English Language Arts

Creative Writing (East & West)

This course focuses on exploring the enjoyable, fun, and amusing aspects of writing. We will be writing our own works in various different genres of literature, including poetry, plays, short stories, and more! We will use various programs and experiment with technology in multiple forms throughout the year. Enjoy your time working on your creativity in writing and appreciate the exciting journey on which you are about to embark!

College, Career, and Community Writing (East)

In this class, my goal is to help you build your technical writing skills in standard English so you will be familiar with and comfortable with the expectations of different genres of writing you will encounter no matter what education and career path you choose. Wherever you end up, there are expectations for professionalism in writing and my goal is to make those expectations much less intimidating when you get to them. In ELA, we work on reading skills, critical responses to reading, writing essays, and creative writing. In this class we will focus on writing genres including formal communication, college application essays, scholarship essays, job application requirements, and peer reviewed writing for a public audience.

AP Literature (East)

In the AP English Literature and Composition course, students devote themselves to the study of literary works written in—or translated into—English. Careful reading and critical analysis of such works of fiction, drama, and poetry, selected locally by responsible educators, provide rich opportunities for students to develop an appreciation of ways literature reflects and comments on a range of experiences, institutions, and social structures. Students will examine the choices literary writers make and the techniques they utilize to achieve purposes and generate meanings.

Writing Center (East)

This course provides students with an in-depth study of writing and tutoring pedagogy. Students prepare to become peer tutors in the HCSS Writing Center through an intense examination of the rules of composition, critical reading, and analytical thinking about the writing process. Students are expected to refine and develop their own writing abilities through peer tutoring and reflection on their tutoring experiences.

AP Language (East & West)

An AP course in English Language and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. (AP Course Description, College Board, p7). The AP course prepares students for college level coursework. Students are expected to read closely, think analytically, and communicate clearly in both written and oral communication.


In ELA 12, students will prepare for their final year of high school by practicing crucial textual analysis skills, critical thinking skills, and the use of textual evidence to support individual claims. We will be covering a wide variety of current events, issues, and social justice topics. Students will be creating personal narratives in the form of college essays, research essays designed to encourage independent thinking about current issues in students’ lives, as well as literary analysis essays. In addition, students will be encouraged to lead engaging discussions, all the while learning from each other’s opinions, and thinking critically about the evidence that each student presents to support their claims. By the end of the school year, students should have the necessary skills to allow them to be successful after graduation.


In ELA 11, students will focus on developing the literacy skills necessary to be successful in college and career, guided by the expectations of the SAT. Students will engage in critical reading and writing, grappling with fiction and nonfiction texts as well as narrative, argumentative, and research-based writing.


In ELA 10, students will be given the opportunity to explore and analyze the use of language through a variety of texts and genres. Through a combination of writing exercises, class discussions, and collaborative group activities, students will develop a deeper understanding of theme, genre, audience, and authorial intent, and gain the necessary skills to think critically and communicate as writers, students, and members of society. This course not only prepares students for the Language Arts MCAS in the spring, but it also aims to scaffold the critical thinking, close reading, and writing skills that will be necessary in their future academic careers.


In ELA 9, students are tasked with the goal of making the transition from guided middle school reading and writing to more independent literacy tasks that they will encounter as they move through high school, college, and beyond. This year of course work is meant to help students build literacy stamina and deeper critical response writing to begin preparation for their 10th grade MCAS. In order to achieve this preparatory goal, students are asked to complete a range of reading and writing tasks that include independent, group, and peer review style collaboration. In return, students can expect to see growth in their interpersonal skills. They will additionally encounter a variety of genres to help build their scope of critical response.


As the final year of middle school, ELA 8 is a pivotal year for ensuring students gain the literacy skills necessary to be successful in high school. This course focuses on taking the skills students have been practicing since 6th grade and increasing the rigor and complexity of the reading and writing tasks students will be asked to complete. With a special focus on building a love of reading, as well as writing stamina, students will read and write more than ever before. Students will also be asked to engage in a range of discussions surrounding real-world topics, working together to understand ideas in a learning community. The course will not only prepare students for the MCAS in the spring, but will also equip them with the ability to read, write, speak, and listen at a high school level.


This is a transitional year between elementary and secondary school. Students will begin with a unit describing the importance of failure in finding success through a series of texts that illustrate overcoming hardships. They will examine literary texts, and identify and analyze the evolving point of view of a character and track character development in relation to setting and plot.


Seventh grade English Language Arts is a rigorous course designed to improve essential reading comprehension, writing, and critical thinking skills that will promote high school and college readiness. Students will use a variety of texts and genres to explore how authors develop the literary elements of character, point of view, setting, conflict, and theme within different genres.

Young Adult Literature (East)

This elective will focus on the genre of YA Lit, with engaging discussions, creative writing assignments, and analysis of the texts we will be reading throughout the semester. Students will learn about genre, structure, common themes in YA Lit, and more. Students will think critically about the texts being marketed towards their age group, as well as critique the pitfalls of writing novels aimed towards specific age groups.

AP Seminar

AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in written essays, and 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.

This AP Seminar Course will delve into issues in education in a serving learning model with a focus on censorship in the media

Unit 1 Introduction to QUEST/News Media: Students will be introduced to the QUEST model, the basis of the AP Seminar course, and learn strategies for creating research questions, conducting academic research, and working with a team to explore issues.

Unit 2 Books in School and Public Libraries: Students will deepen their understanding of the QUEST model while exploring research questions and studies related to access to the censorship of books in both school and public libraries.

Unit 3 Digital Media: Students will deepen their understanding of the QUEST model while exploring research questions and studies related to censorship of social media and other online forms of mass communication

Unit 4 Censorship of Media in a Global Context: Students will interact with a cluster of texts that offer viewpoints on media censorship in a global context. Students will examine related issues, including but not limited to the suppression of free press, limited social media use, use of propoganda in state-sponsored media, and more.

Unit 5 Performance Task 1 More information on performance task 1 can be found here:

Unit 6 Performance Task 2 More information on performance task 2 can be found here:

Unit 7 End of Course Exam Preparation More information on the End of Course exam can be found here:

AP Research

AP Research, the second course in the AP Capstone experience, allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue, or idea of individual interest. Students design, plan, and implement a yearlong investigation to address a research question. Through this inquiry, they further the skills they acquired in the AP Seminar course by learning research methodology, employing ethical research practices, and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information. Students reflect on their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of their scholarly work through a process and reflection portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4,000–5,000 words (accompanied by a performance, exhibit, or product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense. (College Board, 2016).

Drama and Theater

High School Drama/Theater is a course designed to introduce students to the basics of theater and drama. Students will spend the semester perceiving and analyzing a variety of theatericla performances and make real world connections. Student will learn the different jobs in the theater and how it plays out in real time. As students Over the course of the elective students will learn the different elements of theater and drama. They will make connections between art and history, analyze and interpret different dramatic arts.