Cervone Center for Learning
Students enrolled in the Edmund V. Cervone Center for Learning program experience individualized attention, instruction, and supports as they engage with challenging course materials across the college-preparatory curriculum. The core course offered is Communication Skills. In this one-to-one course, students learn compensatory strategies that help them to find success in all of their current classes, as well as acquire the skills they need to find independent success when they transition out of the program or later at the college level. In addition to Communication Skills, students may be enrolled in parallel Cervone Center English or mathematics courses, and/or specialized Cervone Center Spanish courses. Students enrolled in Cervone Center English and mathematics classes experience a college preparatory course of study using the same materials as students in parallel (similar) classes in the general program. Students in Cervone Center Spanish courses experience a meaning-centered approach to foreign language study that takes into account their individual learning needs.
Admission to the Cervone Center for Learning is through direct application to both the School and the program. Initial placement and re-enrollment decisions are determined by the Director and the Cervone Center faculty in consultation with the Dean of Academic Affairs. The following is a basic description of the courses offered in the Cervone Center for Learning. Enrollment in Cervone Center courses is exclusive to students with a documented need for specialized instruction.
- Communication Skills; Grades 9–12
- English I /LC; Grade 9
- English II/ LC; Grade 10
- English III/IV/LC; Grades 11–12
- Algebra I/LC; Grade 9
- Geometry/LC; Grades 9–10
- Algebra II/LC; Grades 10–11
- Applied Algebra II/LC; Grades 11–12
Students in this one-to-one class learn compensatory strategies and self-advocacy skills that help them to perform to their potential in all of their classes. The focus is on individual needs, but may include intensive instruction in written expression, organizational strategies, study skills, test-taking skills, and other strategies that help students to take full advantage of a college-preparatory curriculum. The Communication Skills teacher regularly liaises with the student’s other teachers to monitor progress and support the student’s accommodations needs.
English I /LC
Students will experience small-group instruction in the language arts of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Students gain access to literature through multiple modalities to facilitate skill development in comprehension and written expression. In reading, the students meet various literary genres including the novel, the short story, drama, and poetry and learn to think critically and engage in thoughtful discussions about what they read. Students engage in exercises for the acquisition of a broader vocabulary using vocabulary selected from appropriate literature. Narrative, descriptive, and expository writing are explored as well as the process of doing research and reporting on it.
English II/ LC
Students will experience small-group instruction in American literature through various works of poetry, plays, prose, and novels. Focus is placed on how these works address identity, and how an individual maintains a balance between personal integrity and communal pride. Students will master the finer skills associated with comprehensive reading, while studying vocabulary in context and improving expository writing through focus on the five-paragraph essay. Additionally, students are provided the opportunity to use a variety of techniques to complete creative projects to demonstrate understanding of the material.
Students engage in a yearlong course mirroring the World Literature course required for all juniors not enrolled in either AP English or an appropriate ESL course and which contains elements of the senior-level English Department electives in Creative Writing and Multicultural Literature. Because some students will be enrolled in this course for both junior and senior years, the reading list changes each year to allow students to be exposed to new literature and ideas. Building on the students’ experience with American literature, this course seeks to broaden their awareness of other cultures by reading fiction, drama, and poetry from all over the world. In considering that diverse literature, students will learn to read more closely and critically and to discover the resonances between the literature and their own experiences. Students will be exposed to paper, online, and audio versions of the texts. Students will develop writing skills through journals and a wide array of essay writing including personal narratives, persuasive essays, a research project, and formal criticism. In addition, the students will have the opportunity to develop creative writing including poetry, short stories, and pieces designed for a writing workshop environment. Because most classes take the form of the Socratic seminar, students have ample opportunity to hone their skills in speaking and oral presentation.
Students with varied learning styles and mathematical abilities will experience a solid foundation of algebra skills and concepts in a small-group setting. An analytical approach compatible with each student’s rate of comprehension is taken with appropriate material using various modalities such as auditory, tactile, and visual activities. Beginning with practice and the review of the basic pre-algebra skills, students proceed through real numbers, algebraic equations, inequalities, proportions, graphs, linear equations, polynomials, and factoring.
Students in this course will develop a proficiency and understanding of the properties and applications of geometry. Topics include parallel and perpendicular lines; congruence, similarity and other properties of triangles; introduction of trigonometry; angles; polygons; three-dimensional concepts; and area and volume. Emphasis will be placed on the description and use of inductive, deductive, and intuitive reasoning skills. Abstract reasoning, spatial visualization, and logical reasoning will be improved through this course. Algebraic skills will be reinforced and applied to geometric relationships. Teaching methods will be used to enhance and strengthen each student’s comprehension of the concepts covered in this course.
*Prerequisite: Algebra I or Algebra I/LC
Algebra II/LC is a continuation of Algebra I, with concepts and skills covered in greater depth and at a higher level of understanding. Appropriate material is presented using various modalities such as auditory, tactile, and visual activities. The course starts with a review of topics covered in Algebra I and then proceeds through linear systems of equalities and inequalities, quadratic equations and functions, polynomials and polynomial functions, all with an emphasis on application. Students are given the opportunity to complete alternative assessments such as projects and oral/visual presentations that capitalize on the students' individual strengths and learning styles.
*Prerequisite: Algebra I or Algebra I/LC, and Geometry or Geometry/LC
Applied Algebra II/LC*
Students will expand on the foundations of algebra skills and concepts presented in Algebra I and II. A small group of students with varied learning styles and mathematical abilities will be provided with an analytical approach compatible with each student’s rate of comprehension. Various modalities such as auditory, tactile, and visual activities are used. Students will practice and review the math skills introduced in Algebra II, extending these concepts, including exponential and logarithmic and rational functions. Models will be applied to real-life examples through projects and creative activities.
*Prerequisite: Algebra II/LC
Students will experience a multifaceted approach to Level I Spanish, which assumes no previous experience with world language study. Students will experience and practice Spanish for everyday situations through a variety of activities, including listening to and acting out short stories, role-plays, music, dance, and watching authentic videos. While an emphasis is placed on listening comprehension and speaking, students will also gain an understanding of Spanish language structures through basic reading and writing. Students will further enhance their understanding of the Spanish-speaking world by exploring Spanish traditions and making cross-cultural comparisons with their own culture.
Level II/LC is the second year of the Cervone Center Spanish program and assumes the successful completion of Spanish I or Spanish I/LC. In this course, the students will build upon the knowledge and skills developed in Level I as they explore new topics and cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world. Students will continue to employ a wide variety of multisensory activities as they focus on honing their comprehension and speaking skills. As with Level I, students will also engage in basic reading and writing activities as they work to attain a practical, working knowledge of the language.
*Prerequisite: Spanish I or Spanish I/LC