A Tradition of Excellence

English Department

English Department Headlines

  Masks created by sophomores for a Lord of the Flies unit.
January 25, 2024

Leave Replacement English Teacher Makes a Difference

Adriana Cruz has been filling in as a Huntington High School English teacher since October. She is covering the classes of tenured faculty member Kristina Morell who is out on a leave through February 14. Over the past four months, her students say that Ms. Cruz has really made a difference in the academic lives of the teenagers.

  Huntington High School offers an assortment of literature courses
December 22, 2023

Electives in Literature Available at Huntington High School

Among the Huntington High School English course offerings are eight one semester, half-credit literature classes. Capsule overviews of each course is available in the 2024/25 high school’s curriculum guide, which is posted on the district’s website.

  Huntington Principal Brenden Cusack speaking at the English Honor Society induction ceremony. (Darin Reed photo.)
October 30, 2023

Principal Brenden Cusack Emphasizes Written and Spoken Word

Brenden Cusack was an English teacher before turning his professional attention to a career in administration. So when the Huntington High School principal addressed the crowd at this month’s English Honor Society induction ceremony it was an English teacher at heart.

 Happy new English Honor Society members. (Darin Reed photo.)
October 20, 2023

H-ton English Honor Society Inducts New Members

The Post Ellipsis chapter of the National English Honor Society at Huntington High School inducted 50 new members during a Wednesday evening ceremony in the auditorium.

 Huntington's English Honor Society chapter is inviting new member applications (3)
September 20, 2023

English Honor Society Welcomes Membership Applications

The Post Ellipsis chapter of the National English Honor Society at Huntington High School held is welcoming new membership applications. The online process is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Materials must be submitted by September 27.


English Department Important Information

About The English Department

Lauren Donaghy and Devon St. John at the English Honor Society induction. (Darin Reed photo.)

Embracing a Community of Diversity and Opportunity

Our students in Huntington live in a world which has witnessed the hopes and fears of the modern age. They live in a community which experiences diversity and opportunity meshed with the naturally concurrent challenges. We educators fully appreciate the importance of guiding our charges in acquiring deeper understandings of our nation’s role in this ever-changing world. We also know that it is incumbent on our students to accept the responsibilities necessary to realize the promise of the American life.

Look through the Lens of Multiple Viewpoints

These understandings compel the teachers in the English and Social Studies departments at J. Taylor Finley Middle School and Huntington High School to see their primary objective to be sensitizing students to the multiple viewpoints and historical antecedents which explain the events of our day. We know that reading about the varied human experiences and understandings of the past, as expressed through fiction and the informational writing of others, is the means through which students learn creativity, responsibility and critical thought. It is also understood that history is the school of democracy and literature is a path to the soul. Our teachers are the muses forging the way on these journeys.

The newly inducted English Honor Society members are a happy bunch.
These new English Honor Society members are a happy bunch

Exposure to Essential Questions

In our core courses and electives, students are constantly exposed to essential questions that permeate time and place. The issues, centering on the human experience, are grounded in a thorough study of the facts by means of analysis and interpretation. Research is also a central component to the secondary years of English Language Arts and social studies courses all students are required to satisfactorily complete for graduation.

English Department Leadership

Joe Leavy

Joseph Leavy

Chairperson of Humanities

Joseph Leavy is a longtime member of the Huntington School District’s administrative team. He became chairperson of humanities, 7-12 in July 2011. During the previous six years he served as district director of humanities, K-12.

Mr. Leavy began his career in the district in September 1997 as a social studies teacher. He has taught at both the middle school and high school levels. He currently supervises secondary grade level English and social studies teachers and the 7-12 curriculum and programs in both academic disciplines.

In addition to teaching AP American History, AP US Government and Politics, Participation in Government, Asian Studies, Economics, Regents level Economics, Global and U.S. History, Global Regents prep and ESL Global 9 classes, Mr. Leavy has served as middle school newspaper club advisor, National History Day coordinator, co-facilitator of the WISE student internship program, class advisor and curriculum writer. He has helped author new course proposals.

Mr. Leavy, who was a high school student government president, graduated from St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary in 1984 as class valedictorian. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in philosophy in 1988 from Adelphi, where he also earned also earned a Master of Arts in social studies education in 1991.

Mr. Leavy pursued private language study of Mandarin Chinese at Fu Ren University in Hsinschuang, Taiwan from September 1993 to June 1994 and later went on to earn a second Master of Arts degree in Chinese studies in 2000 from St. John’s University, where he conducted research into the 19th century Taiping Rebellion.

Prior to coming to the district, Mr. Leavy taught at St. Thomas the Apostle School and The Windsor School, worked as an instructor in the Hope for Youth at-risk program and in January 1992 became the first American to teach English at Ta Hwa College of Commerce in Hsinchu, Taiwan. He worked there through June 1994.

A longtime admirer of Theodore Roosevelt, Mr. Leavy worked as a tour guide for the National Parks Service at the former president’s home at Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay. He maintains memberships in a number of historical and professional societies and won the Clio Award from the Phi Alpha Theta Society for “outstanding research” on the role of Ireland’s neutrality in World War II.

Proficient in Mandarin Chinese, Mr. Leavy has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Eastern Europe, Asia and Southeast Asia, including China, Russia and Japan.

Mr. Leavy began participating in a Chinese exchange initiative in 2010 when a group of Huntington students and parents demonstrated a strong interest in engaging in more intense learning about the Chinese language and culture. This led to the establishment of the Asian Studies elective course.

Mr. Leavy was trained in Stony Brook University’s News Literacy program and protocols. This approach of dissecting news for its credibility and reliability, an integral part of the Stony Brook process, has now been incorporated into Huntington’s 12th Participation in Government course curriculum.”

Always striving for intellectual growth and a new challenge, Mr. Leavy obtained his administrative certification through SUNY Stony Brook. In 2010 he worked as a summer school principal for Western Suffolk BOCES.

Mr. Leavy has been featured in a book on the teaching of “deliberation” as a method of fostering participatory democracy and seeking common ground on issues instead of the typical polarization in politics. This was as a result of years of collaborative research through the Kettering Foundation.

A member of the Long Island regional National History Day board, Mr. Leavy has been active in the initiative since 1995.

Course Requirements and Listings

Huntington HS

English Scope and Sequence

Year by Year course offerings

Freshman year

Courses

  • Choose 1 Course from Below
  • English 9 Regents
  • English 9 ENL
  • English 9 Honors

  • or
  • Creative Writing
Required 1 Credit
Sophomore year

Courses

  • Choose 1 Course from Below
  • English 10 Regents
  • English 10 ENL
  • English 10 Honors

  • or
  • Creative Writing
Required 1 Credit
Junior year

Courses

  • Choose 1 Course from Below
  • English 11 Regents
  • English 11 ENL
  • AP English
  • AP Literature & Composition
  • AP Seminar

  • or
  • Creative Writing
  • Journalism
  • Theatre Arts B
  • AP Seminar
  • AP Research
  • SAT/ ELA Preparation
Required 1 Credit
Senior year

Courses

  • Choose 1 Course from Below
  • AP English Lit. & Composition
  • AP English Language
  • AP Seminar
  • AP Research
  • English 12 ENL

  • or
  • Science Fiction Lit./Literary Fantasy
  • Bible Literature / Humanities
  • Multicultural Lit. / Holocaust in Lit
  • Film & Short Story / Sports Lit.
  • Journalism / Mystery
  • Theatre Arts A
  • Theatre Arts B

  • or
  • Creative Writing
  • SAT/ ELA Preparation
Required 1 Credit

The English Department offers a wide variety of courses which not only meet students’ academic needs, but also encourage them to explore their fields of interest. The program in grades nine, ten, and eleven consists of courses designed to work with students on various language arts skills, from reading comprehension, to literary analysis, vocabulary growth, argumentative and narrative writing, and research. The curricula in these courses are fully aligned to New York State Next Generation ELA Standards, providing instruction in close reading of fiction and non-fiction texts, in making strong evidence based claims, and challenging students with a rigorous research and writing regimen. The high school experience culminates with students choosing from a number of highly specialized seminar topics in senior year, offered as selectives, where they begin to explore personally the broad range of literary genres and themes.

All students are required to take a full year of English each of the four years that they attend high school. In senior year, students take the 4th year high school English experience: either the two consecutive 12th grade English Selectives, or AP. All students in English classes complete research projects. Research skills introduced and practiced at each grade level are developmentally appropriate. Eleventh and twelfth grade English students will complete a formal research paper which exceeds the Regents standards.

The workload in honors English sections is highly challenging, as are the reading selections and course pacing. Be sure to note the prerequisites for entering these courses.

The three English Department half credit electives are offered in a single semester. These three courses are highly enriching, particularly for students with interests in creative writing, journalism and theatrical performance. Students should check with their guidance counselors for course availability. We urge students and their parents to read course descriptions carefully, taking particular note of prerequisites and objectives.

New York State has established the Next Generation ELA Standards. Our alignment with these standards confirms the level of rigor required in all Huntington High School English classes. Our students experience direct and contextual vocabulary instruction together with curricula that are fully aligned with New York State Standards. A fair balance exists, as well, in all courses between literary fiction and non-fiction works.

ENGLISH 9 REGENTS - Course #112 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 8 This is a challenging course centered around the hero and family relationships in literature. The aim is to help students develop their critical thinking and clear communication. These goals are achieved through intensive class study of demanding selections such as Greek Mythology (The Odyssey), To Kill a Mockingbird, and a Shakespearean play. There are also numerous supplemental reading assignments from recommended lists. Students are expected to complete an MLA research paper. High achievement is expected in all areas but especially in reading comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and the argumentative process writing. There are departmental quarterlies, a midyear assessment, and final examination. NCAA approved

ENGLISH 9 REGENTS ENL - Course #500ELA9 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 8 ENL This course provides support and intervention for non-native English speaking students. This is a challenging course centered around the hero and family relationships in literature. The aim is to help students develop their critical thinking and clear communication. These goals are achieved through intensive class study of demanding selections such as Greek Mythology (The Odyssey), To Kill a Mockingbird, and a Shakespearean play. There are also numerous supplemental reading assignments from recommended lists. Students are expected to complete an MLA research paper. High achievement is expected in all areas but especially in reading comprehension and process writing. There are departmental quarterlies, a midyear assessment, and final examination. NCAA approved

FOUNDATIONS (AIS) - Course #116-9, 116-10, 116-11 (1 Year – No Credit) Alternate Days This course provides academic support for students in grades 9, 10, and 11, who need to meet proficiency in ELA skills and content. The course is designed to enhance skill growth, with a focus on reading comprehension, writing, and enabling students to achieve on a proficient level on the NYS English Language Arts Regents exam.

ENGLISH 9 HONORS - Course #113 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Recommended for students of exceptional ability in English. Prerequisite: Completion of English 8 with a grade of 90 or better and recommendation of English 8 teacher and Chairperson’s approval also consideration is given to ELA scores and writing samples. This is the initial course in the program that leads to Advanced Placement Examinations in English. The course theme is the hero/heroin and his/her quest. The aim is to have the student develop critical thinking and clear communication as well as to grasp a sound understanding of mythological, legendary, and Biblical culture and stories as preparation for a more thorough understanding of literature. The goals are achieved through the study of The Odyssey, a Shakespearean play, as well as novels, short stories and poems by such authors as Sophocles and Golding. Students write frequently and will receive intensive instruction in research, grammar, process writing, and oral presentation. Additionally, numerous critical research assignments are required. There is a departmental midyear assessment and final examination. NCAA approved

ENGLISH 10 REGENTS - Course #122 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 9 English 10 Regents is a challenging course that focuses on individual identity and crucial decisions. It includes much independent reading and frequent writing assignments. Among the works studied are a Shakespearean play (Macbeth) and such novels as The Kite Runner; A Catcher in the Rye; and The Lord of the Flies. High achievement is expected in all areas, especially in reading comprehension, critical analysis, and argumentative writing. A departmental midyear assessment, quarterlies, a major research paper, and final examination are part of the course. NCAA approved

ENGLISH 10 REGENTS ENL - Course #500ELA10 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 9 ENL This course provides support and intervention for non-native English speaking students. English 10 Regents is a challenging course that focuses on individual identity and crucial decisions. It includes much independent reading and frequent writing assignments. Among the works studied are a Shakespearean play (Macbeth) and such novels as The Kite Runner; A Catcher in the Rye; and The Lord of the Flies. High achievement is expected in all areas, especially in reading comprehension, critical analysis, and argumentative writing. A departmental midyear assessment, quarterlies, a major research paper, and final examination are part of the course. NCAA approved

ENGLISH 10 HONORS - Course #123 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Recommended for students of exceptional ability in English. Prerequisite: Completion of English 9 Honors with a grade of 85 or better or English 9 Regents with grade of 90 or better, and recommendation of English teacher and Chairperson’s approval and writing sample. This is the second course in the program that leads to the NYS English Language Arts Common Core Regents. The theme of the course is The American Experience. The aim is to have the student develop critical thinking and clear communication. The syllabus concentrates on American literature with units on short stories, essays, novels, poetry, and drama. The works of Poe, Hawthorne, Twain, Melville, Thoreau, Miller, Morrison, Hurston, and Monk Kidd are studied. There are frequent compositions to develop organization, argumentative writing and clarity. Additionally, research in literary criticism is fundamental to the course. There is a departmental midterm assessment and students take the English Regents exam in June as 10th graders. NCAA approved

ENGLISH 11 REGENTS - Course #132 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 10 English 11 Regents is a challenging course focusing on American literary greats and the themes of Humanity in Conflict and the American Dream. Research techniques and the research paper are emphasized. High standards of achievement are expected in all areas, particularly in composition. Students read the plays Othello and The Crucible. A research paper is required. Students are required to take the ELA Regents in June. NCAA approved

ENGLISH 11 REGENTS ENL - Course #502ELA11 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 10 This course provides support and intervention for non-native English speaking students. English 11 Regents is a challenging course focusing on American literary greats and the themes of Humanity in Conflict and the American Dream. Research techniques and the research paper are emphasized. High standards of achievement are expected in all areas, particularly in composition. Students read the plays Othello and The Crucible. Many short stories and the novel “The Great Gatsby” are core texts. A research paper is required. Students are required to take the ELA Regents in June. NCAA approved

ENGLISH 12 REGENTS ENL - Course #502ELA12 This course provides support and intervention for non-native English speaking students. English 12 Regents is a challenging course focusing on American literary greats and the themes of Humanity in Conflict and the American Dream. Research techniques and the research paper are emphasized. High standards of achievement are expected in all areas, particularly in composition. Students read the plays Othello and The Crucible. Many short stories and the novel “The Great Gatsby” are core texts. A research paper is required. This course is for students who have not passed the ELA Regents. Students are required to take the ELA Regents in June. NCAA approved

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION - Course #134 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly – Can be taken in Grades 11 or 12. Recommended for students of exceptional ability in English. Prerequisite: Completion of 10 Honors with a grade of 88 or better OR completion of 10 or 11 Regents with a grade of 92 or better and recommendation of English teacher and Chairperson’s approval. Students will also submit an academic writing sample for review; must show mastery (85+) on English Regents exam previously taken. This college level course features advanced composition and writing/revision skills. The syllabus concentrates on English literature, with an emphasis on non-fiction works. Students study a variety of prose pieces to notice variations in style and purpose, ultimately understanding both the implicit and explicit relationships among diction, syntax, tone and content. Through a variety of writing activities, they will apply such conventions and language resources to their own expository, analytical and argumentative writing. Multiple impromptu and formal essays are required. Students must take the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Examination in May. Students are required to have taken the English Regents exam in June as sophomores in order to be eligible for this course. A midterm and final exam are required. NCAA approved

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) SEMINAR - Course #136 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly – Can be taken in Grades 10, 11, or 12. . If taken in grades 11 or 12, counts as 3rd or 4th year NY State ELA requirement. Counts as an elective if taken in grade 10. Prerequisite: English 10 Honors with a grade of 80 or better. ELA 10 Regents with grade of 85 or better in course; should show mastery (85+) on English Regents exam previously taken. Rising sophomores may take this course as an elective in addition to their scheduled English class. AP Seminar is a foundational research course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations, exploring realworld problems. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts. Students will also listen to and view speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts, plus experience artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources in research-based written essays, then design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments. For Huntington High School students taking this seminar course, our curriculum will intentionally include literature (novel and/or short story) in select units, with a strong focus on individual selection of reading material and non-fiction works. This is one of the courses required for the AP Capstone

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION - Course #135 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly – Can be taken in Grades 11 or 12. Recommended for students of exceptional ability in English. Prerequisite: Completion of 10 Honors with a grade of 88 or better OR completion of 10 or 11 Regents with a grade of 92 or better and recommendation of English teacher and Chairperson’s approval. Must show mastery (85+) on English Regents exam previously taken. The curriculum for this course is designed to foster careful reading and analysis of classical and contemporary literature representative of the world literature canon. Students read and research criticism of selected works, and develop their own critical standards for interpreting a variety of literary genres. In addition, language usage skills and vocabulary development are integrated into a series of writing workshops. A midterm is administered in January. Students must take the Advanced Placement Exam in May. NCAA approved

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) RESEARCH – Course #137 (1 Year -1 Credit) 5 periods weekly Mandatory prerequisite: Successful completion of AP Seminar This challenging and rewarding course continues the two year sequence in the AP Capstone experience. Students complete an independent research project on a topic of their choice. This academic thesis paper of about 5,000 words is accomplished through study, perhaps tied to a topic studied in an earlier AP course. Students work in any discipline, even research a topic that they may like to study in college. Students are required to present and defend their findings. While this course is offered through the English department, and it does grant credit for the fourth year of English, students can research topics in other areas and disciplines. This is the second of the two courses required for the AP Capstone certificate and /or diploma. NCAA approved

BIBLE LITERATURE - Seminar - Course #161F (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 Bible Literature focuses on the Bible itself; its history, its authors, literary forms, techniques, the people, and places introduced through the Bible. Stories are approached in terms of plot, characters, setting, and theme. Poetry is analyzed in terms of imagery and parallelism; drama in terms of conflict and character; prophetic literature is studied for the content of the message and for the style of the individual prophet. Wisdom literature is approached from the universality of its themes and imagery. The Gospels, Acts, and Epistles are studied for the diversity of the narrative style, point of view, and purpose. Within a select unit, students work on drafting and finalizing their college essays. A research paper is required. NCAA approved

HUMANITIES - Seminar - Course #163S (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 The Humanities interrelate literature, drama, art, architecture, music, and the philosophies that unify them. The course is built around such general themes such as Love and Hate, Good and Evil, and The Question of Identity. The range of material is from Mesopotamia to the 20th Century, emphasis is placed on student involvement, individually and in small groups, and the skills of reading, writing and speaking. A research paper is required. NCAA approved

MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE - Seminar - Course #171F (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 This course traces and examines literature and cross cultural writers who define their positions in history and society. Roles of African-Americans, Native Americans, Afghan-Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic-Americans are the focal points. It concentrates on reading various forms of literature which reflect these cultures’ roles, backgrounds, positions and feelings. Gender issues and religious culture are also discussed. Authors such as Gloria Whelan, Judith Ortiz Cofer, and Khaled Hosseini are studied. Within a select unit, students work on drafting and finalizing their college essays. A research paper is required. NCAA approved

HOLOCAUST IN LITERATURE - Seminar - Course #181S (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 This course involves a multi-disciplinary study of the Holocaust as well as other genocides, as they relate to racism, prejudice and tolerance. Through the use of literature, films, and historical documentaries, students comprehend the ramifications of these tragic events as they impact on the present and future. Works such as Night and Maus I and II are studied. A research paper and a project are required. NCAA approved

JOURNALISM – Seminar or Elective - Course #162F (½ Year- ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 This course can also be taken as an elective in grades 10 & 11 Journalism is an elective course open to all 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. Seniors may only take the course as a senior selective. Students are expected to contribute to the high school newspaper and share responsibility for interviewing, feature writing, and publication. Problems of the press and a history of journalism are units in the course. Within a select unit, students work on drafting and finalizing their college essays. This course is strongly recommended for students on the DISPATCH staff. NCAA approved

MYSTERY LITERATURE - Seminar - Course #173S (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 The course consists of a close reading of a small number of important mystery works. They include The Maltese Falcon; and Then There Were None; Postmortem; a Study in Scarlet, and others. In addition, there is a short story unit, beginning with Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and other titles. A research paper is required. NCAA approved

FILM/ SHORT STORY - Seminar - Course #166F (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 Film and Short Story is a thematically focused course pairing leading themes in literature with film. Top films, spanning five decades, noted not only for their cinematic advances but also for their indelible stamp on American culture, are combined with literature that threads a compatible stitch in theme and genre. Discussion and assignments evolve from both the literature and films. Vocabulary study is integrated with each reading selection. Within a select unit, students work on drafting and finalizing their college essays. A research project is required on an author or film director.

BIBLE LITERATURE - Seminar - Course #161F (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 Bible Literature focuses on the Bible itself; its history, its authors, literary forms, techniques, the people, and places introduced through the Bible. Stories are approached in terms of plot, characters, setting, and theme. Poetry is analyzed in terms of imagery and parallelism; drama in terms of conflict and character; prophetic literature is studied for the content of the message and for the style of the individual prophet. Wisdom literature is approached from the universality of its themes and imagery. The Gospels, Acts, and Epistles are studied for the diversity of the narrative style, point of view, and purpose. Within a select unit, students work on drafting and finalizing their college essays. A research paper is required. NCAA approved

SPORTS LITERATURE - Seminar - Course #160S (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 The course examines the role of sports in literature and America with a view towards understanding its myth and appeal. Students will study novels, short stories, biographies, autobiographies, poems, essays, and films written and directed by men and women. A research paper is required.

THEATRE ARTS A: MODERN DRAMA - Seminar - Course #176 (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 Modern Drama explores drama written in the 20th and 21st centuries by major European and American playwrights. Through close reading of the plays, students are brought to an awareness of major schools of dramatic writing such as naturalism, expressionism, and the theatre of the absurd. The course aims to use the plays as a vehicle for the examination of the manor issues of philosophical thought as expressed in the drama. Within a select unit, students work on drafting and finalizing their college essays. A research paper is required.

THEATRE ARTS B: PLAY IN PERFORMANCE – Seminar or Elective - Course #176-B (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Offered to grades: 10, 11, 12 NOTE: This course may be taken only once. Students in grades 10, 11, 12 may take this course as an elective. This course develops students’ skills in theatrical performance. Through improvisation and scene work as well as study of theory and utilization of games and exercises, students explore their potentials as actors, gain poise and selfawareness. Students must keep an Actor’s Journal. Students will take children’s theatre scripts off the page and onto the stage. A final project will require students to perform within the school district a play complete with costume, lighting, set and sound design. The creation of a study guide for intermediate and middle school teachers is also required.

LITERARY FANTASY - Seminar – Course #167 (Fall) (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 This course will be a survey of the sub-genres of Literary Fantasy, from Fairy Tales and Epic Fantasy to Magical Realism and Arthurian legend. Fantasy is an extension and exploration of authors’ contemporary cultural situations. Epic fantasy uncovers the nuances in the chaos between good versus evil by placing seemingly ordinary people in consequential events. Contemporary fantasy evolves from this form and offers alternative ways of viewing the world. By focusing on fantastic themes and writing about the impossible, authors attempt to define the real world and to understand their historical moment. Within a select unit, students work on drafting and finalizing their college essays. A research proposal and project are due. NCAA approved

SCIENCE FICTION LITERATURE – Seminar – Course #168 (Spring) (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11 This course will be a survey of many of the sub-genres that fall under the umbrella term Science Fiction. Though Science Fiction was once primarily focused on science itself, the genre has evolved over the years to encompass various sub-genres including apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, speculative evolution, and sociological science fiction. Through exploration of this wide-reaching genre, students are able to ask themselves various “what if…?” questions which spark discussion and further questioning about the world and their place in it. Authors of science fiction help us to more readily anticipate change in our own world – and some of these changes are not always in humanity’s best interest. More often than not, this type of writing explores the sequence of events that can lead to ethical and social problems produced by technological developments. A research proposal and project are due. NCAA approved

CREATIVE WRITING - Elective - Course #164 (½ Year - ½ Credit) 5 periods weekly Recommended for students who are highly motivated and competent writers. Creative writing is an elective course open to all students. In this course, students explore language as a vehicle of self-expression. It allows the students to experience various forms of writing such as the essay, poetry, short story, children’s story, and one act play as a means of self-expression and awareness. It considers form and style as part of the awareness that varied writing experiences produce. It includes revision, rewriting, creativity, and self-evaluation. The final examination is a creative writing portfolio, assigned at the beginning of the course. This course does not satisfying the English 12 graduation requirement. NCAA approved

SAT English Preparation- Course # 114 (½ Year, ¼ Credit) 2.5 periods weekly Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 9R College entrance requires strong student performance on standardized tests which focus directly on English language arts skills in reading comprehension, vocabulary, and usage. Such preparation also is directly correlated with success in civic engagement and careers. This course will prepare students for the rigors of taking standardized tests, and the associated English language skills that are assessed. A main goal is to practice test-taking strategies using prerequisite knowledge to improve student performance and increase the opportunity for college acceptances and scholarships. A significant part of this course will focus on vocabulary usage, and reading comprehension.

The overall goals of the English program in grades 7 and 8 are linked to The New York State Standards for English Language Arts. Curricular modifications have taken place since The Next Generation Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy have been fully adopted by the NYS Education Department. These standards focus on developing students’ skills in reading, writing, language, speaking and listening. As readers, speakers, listeners, and writers, students will use language that follows the accepted conventions of English to acquire, interpret, apply, transmit information, as well as to demonstrate self-expression, judgment, and social communication. Students are expected to be active listeners, readers, and writers, since they are involved in the learning process and responsible for their own learning.

ENGLISH 7 (40 Weeks) This course is required of all 7th grade students. The curriculum, linked to Next Generation Standards for English Language Arts, focuses on writing and literature, both fiction and non-fiction. The writing program that students experience emphasizes writing as a process, including pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing. Close reading and writing claims supported by evidence are recurring areas of emphasis in 7th grade. Literature study emphasizes reading as a process, including reading for aesthetic and personal response, reading for acquisition and interpretation of information, and reading for critical analysis and evaluation. The course includes a formal introduction to the basic types of literature: the novel, short story, poetry, non-fiction, mythology, and folklore.

During the year, students’ proficiency in the standards will be assessed through quarterlies which serve as formative assessments. There is also an intentional focus on conventions taught within the context of authentic student writing. A research-based approach, the Strategic Instructional Model (S.I.M.) is introduced for enhanced paragraphing and more complete essay writing. Students will take the NYS 7th Grade English Language Arts Assessment, administered to all seventh graders in New York State in the spring. The final examination is departmental, based on the English Language Arts standards and language skills acquired throughout the year.

ENGLISH 8 (40 Weeks) This course is required of all 8th grade students. The curriculum, linked to the Next Generation Standards for Language Arts, emphasizes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The literature students read challenges them to continue building their skills in responding to literary works of different genres. Students develop greater sophistication in reading and writing skills, and continue the writing process. Close reading and writing claims supported by evidence are again focused on in 8th grade. Increasingly sophisticated grammatical structures are learned and practiced.

During the year, students’ proficiency in the standards will be assessed through quarterly exams which serve as benchmarks for student growth in NY State reading and writing performance indicators. Students will take the 8th Grade English Language Arts Assessment, administered to all 8th grade students in New York State in the spring. Students continue preparation for Regents level reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking. A departmental final exam is administered in June.

Please note: All eligible students for our 9th grade Honors English programs will be recommended by the 8th grade English teacher. In determining the best placement for the student, reading level, GPA, State scores, and performance on exams will be reviewed. Students should maintain an average of 90, or better, throughout 8th grade to indicate appropriate placement in 9th grade honors.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LAB This course meets on alternate days and is designed to allow students to develop their confidence in English language arts and identify where they need improvement. Specific New York State performance indicators and skills will be focused on for each student through writer and reader workshops. With a focus on comprehension, students’ abilities in reading for information and understanding, literacy response, and critical thinking will be enhanced.

English Department Special Programs

Finley Galleries and Slideshows

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September 2022

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September 2022

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200+

Challenging Academic Courses

14

Academic Departments

30+

Interscholastic Athletic Teams

90+

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