• All courses provide a challenging curriculum for the majority of students and are characterized by high academic standards. At all levels, students should expect a consistent reading load, routine and longterm writing, grammar lessons and vocabulary work. All students should expect regular homework, and all students will receive instruction in and be expected to demonstrate proficiency in: (1) reading comprehension and analysis, (2) clear, purposeful writing, and (3) grammar and vocabulary. All students are expected to work hard to achieve growing competencies in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and researching.

    Grade 9

    Grade 10

    Grade 11

    Grade 12

    Genre Study, H

    British Literature, H

    American Voices 11, H

    AP Literature

    Genre Study, CP

    British Literature, CP

    American Voices 11, CP

    Creative Writing CP, H


    AP Language and Composition

    The Sea in Literature CP, H


    Semantics CP, H


    A Reader’s Life CP, H


    Literature & Identity CP, H


    The Epic Journey CP, H


    Literature of the Utopia’s H, CP

  • College Preparatory English

    CP courses meet the challenges set forth by the state standards with the specific goal of college preparation in mind. CP courses have deliberate pacing, with more in-class reading and writing support to assist students in developing analytical reading and writing competencies. In addition to the explicit English standards, lessons and grading in CP courses emphasize organization, process and study skills to assist students in improving work habits from adequate to exemplary. Time is spent reviewing and solidifying fundamental grammatical and critical reading skills.

    Honors English

    By virtue of their interest and diligence, as well as their abilities in reading and writing, some students demonstrate that they are capable of challenges beyond those of the state standards targeted in CP courses. Honors courses have accelerated pacing due to more independent reading and writing, as students already have solid analytical reading and writing abilities. This pacing allows for exposure to more literature and more types of writing. Class time is used for deeper analysis and synthesis, with instruction targeted at further refining students’ analytical abilities and broadening the scope of the connections among texts and ideas. Students are expected to have exemplary work habits, allowing grading and lessons to emphasize English competencies over study skills. Time is spent mastering and expanding advanced grammatical skills and critical reading skills.

    Advanced Placement English

    The requirements and curriculum at this level are determined by the College Board. Courses are designed for students who are self-directed learners with particular strengths in English. The expectations for these courses more closely align with those of an introductory college course, requiring a greater out-of-school time commitment due to accelerated pacing, intensive evaluations, and independent long-term work. Students in these courses seek the greater challenge of deeper rhetorical and literary analysis due to their inherent interest in English language and literature and a desire to improve writing beyond the expectations of a traditional high school course. Grammar and vocabulary study are within the scope of the courses, but students are expected to have reasonable proficiency in these areas.

    Genre Study, Grade 9, 5.00 cr.

    110 - honors

    112 – college prep

    The ninth-grade program of studies emphasizes literature, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Genres include the novel, short story, epic, drama, poetry, and nonfiction. The purpose of the course is to help students become more effective readers, writers, and listeners. Outside reading also is expected. Students are required to do expository and creative writing to show understanding of literature, with emphasis on the analytical essay. Students learn to develop a controlling thesis, gather support evidence, and create a well-organized essay. Students also study grammar and vocabulary throughout the year. Honors students can expect to read additional texts.

    British Literature, Grade 10, 5.00 cr.

    120 – honors

    122 – college prep

    The tenth-grade program of studies also emphasizes literature, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Students will become more effective readers, writers, and listeners as they study the British literary tradition. Outside reading is also expected. Students are required to do expository, argumentative, and narrative writing to show understanding of literature, with emphasis on the analytical essay. Students will study grammar and vocabulary throughout the year. Honors students can expect to read additional texts. American Voices, Grade 11, 5.00 cr. 130 – honors 132 – college prep This course invites students to engage in the ongoing dialogue that is American literature, developing their voices in response to the ideas of major American authors and thinkers. Students will deepen their knowledge of literary forms and increase their ability in language arts with an emphasis on articulating their original ideas with clarity, sensitivity, and purpose. Students are expected to read for comprehension with independence, with appropriate support for exploring multiple interpretations in discussion and writing. The study of grammar and vocabulary supports students’ work in reading and writing, as well as serves as SAT preparation.

    Advanced Placement, English Language and Composition, 5.00 cr.


    There is a college board exam fee associated with this course.

    The Advanced Placement Language and Composition course is designed to help students become skilled readers of prose, nonfiction, poetry, and drama written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who can compose for a variety of purposes. Through their writing and reading in this course, students should become aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effective writing. This course will draw upon many of the same sources as the American Literature course, with students reading classic and modern American Literature texts and various informational texts. Students will write the traditional college essay in this course. Students will also do substantial work in SAT preparation, vocabulary, and usage.

Grade 12 Senior Seminar

  • Senior Seminars follow a literature curriculum consistent with their title with the exception that all students will read a Shakespeare selection. In making their course selection, students should choose the appropriate level, and should identify and rank order at least two courses of interest to them.

    Creative Writing, 5.00 cr.

    140 – honors

    142 – college prep

    Imagination is a powerful tool, a vehicle for innovation, and the foundation of Creative Writing. Conducted in a workshop-based setting, this course provides opportunities for students to develop their literary talents and artistic voices in different genres--fiction, poetry, memoir, and drama--by studying great writers and their techniques. These skills are explored in daily activities, weekly journals, and student-generated prompts. Students will learn to critique their own writing and that of their peers, and will create a final portfolio demonstrating their growth and performance as writers. Narrative skills are emphasized in contrast to the essay techniques of expository writing. Daily participation is required.

    Advanced Placement English Literature, 5.00 cr.


    There is a college board exam fee associated with this course.

    In AP English, students are engaged in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature, including novels, poetry, drama, and short stories. They develop critical standards for interpreting the effects writers create by means of the artful manipulation of language. Writing is an integral part of the course and serves to increase the students’ ability to understand what they read and explain clearly, cogently, even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do. AP students do a year-long enrichment project in which they answer a question of interest-based either on academic pursuits, world events, or personal experiences-using literature and research read throughout the year. At the end of the third term, before the AP exam, students will present their projects orally to the public in a TED Talk exhibition.

    The Sea in Literature, 5.00 cr.

    144 - college prep

    141 - honors

    The Sea in Literature is based on the sea voyage narrative. Voyages have changed individuals, societies, and the course of history, and the stories of others’ journeys enlighten our own lives. The ocean is an integral part of life, and most of us are much happier when we are near the water. Our various interactions and connections to the sea are evident in the course reading selections which include narratives, poems, and novels. Students will be able to explore their own interdisciplinary interests in the ocean through an independent research project. Narrative, argumentative, and creative writing are assigned.

    Semantics, Grade 12, 5.00 cr. 146 – honors 147 – college prep

    Language is a powerful force, a gift that humans can use (or abuse) with powerful implications. Through fiction and nonfiction readings, essays, and films, this course examines the force of language in the shaping of human behavior. Students will explore the abuse of language in areas such as propaganda, media, classism, racism, and sexism. Accelerated assignments will be given to those students requesting honors credit.

    Literature of the Utopias, Grade 12, 5.00 cr.

    Not offered in 2021-2022

    148, honors

    149, college prep

    This course will examine the idea of building a perfect society in works of fiction and nonfiction. Students will trace the themes and ideas behind “perfection” and personal responsibility, freedom and safety, individualism and compromise in a society as it is presented in Plato’s The Republic, More’s Utopia and the corresponding criticism of those ideas from scholarly articles and from works like Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, and Lennon’s “Imagine.” The course will also consider how utopian/dystopian ideas reflect historical contexts, including the explosion of dystopian novels, film and other media aimed at a teen audience (Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze, etc.). Students will increase their ability to read critically, write effectively in a variety of modes (persuasive, narrative, informational, etc.), analyze, and synthesize information by applying the ideas found in the works of literature, philosophy and criticism to works of fiction, select films, and current events.

    Literature & Identity, Grade 12, 5.00 cr.

    150, honors

    151, college prep

    How does a work of fiction reveal the complex web of influences that shape one’s identity and how one views the world? What roles do family, peers, age, class, education, ethnicity, and gender play in influencing the way we think and act, and how can an author suggest all of that in the fictional space? What can a literary work reveal about our understanding of ourselves and of our world? The answers to these questions lie in one quintessential truth: our identities are shaped by stories. The stories we read or hear color the way we view the world. The stories we tell reveal the way we view ourselves, or the way we want to be seen. All of these texts focus on characters on a quest to find out who they are, attempting to forge new identities, to “edit” their lives into different stories. Their successes and failures tell us much about the forces that shape identity. These works also focus on the complex relationship between literature and life, between “stories” and “the real world,” on the differences between the way we see ourselves and the way we are seen. The course will develop students’ skills as analytical readers, critical thinkers, persuasive writers, and eloquent speakers. We will focus on close readings of the texts, background material on their cultural, historical, and artistic contexts, and literary criticism. We will look at film adaptations of selected works in order to consider how literary texts differ from film in the portrayal of identity. Most importantly, we will use the texts to think about our own journeys and the quest to forge our own identities.

    The Epic Journey, from Achilles to Aeneas to Whitman and Skywalker

    152, honors

    153, college prep

    This course studies and explores, from multiple disciplinary approaches, Epics from ancient Greece and Rome to the modern era. Students will consider thematic characteristics, formal conventions of the genre, and the cultural context in which the readings occur. Students will comparatively analyze how all epics, regardless of the varied times and cultures from which they draw, still explore the same essential question: What does it mean to be a whole person? Part of this exploration will derive from the ways Epic heroes reflect a society’s values, and how they examine the individual’s place in that social context. Students will study the ways that the epic tradition has evolved and has more recently informed the idea of the modern superhero. Part of this process will include an analysis and comparison of textual and visual media and the ways that the two both intersect and diverge. Students will produce various written products, including a research paper as well as their own personal narrative epic.

    A Reader’s Life

    154 - honors

    155 - college prep

    This course gives each student the opportunity to create a personalized reading plan relevant to his or her interests, strengths, and weaknesses and to read both widely and deeply while honing critical literacy skills. All students’ reading lists will span fiction and nonfiction and represent a variety of genres, cultures, and time periods. Independence will be important for student success, but this course is not an independent study, meaningful participation in group discussions, presentation of ongoing work, and consultation with the teacher are essential parts of the course. This course is designed both for an avid, enthusiastic reader looking to widen his/her range and for the hesitant, struggling reader looking to find his/her niche.

  • English Levels

  • 9th Grade English Course

  • 10th Grade English Courses