The AP course in English Language and Composition will assist students to become skilled readers of college level essays, narratives and prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. This college level course will also give students the practice and helpful criticism necessary to make them flexible writers who can compose in a variety of modes and for a variety of purposes. Both their reading and their writing will make them aware of the interaction between authorial purpose, audience needs, the subject itself, generic conventions, and the resources of language: syntax, word choice and tone. Extensive writing assignments will be designed to make students mature writers who will be able to write competently at the college level and be successful on the AP Exam. The course will emphasize expository, analytical and argumentative essays inclusive of an extensive research paper. (Recommended prerequisite: B or better in Honors Language Arts 1-4 or recommendation of teacher)


In this course, students will actively engage in the careful reading of advanced college level literary works. Through such study, students will sharpen their awareness of language and understanding of the writer’s craft. Students will develop critical standards for the independent appreciation of literature and will increase sensitivity to literature as a shared experience. To achieve these goals, students will study the individual work, its language, characters, action and themes. They will consider its structure, meaning and value, and the relationship to contemporary experience as well as the times in which it was written. Students will be involved in both the study and practice of writing and the study of literature. They will learn to use the modes of discourse and recognize the assumptions underlying various rhetorical strategies. Through speaking, listening, reading and writing, students will become more aware of the resources of language: connotation, metaphor, irony, syntax and tone. Writing assignments will focus on the critical analysis of literature and will include essays in exposition and argumentation. The desired goals are the honest and effective use of language and the organization of ideas in a clear, coherent and persuasive manner. (Recommended prerequisite: B or better in AP English Language and Composition)

CREATIVE WRITING 1. 2 All Academies

These writing courses instruct students in the process of creating the literary forms of short story and poetry. Individual interest and talent will determine the writer’s major area of concentration. Students will create a variety of writings based on personal journal entries and literary readings. Mechanics, vocabulary and syntax will be studied to enhance the creative process.

FILM STUDY 1 All Academies

This class will examine the history and development of film from the 1900’s to the present. Study will include film style, social relevance, propaganda, entertainment and historical value, societal effect in relation to the dynamics of American cultural development. Students will research, critique, and analyze various film genres through class discussion, written and oral presentations, and various creative projects of differing focus. Readings will include materials pertaining to the various film presentations. Parents and students should be aware that PG and PG-13 films that have met the DHS administration’s approval will be shown. Students who are not allowed to view these films should not take this course. The class will be offered as a general elective for Seniors and Juniors.

FILM STUDY 2 All Academies

This class is a continuation of Film Study 1 and will examine the history & development of film from 1940 to current date. In depth analysis, will include a research project and written presentation that examines the themes, cultural and historical relativity, profundity levels, media influence and the effects of the film industry upon personal and societal group behaviors. Class discussion, group and individual oral and written presentations will be assigned throughout the semester. Readings will include supplementary materials that correspond to the various film presentations. Parents and students should be aware that PG and PG-13 films that have met the DHS administration’s approval will be shown. Students who are not allowed to view these films should not take this course. The class is offered as a general elective for Seniors and Juniors. (Prerequisite: Film Study 1)


This required 9th grade course combines an introduction to the major literary genres of short story, poetry and drama with the study of basic writing skills of paragraph development and essay assessment. Writing assignments include personal and expressive writing, description, narration, exposition, persuasion, observation and reporting. Additionally, students keep a journal and are instructed in spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar skills in a manner which integrates these skills with the writing process.


This required 10th grade course emphasizes writing and reading skills. Students will learn the elements of essay writing in a variety of styles in response to literary selections. Writing and reading assignments will gain complexity in development and style in response to various classic novelists as well as a survey of short stories, poetry and drama. In addition to the anthology, 3 novels will be studied each semester and written assignments will analyze the elements of fiction, drama and expository writing. A research paper will be written and assessed.


This required 11th grade course traces the development of American Literature from the 1600’s to the 21st century. Study will include the Colonial, Revolutionary and Romantic Periods of American writings, essays and novels. Various styles, genres, opinions and ideas of American authors will be presented for class discussion, writing assignments and projects. Classical literature as well as correlating contemporary non-fiction writing will be studied in conjunction with historical relevance of socio-economic, political and artistic issues of the different eras. Students will actively engage in various written analyses, oral presentations and an extensive research paper in response to a variety of American Authors, poets, essayists and dramatists.


This required 12th grade course is a comprehensive study of English/World literature from the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Restoration and Romantic Periods to the beginning of the eighteenth century. Students will read various genres inclusive of drama, morality play, epic, poetry, essays and correlate the historic, social and cultural significance of the literature to the events, people, philosophy, rhetoric and ethos of the time period. Students will be required to write personal reflective, persuasive, synthesis, comparison/contrast and evaluative responses to the readings as well as commit investigative research with focus on critical examination, logical thought development and the necessary use of textual support of ideas. The course will emphasize the universality of cultural/social/interpersonal themes as they apply to today’s world through investigative reading, discussion, research and writing.


This year’s program combines an in-depth broad scope study of short story, poetry, essay, drama and novels as well as practice in refining writing skills. Students will demonstrate written advanced vocabulary, syntax and stylistic variety by the introduction of forms of diction, rhetoric, logic and voice. Extensive writing assignments will include narrative, causal analysis, persuasion, comparative analysis and a variety of composition assignments inclusive of an extended research paper. Multiple themes, philosophical basis, historical/social implications and relevance will be presented through class discussion, oral presentations and group projects. Students will be responsible to complete numerous independent enrichment readings as well as class assigned novels. Critical thinking and independent working styles will be stressed for future enrollment in AP coursework. Students will be assessed and evaluated as to their writing and reading achievement. (Recommended prerequisite: Reading and writing above grade level as demonstrated by standardized test scores)


This course provides the methodology and advanced skills necessary for future completion of AP Course work. Literature will include a broad range of authors of various genres and historical periods. Discussion and projects will examine and analyze not only literary elements and components but also correlate the relevance of historical literature to contemporary concerns, problems and events. Course preparation will include study of an anthology of selected short stories, poetry, drama and essays in addition to novels and independent enrichment reading of additional works that will be presented in both oral and written presentations. Written assignments will include extensive analysis of diction, rhetoric and logic while utilizing various styles of advanced vocabulary and voice. Students will be responsible for a portfolio of a minimum of 10 extended essays and one major research project utilizing numerous exposition styles and formats. Time management, independent work skills and critical thinking will be stressed as students are assessed as to their writing and reading achievement. (Recommended prerequisite: Reading and writing level above grade level as demonstrated by standardized test)

JOURNALISM 1 All Academies

This writing course introduces the basics of newspaper writing. Students will study the First Amendment, libel laws, journalism ethics, editing and publishing. Students will compose a wide variety of journalistic articles and learn the basic concepts of graphic newspaper design. Focus will include the study of style, vocabulary, grammar, mechanics and form. Students are encouraged to participate in the publication, The Observer.

JOURNALISM 2 All Academies

This course focuses on the publication of The Observer, the weekly school newspaper. While improving writing skills, students will also gain experience in the use of computer programs designed for newspaper and magazine publishing. Student journalists will have the opportunity to view school and community issues of concerns and formulate writings that present editorials, features, news, essays, political cartoons, reviews and critiques.


Students will study the great epics and myths of Western Literature which have illuminated man’s view of himself and his place in the universe. The course covers literary forms such as myth, epic, narrative, mock epic, and drama and works such as The Odyssey, The Iliad, The Legends of King Arthur, and Epic of Gilgamesh.

READ 180

This course is a comprehensive reading intervention program designed to improve student reading skills through the use of Read 180, a nationally recognized research-based program, with instructional software, high-interest literature, and direct instruction in reading or writing skills. Stronger reading skills will allow students greater success in all classes, as well as on standardized tests.


Extended literacy practice for Englishy Language Learner students.


This one semester course is designed to assist struggling readers improve their reading and writing skills to ensure high school success

SPEECH All Academies

This course presents the various facets of writing, listening and speaking through the study and presentation of speeches, discussion, debate and oral interpretation. Students will research and write outlines, essays and critiques based on class presentations and projects.


This course is designed to support students that are having academic struggles gain the skills they need to be successful in high school and beyond. Students in this course receive extra support in their academic classes, as well as instruction on organization, careers, budgeting and other necessary soft skills.