• Summer reading is required for all four years not only to reinforce the literary skills encountered in the classroom but also to promote good reading habits, which, both directly and indirectly, contribute to the development of positive writing skills.
  • A variety of approaches and methodologies are used on all grade levels and in all classes to develop these skills. The pursuit of such development is expanded in depth and intensity in the Honors and Advanced Placement courses.
  • Weekly vocabulary study is ongoing in English I-IV.

English I

English I (CP) – 9th
1.0 credit

Prerequisite: none

English I includes mastery of sentence structure and paragraph elements based upon extensive study of

grammatical concepts, acquisition of library skills and exposure to the basic mechanics of research for a

research paper assignment (with the emphasis on learning how to find, gather, collate, present, and

document the ideas of others with much guidance and hands-on experiences in the library), and

introduction to writing formal essays. In addition to a grammar book, students will achieve this mastery of

language through reading and writing experiences from the study of literature. The literature includes

emphasis on rudimentary elements of literary components and comprehension of basic textual clues to

understanding the written word. All students will prepare a minimum of one research-oriented

paper. Honors students will also write a minimum of three book analyses, including biographical research

on the author based on their out-of-class reading.

English II

English II (CP) – 10th
1.0 credit

Prerequisite: English I

English II expands on those skills introduced in English I. The curriculum presents a holistic approach to

writing and literary skills by merging several components: concentrated study of selected readings from

literary genres with emphasis on literary elements employed by those selections; attention to research skills,

format, and documentation; regular attention to writing from non-literary related prompts; study and use of

vocabulary; study of and practice with several basic rhetorical modes and the rubrics by which these

writings are assessed.

English III

English III (CP) – 11th
1.0 credit

Prerequisite: English II

English III develops the student’s writing skills by having them construct pieces over a variety of genres.

They will be expected to compose multiple works of literary analysis with an understanding of the MLA

format, a personal narrative with an understanding of the uses of dialogue, multiple timed persuasive

writing pieces, and a research paper that is persuasive in nature. Though course has an intense focus on the

development of the student’s writing skills, the growth of their reading skills is still imperative. The

curriculum includes works of American literature from a number of different literary movements.

English III Language and Composition (AP)

English III Language and Composition (AP) – 11th
1.0 credit

Prerequisite: English II CP or Honors, Faculty Recommendation, ACT Aspire Scores

The AP Language and Composition course is intended to engage students in becoming skilled readers of

American prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. It also requires students

to become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Students write in a variety of forms such

as narrative, exploratory, expository, and argumentative and on a variety of subjects such as personal

experiences, public policies, imaginative literature, and pop culture. The course is designed to enable

students to read complex American texts with understanding and to write prose of sufficient richness and

complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers. AP Language and Composition emphasizes

the process of composing and asks students to write essays that proceed through several stages or drafts,

with revision aided by teachers and peers. Students will read a wide variety of American prose styles from

many disciplines and historical periods and also consider how selection of American fiction and poetry

highlight stylistic decisions. The course provides students with a comprehensive experience in studying

American literature.

English IV

English IV (CP) – 12th
1.0 credit

Prerequisite: English III

English IV includes mastery of formal essay structure as a basis for preparation for the traditional college

classroom, research paper of 6-8 typed pages, which is the result of the student’s independent research with

an emphasis on analysis of literary works of two authors. Literature includes a chronological study of

British literature from Biblical times through the ages to the current century for an understanding of how

literature is a reflection of history and reinforcement of literary terminology with added levels of insight

and synthesis.

English IV Literature and Composition (AP)

English IV Literature and Composition (AP) – 12th
1.0 credit

Prerequisite: English III CP or AP, Faculty Recommendation, ACT Aspire Scores

The AP English IV course is designed to prepare students for the AP exam through exposure to British and

World Literature in the form of essays, novels, poetry, plays, and short stories spanning from the Middle

Ages to the modern day era. Discussion, group work, and writing prompts are used to comprehend and

analyze literature, and all essays include analysis and persuasion in addition to occasional research of

secondary critical sources. When writing timed essays in class, as well as at home, students are encouraged

to balance their evidence with analysis in the Jane Schaeffer ratio of one concrete detail for every two

commentary. In addition to balance and organization, written comments on papers along with conferences

with the teacher encourage varied sentence structures and smooth transitions, and instruction regarding

grammar is provided on an as needed basis. Grades of essays are based upon the AP 1-9 scale, and

students are continually encouraged to ask questions about their writings in and out of class.

English Department Electives

Creative Writing

Creative Writing – 11th or 12th
0.5 credit

Prerequisite: English I and English II

Creative Writing is offered as a half-credit course open to all upperclassmen. Several genres of writing

including memoirs, poetry, short stories, fairy tales and one-act plays as well as the creative process itself

are explored. Students complete exercises in characterization, dialogue and setting development and share

them with their classmates to be critiqued. A student-produced online anthology is compiled by the end of

the semester highlighting the best efforts of the class. Possible venues of publication are also explored.


Novels – 11th or 12th
0.5 credit

Prerequisite: English I and English II

The Novels class is offered as a half-credit course open to upperclassmen. The class engages students in

the close reading and critical analysis of literary novels. Students will study a diverse selection of novels to

gain an awareness of their scope and variety. Characters, setting, plot, theme, and other elements will be

discussed in order to analyze, interpret, and evaluate their significance. The course will be organized

around various thematic units. Students will write several short literary analyses and work in group settings

on a variety of research projects.