The ability to think, read, and write clearly and effectively lies at the heart of every English course and extends throughout the curriculum.
At all grade levels work includes informal class discussions, close reading of the texts, and frequent written assignments: reading quizzes, analytical essays, and creative fiction and verse. Class enrollment is limited so that all English courses can provide ample opportunity for individual conferences and group workshops with instructors. The literature studied throughout the four-year program is selected to reflect as wide a variety of genres, styles, and periods as possible. Works chosen are designed to develop students' moral awareness and intellectual curiosity.
Aside from specific courses offered by the department, there are numerous additional opportunities for students to develop their interest or proficiency in the discipline. Special workshops in grammar or reading are offered upon request or as need arises. Advanced Placement tutorials are available to students who want an opportunity to review their reading and to practice taking sample examinations. Students at all grade levels have the opportunity to submit material to the newspaper and the Arts Magazine. Students are also encouraged to enter both national and local writing competitions. There are field trips to appropriate films and theater, and, when available, guest speakers are invited to address interested students.
Students must earn a total of four units in the English Department to satisfy the graduation requirement. English I (ninth grade) and English II (tenth grade) are year-long courses worth one unit each. In the eleventh and twelfth grades, students choose from a variety of semester courses worth one half unit each. An English course must be taken in each semester in which a student is enrolled.