The English curriculum centers on the development of literacy, thinking and analytical skills, language proficiency and communication through reading literature, reading informational text, writing, listening and language.
Courses incorporate the use of up-to-date technology, the computer, video and film within its scope. The entire program provides a wide variety of experiences in the study of multi-cultural, historical, biographical, classical and contemporary literature and non-fiction texts, and considers the works of authors, of both genders, in the Western tradition and from around the world.
Included in the program is the study of literary genres, movements, craft, style and structure, and schools of literary thought. Further, the inclusion of seminal documents and other non-fiction texts provide the basis for research and writing skills, on all levels, in the language arts and related disciplines.
The program encourages creativity through writing, oral interpretation, critical evaluation, group discussion, collaborative learning and independent study. All courses in the English curriculum include the Language Arts Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy.
Writing is required in all courses in each grade. The writing process includes drafting, revision, redrafting and editing. Peer editing, peer evaluation and self-reflection are included in the process, and a rubric has been established as a guide and assessment tool. In many classes across the Department, writing folders are kept for each student, and portfolios are often used as alternative means of assessment in arriving at an additional component of the student’s final grade.
Content and style are regarded as central to effective writing, though structure, spelling, grammar, usage and the mechanics of writing are carefully examined in the overall production of an accomplished paper. Research and critical studies, or reviews, are included at all levels, and instruction in accurate and appropriate citation is provided. The MLA Style Manual is the method of citation used in the Department.
Students are informed of and encouraged to participate in local, statewide, and national creative writing contests (poetry, prose, and drama) and essay competitions.
- Kimberley Westervelt, Assistant Principal