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English Department


We offer a variety of English courses that challenge and support our students. Courses help students meet N.Y. State and local requirements and prepare students for study beyond high school.

ENGLISH 1  Full year - 1 credit, Grade 9                                                                                                                                 This comprehensive English course is the first of a three year sequence.  This course is aligned with the NY State Next Generation Learning Standards and uses an inquiry-based approach to learning.  In this course students will be exposed to multiple genres with an increased focus on information text.  Students will write narratives, persuasive pieces, analytical responses to literature, and a research assignment.  Speaking and listening are also emphasized, as is the proper use of the English language in all written and spoken communication.  Students in English 1 Regents will be able to submit a portfolio of their work in order to receive (upon approval) honors credit for the course.  Details will be shared with students at the start of the school year.   Both Regents and Honors levels are offered for this course. Prerequisite:    Grade 8 ELA

ENGLISH 1 R180  Full year - 0 credit, Grade 9                                                                                                                            E1 R180, taken in addition to English 1, is a year-long course designed for students who are still progressing toward  the NYS standards in reading. Read 180 uses a whole group/small group model, along with adaptive technology, to provide students with targeted reading comprehension instruction and support to help students success in English 1 and other subject area courses. Students are recommended for this course by teacher recommendation and Grade 8 performance. Administrative approval is required. Prerequisite:    Grade 8 ELA

JOURNALISM 1     Half year - ½ credit, Grades 9-12                                                                                                            News is just a status update away on your iPhone, iPad, laptop, or other tech tool in this 24/7 information hungry world.  Learn what it takes to be a 21st century news consumer and maker.  Learn the essential skills to become a journalist through research, writing and reporting across all the mediums: television, online, and print.  You will do on-camera interviews, experiment with podcasting,  publish your own blog, and use Twitter to enhance your news gathering skills.  Gain the experience necessary to get involved as a future staff member/editor of the school paper The Orange.  Learning how to write and research for news stories will enhance your skills and help you in your other classes as well.  This course is a great foundation for future career options in the communication field.

JOURNALISM 2    Half year - ½ credit, Grades 9-12                                                                                                           Build on the foundation of skills developed in the Journalism 1 class by becoming a critical consumer and maker of news and           distributor of information.  Learn what it takes to tackle a longer formatted television piece seen on shows like Dateline.  Learn how to       investigate a good story through research, relationship building, and tough questions.  Become savvy at using camera equipment or recording a longer podcast program.  Use social media to help you learn what it takes to gain followers and trust in this 21st century communication driven world.  Use the experience gained to take on a staff position or editor position of the school paper  The Orange.  This course will help you prepare for a future major in communication or journalism. Prerequisite:    Journalism 1

CREATIVE WRITING 1 Half year - ½ credit, Grades 9-12                                                                                                      This course offers students the opportunity to try their hand at creating written work that is compelling and thoughtful.  A variety of genres will be explored, including short stories, memoir, poetry, plays, film scripts, and creative non-fiction.  Reading for this course will consist of excerpts and handouts that will be distributed throughout the term, as well as students’ work.  In fact, the primary texts for this course are students’ work.  Students will work toward the goal of performing and/or publishing their original work.  For      example, students may participate in the White Plains Public Library’s monthly poetry slams, submit their work to our school’s award-winning anthology The Roar or publish their work in the class’s end of course anthology.

CREATIVE WRITING 2 Half year - ½ credit, Grades 9-12                                                                                                     This course is a continuation of Creative Writing, with a special emphasis on the writing of plays and pieces for performance.  Students will read a wide range of models that will inform their writing. Learning the structure of dramatic literature will be an emphasis of the course, especially the creation and use of dialogue.  Students will produce monologues, scenes, and one act plays.  Prerequisite: Creative Writing 1