Scholar of Language Arts


When students begin the Scholars track at Valley, they will have met the requirements for Lang and Lit, Fundamentals and Speech.

  1. Must take at least 12 total credits of Language Arts classes in grades 9-12 at Valley/Valley Southwoods.
    • Requirements for the Scholars Track:
      • Complete Advanced Composition; either World Literature or Advanced Contemporary Literature; AP Literature and Composition; and AP Language and Composition.
      • Cluster 1 – take one credit from this cluster:
        • Dramatic Literature
        • Early American Literature
        • Modern American Literature
        • Gender, Race, and Culture in Literature
        • Science Fiction and Fantasy
        • Shakespeare
        • American Heritage
        • Advanced Contemporary Literature (this course cannot fulfill two requirements simultaneously)
        • World Literature (this course cannot fulfill two requirements simultaneously)
      • Cluster 2 – Take one credit from this area:
        • Creative Writing
        • Advanced Creative Writing
        • Debate I/Public Speaking
        • Advanced Speech Communication
        • Electives Offering
          • Select an additional credit from Cluster 1 or Cluster 2, or take Broadcasting, Advanced Broadcasting, Journalism, Newspaper, or Yearbook.
  2. Complete AP Literature and Composition and AP Language and Composition.
  3. Have a general overall GPA of at least 3.5.
  4. Have a GPA of 4.0 in all Language Arts courses.
  5. Must take the semester exam in all Language Arts courses without Pass/No Pass.
  6. Must take the AP exam in each AP level reading and writing course.
  7. Must exhibit a “Capstone” experience.

The Capstone experience for each Scholar will be a project that exhibits a deep level of understanding of their area of interest. This Capstone will be the synthesis of the important content, knowledge, or skills that are of vital significance and importance in the Scholar’s area of focus. The Capstone will be evaluated through the lenses of three standards: a) Construction of Knowledge, b) Elaborate Written Communication, and c) Connections to the Student’s Life. Students will develop a Capstone proposal based on the following criteria:

Standard 1: Construction of Knowledge

The task asks students to interpret, analyze, synthesize, or evaluate information in writing about a topic, rather than merely reproduce information. To score high, the task should require interpretation, analysis, synthesis, or evaluation of information that goes deeper than simple familiarity with the information.

Standard 2: Elaborated Written Communication*

The task asks students to draw conclusions or make generalizations or arguments and support them through extended writing. There is an explicit call for generalization AND support. The task asks students to draw conclusions or to make generalizations or arguments using narrative or expository writing, AND to substantiate them with examples, summaries, illustrations, details, or reasons.

*Elaborated communication may be most often evident in essays or research papers, but may take other forms.

Standard 3: Connections to Students’ Lives

The task asks students to connect the topic to their lives. The task asks students to connect the topic to experience, observations, feelings, or situations significant in their lives using narrative or expository writing.

The individual Capstone proposal must be approved in May of the junior year. A presentation of the Capstone experience will be adjudicated prior to May 15 of the senior year by a jury of three composed of their Capstone adviser, a Valley administrator, and a teaching and learning administrator (as available).

The Capstone adviser will meet with their team of assigned scholars. A topical agenda with timeline will guide the process. This will be explained to all participants during the September large group meeting.