify a sequence that is aligned with college requirements as well as their individual interests.

Social Studies

In social studies, students ninth grade students will be taking an ethnic studies course, which will include the following units of study:

  • Exploring Self-Identity Through Autoethnography

  • Power, Privilege, Oppression, Resistance & Liberation

  • Becoming an Agent of Your Own Education

  • Sports, Race, Gender, and Social Justice

You can read more about the details of each unit, such as the overarching questions that frame each, as well as highlighted projects and performance tasks here.