During the last school year, the Verona High School administration began working on an idea that would offer Verona High School students greater opportunities to explore the powerful works of black and African American writers. This idea grew into a passionate effort that included supervisors and teachers who formed a collaborative team devoted to creating a course that will foster greater understanding of the experiences that have shaped America while also meeting the demands of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. The Verona High School’s English IV course will now focus on themes of race, culture, and identity. As a result, English IV has been renamed:


English IV: Race, Culture & Identity (Grade 12) (NCAA)
5 Credits
Seton Hall University Credit: 3 Credits
Prerequisite: English III

The English IV CP Curriculum is divided into two semesters, both of which address the theme of identity. In the first semester, students will examine works from a range of sources, and varied genres. Through short stories, film, novels, memoir, and drama, the students will consider how one’s identity is formed and informed by one’s environment. Those environments include diverse cultures, but touch on universal questions of how one sees oneself in relation to others.

In the second semester, students will read works of both fiction and nonfiction, as well as poetry, speeches, and essays, by black and African American writers. Through analysis of varied works, the students will become more informed about the experiences of people of color in the United States. Varied activities include close textual analysis, Socratic seminars, research, and both written and oral presentations.

This course provides a dual enrollment opportunity for VHS students to earn college course credits through Seton Hall University. Students who elect, can pay a discounted tuition fee to Seton Hall University. Upon successful completion of the course, students who decided to participate in the dual enrollment agreement will earn college credit through Seton Hall University.

We are extremely excited about this course and we look forward to watching our students grow as they explore its numerous components. We feel this not only strengthens each student’s Verona High School experience, but it will offer another opportunity for each student to try to understand the world from another person’s point of view as he or she delves further into the collective effort to tackle more and more societal challenges.