The CHS English department offers a variety of courses that are geared to preparing students for college level courses. The overall mission of the English Department is to promote college and career readiness through literacy--specifically the ability to read, write, and think critically. Students are required to have 4 credits of English to graduate high school, and each class will allow students to be creative, engaged with the world, build skills to help them with 21st century life. While the skills students learn each year builds upon the previous year, they each unique in their literary components.
Cummings High School English/Language Arts Courses:Literacy Academy: Freshman Literacy Academy is designed to assist students in mastering the prerequisite skills necessary for success in English. Emphasis is placed on developing the literacy skills of reading and writing. This course consists of two components: English I (fulfilling one of the four English credits required to graduate meeting the future-ready core requirements) and interventions that make up an elective credit.English I: Students will begin to analyze literature from various angles, to view literature in historical context, and to observe connections between literature and the arts. The ninth-grade course is an overview of excellent literature across the major forms and genres (short story, novel, poetry, drama, epic poetry, and nonfiction).English I Honors: Covers the same material as English I, but is designed with a more rigorous pace and depth.English II: In tenth grade, students study literature from around the world. The ABSS Scope and Sequence includes five conceptual units that embrace literature from the Ancient Greeks, Latin and Central America, Africa and the Middle East, Asia and Russia: Fate or Free Will, Honoring Customs and Traditions, Social Injustice, Gender Inequality, and Relationships. Students will participate in a close study of literary works, as well as consideration of historical and cultural context. The class focuses not only on geographical regions, but also on themes and literary forms that pertain to them. Thus students come to grasp the relationship between local concerns and universal questions. Throughout the year, students take part in seminars, write essays, and deliver speeches. Having read literature form a variety of cultures, they are ready to embark on eleventh grade and the study of American literature.English II Honors: Covers the same material as English II, but is designed with a more rigorous pace and depth.English III: Students will study American literature as it has manifested throughout the years. From its beginnings as a colony to the world’s last super power, America has always been a destination to inspire authors. Many themes found in English III focus on freedom, happiness, morals, and love, and how those ideals have been shaped and formed over time. Students will be expected to draft essays, discuss various topics of American life, and create various projects.English III Honors: Covers the same material as English III, but is designed with a more rigorous pace and depth.Advanced Placement Language and Composition: AP English III is a course designed around the analysis and composition of rhetoric. By the end of the course, students will be prepared to take the AP English Language and Composition exam. This exam, if passed, can count as college credit for a college composition course. Throughout the semester students learn the art of rhetoric (argumentation/persuasion), such as how to cater to an audience, how purpose affects medium, and how to support analyses with credible evidence. AP English III is a writing intensive class. Students write essays that prepare them for the exam as well as other writing assignments that help them build the skills needed for the exam.English IV: For their final year of Language Arts, students will concentrate on European literature. Students are expected to discuss and write about themes ranging from such abstract concepts as good vs. evil to dark humor to horror. Upon completion of English IV, students will have the literacy skills to follow the college or career path of their choice.English IV Honors: Covers the same material as English IV, but is designed with a more rigorous pace and depth.Advanced Placement Literature and Composition: Advanced Placement Literature and Composition is a college-level course that is designed to teach beginning college-writing through the fundamentals of rhetorical theory and follows the curricular requirements described in the AP English Course Description. Students will earn the one credit for English IV that goes towards their graduation requirements upon successful completion of the class; however, the course is weighted on a six-point scale in regards to their grade point average (GPA). Students will take the AP exam in May, and depending on their score, they have the opportunity to earn college credit. The AP exam for this course consists of two parts: multiple choice (60 questions answered in 60 minutes) and essay (3 essays written in 120 minutes).This course will be full of opportunities for students to expand their analytical skills and knowledge of literary culture. It is best to be aware that the class is demanding, and that it will require quite a lot of time outside of the 1 ½ hour class. The assigned readings will be difficult, yet entertaining, and will (most importantly) make students THINK! There will be lots of writing (on topics related to the readings and on analyzing them), enough grammar instruction as indicated by students’ needs, and class discussions daily.