Social Studies: Participation in Government (9th Grade)
About Participation in Government (PiG): We teach PiG in 9th grade because it's a stimulating course that gets students fired up early on about being active citizens in their communities and in the world at large. SLJ is a particularly exciting place to teach a government class because we work with so many community partners, law firms, government agencies and politicians.
Who would you be working with? The 9th grade team is led by former English Department Chair Suzette Dyer, whose specialty is turning low-performing, apathetic teenagers into hard workers. We have a phenomenal curriculum coach, Michael Gonchar, who was a founding Social Studies teacher at East Side Community HS where he taught for about 7 years. The combined experience of our Social Studies department nears three decades of teaching.
Science: Biology (10th Grade)
About Biology: Our two year Bio/Chem sequence begins in 10th grade. It follows a 9th grade Forensics Science course which provides students with a strong science foundation – and, helps them fall in love with science. Students take the Living Environment Regents in January of the 11th grade. SLJ is a great place to teach science because every one of our teachers is an experienced pedagogue with a strong background in their content area.
Who would you be working with? SLJ boasts a faculty of scientists whose passion is teaching. SLJ teachers are committed to creating the next generation of scientists. Our Department Chair, Liz Donahue, taught Living Environment for several years before joining the faculty of SLJ to teach Forensic Science. AJ Rathmann-Noonan, our acting AP, taught Bio/Chemistry for five years, and leads the 11th grade team. AJ has also taught courses in Science Education at Hunter College. Last year, AJ won Education Update's NYC Outstanding Educator Award and was featured in the NY Times.
Special Education: Humanities (9th Grade)
About Special Education: This is a new, humanities-based Special Education position. The teacher will co-plan and Collaboratively Team Teach in two separate 9th grade English classes – Reading & Writing. The SpEd teacher may also work with a Social Studies course.
Who would you be working with? SLJ Special Ed teachers have the opportunity to work really closely with so many of their colleagues. For this position, the Special Ed teacher would co-plan and co-teach with Nina Box and Suzette Dyer, who teach two separate 9th grade courses - Reading and Writing – but plan their curriculum together. Nina and Suzette have been planning together for several years, so their courses are especially in sync. The SpEd teacher will work on a team with two other SpEd teachers, Julian Sciammarella and Jami Weckstein. Julian was a founding SLJ teacher, and Jami joined SLJ two years ago.
English: Reading Workshop & Writing Workshop (9th Grade)
About 9th Grade Reading & Writing: Because so many of our students enter high school performing significantly below grade level, we offer a double-dose of English in the 9th grade. The Reading & Writing Workshop curricula are closely aligned so that students can effectively develop their analytical reasoning skills by exploring the relationship between reading and writing. The courses focus on inquiry-based writing and collaborative learning.
Who would you be working with? The 9th grade team is led by former English Department Chair Suzette Dyer, whose specialty is turning low-performing, apathetic teenagers into hard workers. The Writing teacher will co-plan with Suzette Dyer and Nina Box, who also teach Writing and Reading. The SLJ English department is incredibly strong; every teacher is a passionate and experienced pedagogue.
Social Studies: US History (10th Grade)
About US HIstory: US History is the second Social Studies course students at SLJ take. In 9th grade, they study Participation because it's a stimulating course that gets students fired up early on about being active citizens in their communities and in the world at large. So, students enter 10th grade with a solid foundation about government, ready to explore our country's history. While studying US History, students simultaneously enroll in Constitutional Law and in American Literature. Teachers of these three courses have significant common planning time. SLJ is a particularly exciting place to teach a history class because we work with so many community partners, law firms, government agencies and politicians.