The English program is designed to meet students’ individual needs and to help them acquire effective communication skills. Students are enrolled in an English class each year and must successfully complete four years in order to meet graduation requirements. Each year’s course offerings build upon skills acquired during previous years. Listening, reading, speaking, thinking, research, and writing skills are emphasized each year; and students are challenged to support their opinions with specific details from their reading and observations. There are three levels of English at each grade level. Students are placed at a level most appropriate for them based on teacher recommendation, past and present academic performance, and future goals.
The English Department’s curriculum is developed and continually refined in accordance with the Common Core State Standards’ Ten Guiding Principles for English Language Arts Programs in Massachusetts. The Guiding Principles dictate that an effective English Language Arts and literacy curriculum: draws on literature in order to develop students’ understanding of their literary heritage; draws on informational texts and multimedia in order to build academic vocabulary and strong content knowledge; develops students’ oral language and literacy through appropriately challenging learning; emphasizes writing arguments, explanatory/informative texts, and narratives; holds high expectations for all students; provides explicit skill instruction in reading and writing; builds on language, experiences, knowledge and interests that students bring to school; nurtures students’ sense of their common ground as present or future American citizens and prepares them to participate responsibly in our schools and civic life; reaches out to families and communities in order to sustain a literate society. Throughout the four years of English, the Department collectively strives to meet these goals.
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