Description of the CHRHS English Department
Housed in the Humanities Wing, the English Department is led by a teaching chairperson and consists of eight full-time teachers. All have diverse backgrounds; five hold Master's Degrees, one holds both a Master’s and Certificate of Advanced Studies Degree, and two are National Board Certified; and most are actively involved in extra-curricular activities, coaching, and/or committee work. Dedicated and involved, the department is charged with the responsibility of teaching every student for four years.
Students are given every opportunity to meet and exceed the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy by acquiring the many skills necessary to become effective writers, readers, and thinkers through a program of study that offers a variety of levels of instruction (Title I, College-Prep, Honors, and Advanced Placement) to students based on their aptitudes, skills, and motivation. Selection for these courses is based on achievement, post-secondary goals, motivation, scholastic responsibility, teacher recommendation, and parental approval. Leveling is intended to challenge students’ abilities and allow them to reach for higher levels of success.
The Common Core State Standards do not define the nature of advanced work for students. CHRHS students have opportunities to explore other specialized interests through literature and non-literature-based electives open to mostly juniors and seniors. These include but are not limited to Creative Writing; Women in Literature; Drama; Literature, Art, and Psychology; Philosophy; Humans and the Environment; and Debate. Seniors may apply for selection to AP Language and Literature and AP Language and Composition. English classes fully integrate technology utilizing MLTI ipads for research inquiry, student assessments, and varied instructional strategies. Members of the English Department oversee the school’s literary and art magazine, Ink.
Philosophy of the English Department
The English Department of Camden Hills Regional High School, emphasizing the writing process, the study of literature, critical thinking, and related language arts, is committed to empowering every student through the use of the English language. Teachers believe that students must develop composition skills and learn to understand and appreciate complex texts. Students acquire effective composition skills through the process of writing and the study of academic vocabulary, grammar, usage, and mechanics. To develop an understanding and appreciation of literature, students analyze a variety of literary genres with an emphasis on Western literature. Teaching methodologies and curricular designs in required and elective courses take into consideration students' abilities, interests, learning styles, post-secondary education plans, and career goals. The fundamental goal of the English Department is to produce graduates who are college and career ready, with the ability to read, write, and speak grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and informational, as well as communicate effectively in a diverse and complex society.
Rationale for English Education
The Camden Hills Regional High School English Department firmly believes that a four-year English language arts curriculum is essential for all students. Effective communication skills optimize students' potential college and career readiness in a global community. In addition, the study of content-rich literature and non-fiction texts builds knowledge and enhances students' understanding of themselves and helps them realize and appreciate the diversities, the commonalties and the complexities of the human condition. The four-year sequence of courses allows students to continually deepen and broaden their knowledge bases for these skills, yielding students well-prepared for their post graduate experiences. “To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new.” National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers Title: Common Core State Standards (English Language Arts) Publisher: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington D.C. Copyright Date: 2010
English Department Essential Outcomes
Read and comprehend appropriately complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. (CCRA 10)
Interpret, analyze, and evaluate appropriately complex literary and informational texts. (CCRA 7, 10)
Write clear and coherent arguments for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. (CCWA 1, 4, 10)
WRITING INFORMATIVE AND NARRATIVE TEXTS
Produce clear and coherent informative and narrative writing for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. (CCWA 2, 3, 4, 10)
Develop and strengthen writing. (CCWA 5)
Conduct short and sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. (CCWA 7, 10)
SPEAKING AND LISTENING DISCUSSION
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of discussions, responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, and expressing ideas clearly and persuasively. (CCSLA 1)
SPEAKING AND LISTENING PRESENTATION
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective (CCSLA 4)
Reviewed by SBE Committee on 3/21/14