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MISSION: To lead an educational partnership with the Community, maintaining an environment that challenges all students to reach their potential as lifelong learners and responsible members of society.

English Language Arts

Bethel Park School District English Language Arts Curriculum


Mission:

The English Language Arts Department encourages students to critically and effectively read, write, speak and listen. 

Description:

Programs within the English Language Arts Department cultivate high academic achievement through engaging students in meaningful learning opportunities which enhance their abilities to read, write and communicate effectively.  Beginning reading instruction is conducted with explicit and systematic instruction to promote the decoding and comprehension of written language.  Rich texts are utilized to reinforce skill development and to foster the acquisition of robust vocabulary.  Grammar, spelling and writing instruction continues throughout the middle grades to provide a comprehensive and rigorous Language Arts curriculum.

Courses at the high school level continue to promote critical reading skills and response to different forms of literature in order to prepare students for additional education experiences and/or employment.    Numerous electives are available in addition to the required courses to match the academic levels and interests of the students.

Dr. Dee Stark
K-4 Language Arts Curriculum Facilitator
412-854-8618

Jeff Schilling
5-8 Language Arts Curriculum Facilitator
412-854-8678

Charles Youngs
9-12 Language Arts Curriculum Facilitator
412-854-8564

Elementary Language Arts/ Reading:

The Integrated Language Arts courses at the elementary level encompass reading, composition, spelling, grammar, usage, speaking and listening.  Students acquire competence through effective use of oral and written communication across the curriculum.  The love of reading is nurtured through the use of authentic children's literature.  Units of study are organized thematically.  Instruction in phonics and other traditionally successful reading and language arts processes are an integral part of the program.  Writing portfolios, skills tests and other forms of performance assessment are employed to measure progress.  Computer assisted instruction in the school computer laboratories strengthens communication skills.

Middle School Language Arts:

The Reading/Language Arts programs at the middle school level provide students with comprehensive instruction in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Students in grades five through eight participate in both Reading and Language Arts courses.

Reading/Language Arts 5:

The Bethel Park School District’s fifth grade language arts curriculum is designed to improve the writing, grammar, mechanics, usage, spelling, speaking, and listening skills of each student in Bethel Park. A variety of teaching methods and materials are utilized to engage students in the mastery of language arts skills.  Most of the writing will be scored based on PSSA scoring rubrics with the goal of improving student writing to the advanced or proficient levels.  Other assessments may include exams, quizzes, projects, or presentations.

Reading/Language Arts 6:

The sixth grade language arts course is designed to offer students many opportunities to learn, practice, and improve their writing, reading, speaking, listening, and thinking skills. Students will use the process writing approach as well as the Pennsylvania Domain Scoring Rubric as a guide to write narrative and persuasive compositions. Students will then critically analyze and evaluate their own and others’ works. The study of grammar, mechanics, and usage is applied to student writing. Poetry selections provide opportunities for analysis and oral/written responses. Students are challenged to use their critical thinking skills during class discussions and small group activities. A variety of PSSA strategies are introduced and practiced in preparation for the state assessment. In addition to weekly assigned spelling words, students are expected to understand and spell words related to units being studied. The classes are taught using a variety of materials and methods. Students are evaluated on their essays, tests, homework, quizzes, assignments, projects, and presentations.

Language Arts 7:

Based on a hierarchy of skills and knowledge developed by the English Language Arts Curriculum Committee, the seventh grade language arts curriculum spans a wide array of concepts and skills that encompass, but are not limited to, those of the Pennsylvania Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Students are introduced to, practice, master, and review the content essentials of the English Language Arts. Concepts and skills are integrated and spiraled throughout units of study rather than presented in discrete units. Using a multi-text, multi-media approach, instructors assure that students engage in the repeated practice of concepts and skills slated for mastery. Though it addresses a broad range of skills and concepts, this curriculum focuses particularly on informational writing, the parts of speech, history of language, word study, and literature, especially Greek mythology.

Language Arts 8:

Based on a hierarchy of skills and knowledge developed by the ELA Curriculum Committee, the eighth grade language arts curriculum spans a wide array of concepts and skills that encompass, but are not limited to, those of the Pennsylvania Standards for
Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Students are introduced to, practice, master, and review the content essentials of the English Language Arts. Concepts and skills are integrated and spiraled throughout units of study rather than presented in discrete units. Using a multi-text, multi-media approach, instructors assure that students repeatedly practice concepts and skills slated for mastery. Though it addresses a broad range of skills and concepts, this curriculum focuses particularly on persuasive writing, grammar, mechanics, usage, word study, and literature.

High School Language Arts:

Bethel Park School District requires a minimum of four (4) credits in the English Language Arts for graduation.  The program includes a core of required classes in grades 9 through 11, along with a variety of elective courses to address the academic needs and personal interests of all students. 

Five senior courses are designed as semester courses that students may select to fulfill their 12th Grade English requirement.  To do so, seniors must select at least one literature course and at least one writing course. 

The English Language Arts Elective Program is designed to provide students with the opportunities to pursue interest in the discipline beyond the scope of the core program.  The course have been planned to enrich and complement the core program and encourage lifelong learning and career pursuits related to the language arts.  Like the core program, the elective program is academically rigorous.  Electives are open to students at all grade levels.  While the elective courses do not fulfill the English credit requirement, they do count toward the total graduation credit requirement.

Required Course Offerings:

English 9
Grade 9
Level 1
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  None

English 9 is a remedial course for students who have difficulty with reading and writing skills. The units in the course will concentrate on the development of students’ communication skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Students will use the process approach to write various kinds of paragraphs.  Literature selections will be geared to the reading levels of the students and some of them will correlate with the time periods taught in American History 9.  Students will also complete a research paper and give oral presentations as part of the coursework.

English 9
Grade 9
Level 2
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of middle school language arts.

English 9 concentrates on developing communication skills through the study of writing and literacy.  Expository writing instruction focuses on paragraph and essay development.  Students write formal and informal compositions, with emphasis given to persuasive forms.  The Modern Language Association (MLA) style for format and documentation of sources is introduced.  Students respond to literature not only through writing but also through oral discussions and presentations.  Many literature selections correlate with time periods studied in American History 9, thus enabling students to make cross-curricular connections between the two disciplines.  Students will also complete a research project and give oral presentations as part of the coursework.

English 9 Honors
Grade 9
Level 3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of the previous grade level English course, teacher recommendation, and high standardized test score (4Sight Reading Test).  Students who plan to take this course are required to read select novels on a summer reading list before the term begins.

Honors English 9 is an accelerated English course designed for the high-achieving student who reads and writes well.  The language arts experiences will encourage academic creativity through the development of the gifted characteristics of fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration.  Reading selections will encompass a variety of literary genres with emphasis on a broad background in the classics.  Major work studies will include Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, Romeo and Juliet, Ella Minnow Pea, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Writing projects and multi-paragraph essay assignments will focus on response to literature as students learn to logically order their ideas and create their own poems and short stories.

English 10
Grade 10
Level 1
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  English 9

English 10 is a language arts course that will continue the basic development of reading, writing, grammar reinforcement, and vocabulary skills from those learned in English 9.  Building vocabulary and the expansion of writing skills is emphasized.  Students will also respond to literature through a variety of assignments which will encourage the enhancement of analytical and creative abilities.  A written project will incorporate MLA format and research skills to reinforce the abilities of processing and documenting information.  The literary genres presented during the year will include units on Greek mythology, Greek heroes, film study of folklore, legendary heroes, and The Holocaust.  Grammar studies will include parts of speech, sentence diagramming, and punctuation.  Examples of literature to be analyzed include The Odyssey, The Once and Future King (King Arthur), Night, Maus I and Maus II, Willow, and the Greek heroes of Perseus and Heracles.

English 10
Grade 10
Level 2
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  English 9

English 10 will focus on the continuing development of communication skills. The process approach to writing and to learning will be employed as students integrate the skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Exploring the unifying theme study of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, genres will include PowerPoint presentations, film analysis, classic and modern literature.  Major works will include Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Homer’s The Odyssey, Elie Wiesel’s Night, Art Spegelman’s Maus, and T.H. White’s The Once and Future King.  Writing instruction will center on the development of the multi-paragraph essay and the use of peer response groups.  Grammar and vocabulary lessons will be developed, as needed, to reinforce editing skills.  Research skills will be strengthened during the writing of the research paper.

English 10 Honors
Grade 10
Level 3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Honors English 9 or regular English, teacher recommendation, and high standardized test score (4Sight Reading Test and PSSA). Completion of summer reading assignments before the semester begins is also required.

English 10 Honors is a rigorous academic course designed to challenge students while developing their reading and language skills.  This course is recommended in preparation for Advanced Placement and Honors courses in eleventh and twelfth grade.  The student will receive a background in literature, both historical and critical.  Works studied include the following four summer reading requirements:  The Odyssey, Pride and Prejudice, The Chosen, and The Once and Future King.  Additionally, other major works during the year include Antigone, Beowulf, Night, Maus I and II, Twelfth Night, and A Raisin in the Sun.  Literary genres studied are fiction, nonfiction, short story, epic, legend, myth, poetry, and drama.  Film will be used both as an extension of class content and as a medium for critical analysis.  Students will also practice for the PSAT and SAT by learning strategies for taking the test and by practicing test questions.  Students will increase vocabulary use through formal weekly lessons.  Instruction in composition will focus on the timed essay, the literary essay, and the research paper, all of which require students to practice documentation of sources.  Students will have many opportunities to improve their oral skills through class discussions, group seminars, and oral presentations.  Formal instruction in grammar, mechanics, and usage will occur and students will be expected to use complex sentence structures in conveying complex thought processes.  Students will be expected to edit for correct grammar, mechanics, and usage in written assignments.  Periodically, students will be responsible for independent reading assignments.

English 11
Grade 11
Level 1
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  English 10

English 11 provides a chronological survey of American Literature.  Selections are geared toward the reading level of the students.  Basic research techniques will be introduced and continued emphasis on writing will be maintained.  Instruction in usage and vocabulary will be reinforced.  This course is designed to improve the basic reading and writing skills of the students.

English 11
Grade 11
Level 2
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of English 10

English 11 will provide a chronological survey of American Literature from the transcendentalist period to the present.  Students will study a variety of American Literature pieces from several genres including poetry, novel, short story, drama, and film.  The choices of reading selections are arranged chronologically and are aimed to examine the progression of American culture and of society while paying close attention to ethnic struggles and achievements.  Representative readings from the major periods include such works as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, Death of a Salesman, and Catcher in the Rye.  Instruction in English usage and vocabulary (designed to prepare for SAT exams) will complement the works studied and help improve writing skills.  A research paper examining a literary topic and drawing from primary and secondary sources is required.

English 11 Honors
Grade 11
Level 3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of English 10, teacher recommendation, and high standardized test score (4Sight Reading Test).  Students who plan to take this course are required to read select novels on a summer reading list before the term begins.

Honors English 11 is an accelerated language arts course designed for students who are avid readers and talented writers.  With the aim of preparing students for post secondary education, it has both a demanding workload and accelerated pace.  Each unit requires significant independent reading and writing, and several major projects require students to work collaboratively outside of class.  Students will study a variety of American Literature pieces from several genres including poetry, novel, short story, drama, and film.  The choices of texts are arranged both thematically and chronologically and are aimed to examine the progression of American culture and society while paying close attention to ethnic struggles and achievements.  Instruction in English usage and vocabulary (designed to prepare for college entrance exams) will complement the works studied and help to improve writing skills.  Writing requirements include several analytical essays as well as narrative responses to philosophical ideas and literary methods discussed in class.  In addition, a six-to-eight page research paper examining a literary topic and drawing from primary and secondary (critical) sources is required.

AP English Language I
Grade 11
Level 3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of English 10, teacher recommendation, and high standardized test score (4Sight Reading Test). Any student who has not completed English 10 Honors must have a very high score on the test and very strong teacher recommendation.  To promote success, students should be competent, avid readers with strong writing skills as the course does require a considerable amount of reading and writing.  Students who plan to take this course are required to read select novels on a summer reading list before the term begins.

Earn a college credit while in high school and challenge yourself to be the best that you can be.  That is the opportunity available for those who qualify for the AP English 11 Language and Composition class and for those who earn a high enough score on the AP Language and Composition Evaluation Exam.  This is a year-long course that concentrates on developing sophisticated written communication and literary analysis skills.  The course is structured for those students who are willing and capable of working at a college level.  Students will study a variety of literary genres and will be required to analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identify and explain an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques, identify effective strategies and techniques in sample writing assignments, create and sustain arguments based on assigned readings, develop and write an effective analytical research paper, write in a variety of genres, and demonstrate a mastery of the standard written English. 

Senior Course Offerings:

English 12
Grade 12
Level 1
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  English 11

The main goal of English 12 – Level 1 is to prepare students for any of a number of life options.  Students will be exposed to widely varied genres of classical literature.  Additionally, students will gain the communication skills needed to better prepare them for life.  Practical reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills will be interspersed with classical literature in an effort to make the learning experience more authentic, credible, and stimulating.  In essence, this course will prepare students for the working world and/or future educational experiences.

English 12 Honors
Grade 12
Level 3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of English 11, teacher recommendation, and high standardized test score (4Sight Reading Test).  Students who plan to take this course are required to read select novels on a summer reading list before the term begins.

English 12 Honors is an accelerated language course designed for students who are avid readers and fluent writers.  Intended as a transition to post secondary schools, its lively pace and intensive requirements prepare college-bound students with similar scholastic rigor.  Students are expected to take a good amount of independent reading and challenging texts in stride.  Selections of fiction, poetry, drama, and film are studied as exemplars to acquaint students with the rich variety of the world’s literary tradition.  This series of texts, often thematically related, provides interesting insights into cultural attitudes and values of the contexts which produced them as well as their enduring influences today.  These works constitute comparative studies that span time and place, moving from ancient to contemporary pieces. 

AP English Literature II
Grade 12
Level 3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of English 11, teacher recommendation, and high standardized test score (4Sight Reading Test).  Students who plan to take this course are required to read select novels on a summer reading list before the term begins.

Advanced Placement English II is a College Board year-long twelfth grade course designed to prepare students to take the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Examination in order to earn exemption from taking college English.  Therefore the course is for those students who are willing and able to work at a college level.  Critical reading, analytical writing, and thoughtful discussion about meritorious literary works form the basis of activity in the course.  Written work includes journal entries, in-class timed essays, analytical papers, documented research, and creative works such as poems and short stories.  In addition to student literary analysis, discussion about published critical analyses will accompany the study of each work.  Poetry, drama, mythology, and the short story are the major genres studied in this course.  Nonfiction and the novel are also studied.  Some of the major works include The Metamorphosis, The Dubliners, Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, A Doll’s House, A Man for All Seasons, Oedipus, Antigone, and The Frogs. Independent assignments such as short story journals, book analyses, research papers, and poetry presentations are assigned as part of each nine weeks.

British Literature
Grade 12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

In British Literature class, students read some of the very best stories from the United Kingdom.  From tales of heroes like Beowulf to villains like Macbeth, or monsters in Frankenstein and clowns in Waiting for Godot, this course includes the classic and modern texts that trace our Anglo-American heritage.  Through reading, informal and creative writing, discussion, and dramatic activity, students have the opportunity to form meaningful responses to poetry, prose, fiction, and drama.  Titles include Canterbury Tales, Macbeth, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Frankenstein, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Arcadia.  This semester course presents a lively survey of key works that prepare students for post-secondary study.

World Literature
Grade 12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

This semester course includes literary selections from around the globe and focuses on the Western Tradition in literature, tracing its origins from mythology through English literature.  Major works include Beowulf, The Inferno, Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Antigone, mythology, and a Shakespearean play.  Students respond to the literature through oral discussions and written essays.  This course provides students with a structure and a focus for reading by studying literary classics. 

Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Grade 12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

Writing for the Humanities is one of two senior English semester writing courses designed to prepare students for the rigors of college writing.  Students entering the arts, business, humanities, liberal arts, or social sciences will benefit from this course.  The focus of study and writing in the course will be on expository, analytical, descriptive, and persuasive essays.  Various patterns of development, including descriptive, narrative, process, comparison, definition, cause/effect, problem/solution, classification, and persuasion, may be used in writing essays.  Students will also complete an extensive documented research paper which will be orally presented to the class. Topics for assignments will be based upon the student’s interest and approval.  Grammar and mechanics will be reviewed since students are expected to edit their work.  Word processed tests are required.

Writing for the Sciences
Grade 12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

Students entering the technical fields, the natural sciences, or social sciences will benefit from this course.  Writing for the Sciences is a semester course designed to prepare students for the rigors of college writing in the natural sciences, social sciences, or technical sciences and for the precise kind of writing required in business or at a technical school.  There will be an emphasis placed upon precision and clarity, formal use of vocabulary, and attention to detail through independent study and researched documentation in APA format.  The majority of topics for assignments will be based upon the student’s interest.  There will also be group and individual oral presentations of findings related to the Personal Interview, Observation Study, Comparison Survey Study, and the documented research study of a Problem/Cause/Effect/Solution/Original Solution paper.  Examples of assignments include: Interview, Process, Classification, Definition, Observation, Comparison, Position (Inductive and Deductive writing), a Business unit, and the documented research paper.  Students will review grammar, mechanics, and writing skills to utilize in the editing and revision of all assignments.  Individual reflections of each assignment will be required to reinforce and enhance the learning process.  Word processed assignments are required.

Writing Skills
Grade 11-12
Level 1-2
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite: None

Writing Skills is an intensive, remedial, and developmental course in the technique of clear, effective expository writing.  Designed primarily for senior students who have experienced difficulty in writing and recommended for the students who have not demonstrated “Proficiency” on the PSSA exam,  this course provides focused instruction and practice in the fundamentals of expository writing. Students will develop their composition skills repertoire from informal, personal essays to formal, documented essays based on source research and business communications.  Students will focus on ways to structure ideas and express clear, effective meaning for the variety of audiences that they are likely to encounter in future academic and work environments.  Students will be required to recognize effective writing, practice the writing process, consider the uses of rational, emotional, and ethical appeals in writing, select words and construct sentences, connect sentence and paragraphs with fluent transitional devices, and plan and draft compositions.  Building vocabulary, drilling in usage, learning from models, comparing views, editing and reading one’s own and peer compositions, and keeping a writer’s journal will be part of the required practice.  Writing Skills is not a college-preparatory course; Writing for the Humanities and Writing for the Sciences are designed for the college-bound student.

Elective Course Offerings:

Creative Writing I
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

Creative Writing is designed for students interested in writing imaginative works.  Primarily, the short story, poetry, and descriptive forms will be explored.  However, given student interest and time available, other genres such as plays and essays can be written.  Emphasis will be placed on expanding the students’ power of observation and imagination.  Although some of the writing will be spontaneous through the use of journals, students will be expected to adhere to the basic rules of the English language involving mechanics and grammatical usage.  A field trip to Carnegie Museum of Art provides students with an opportunity to explore the nexus of inspiration and response, of fine arts and composition.

Creative Writing II
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  Creative Writing I

Creative Writing II satisfies the need of students who wish to pursue imaginative writing and prefect the craft of fiction, poetry, and drama writing.  The course will offer interested students the opportunity to receive feedback on their own writing.  Emphasis will be placed on expanding the students’ development of characterization, point of view, plot, setting, description, dialogue, meter, voice, imagery, tone, and style.  The structure of the course is based primarily as a writing workshop.  Grades will be determined by each student’s own fiction or poetry written during the course and presented in a portfolio at the end of the semester, class participation, which may include group work, and may include a journal.

Imaginative Fiction I:  Fantasy, Science Fiction, & Myth
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

Imaginative Fiction offers works from author’s such as Stephen King, JRR Rolkien, Michael Crichton, H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Bram Stoker, Aldous Huxley and more.  Geared for the accelerated reader, this course is designed for students who love to read and to discuss their opinions on high interest novels.  Students will also participate in the comparative analysis of novels to movie counterparts. 

Imaginative Fiction II: Mystery, Spy and Adventure 
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

Mystery, Spy, and Adventure novels are the foci of this course.  Suspense writing, analytical thinking, and entertaining characters will be studied.  Students will select novels from such authors as Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and William Golding.  Searching for the details and style that make these stories so interesting, students will analyze both novels and movie counterparts.  The course is designed for students who love to read, who are eager to discuss, and who are capable of maintaining challenging reading assignments.  Note:  Imaginative Fiction I is NOT a prerequisite; you may select either course in any order. 

Media Literacy: Understanding Film, Television, Internet, Advertising
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

Teenagers spend more time per week with the popular media (television, movies, the Internet, etc.) than they do in school (or, in many cases, even sleeping), according to a recent Pew Charitable Trust report.  Generally, however, students are passive consumers, spending little thought considering the techniques used to manipulate these powerful media and the results of those media messages.  This course trains students' critical, analytical skills on production, consumption, and distribution of media. Thus, students equipped with this understanding become aware and “smart” consumers of media.  Students will use these techniques to produce their own messages through projects and class activities.  Students will create photo and sound stories, advertisements and short films, and projects for the Internet. 

Public Speaking
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

One’s judgment of a person is never complete until the person speaks.  Speech includes not only what is said but also how it is said – the voice, diction, and manner.  This Public Speaking course deals with the preparation required before speaking as well as the various types of deliveries necessary for successful public speaking.  The course also deals with increasing one’s confidence through knowledge and preparation.  Students will study and put into practice the basic skills in preparing and presenting various speech types to an audience. 

Critical Thinking & Study Skills
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

This one-semester course is designed for students who desire to develop study skills and test taking strategies.  This course will ultimately help students to set and achieve both educational and life goals.  Students will leave this class with a better understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses, and the information and skills to improve their own understanding, learning and retention across disciplines.  This course not only teaches students how to go about becoming better students but also arms them with the tools to become high achievers in all aspects of their lives. 

Scholastic Journalism Workshop
Grade 9-12
Levels 1-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit

Scholastic Journalism Workshop is an elective English course that introduces students to authentic skills and hands-on practice of effective scholastic journalism through the production of the Bethel Park High School newspaper for the student body of BPHS.  Students may also publish school news through an online news source to be developed from print versions and linked to the school website.  Thus, students will demonstrate journalistic skills and knowledge to be acquired in the beginning weeks of the school year and developed through publication.  These skills include, but are not limited to, interviewing, reporting, writing, editing, layout/design, photography, business management, and advertising.  Class members will comprise the staff of the newspaper, with repeating-year-students taking editorial-management positions and beginning students filling reporter-writing roles.  Students can take this course for credit for two full years and audit the course thereafter.  Additionally, students may opt to attend the spring Pennsylvania School Press Association Convention, a three-day event in Harrisburg.

Sports Literature
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

Sports Literature will introduce the student to a selected body of enjoyable and significant readings and films related to a variety of sports and sports topics.  Students will develop a broader awareness of the relationship between sports and other academic areas, including literature, sociology, history, economics, and psychology.  The final project, creating a sports franchise, will assist the student in integrating the materials from the various disciplines into a unified, cohesive whole.  Expectations of students may include reading the assigned materials, participating in class discussions, successful performance on examinations, completing the final project which includes an oral presentation and small group work.  Sports Literature will help students see that sports are more than a contest.  The will recognize sports as a metaphor for the human experience.

Shakespeare
Grade 9-12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

This course is a semester elective designed to explore the literary genius of the world’s foremost playwright – William Shakespeare.  Texts will focus on the author’s keen sense of human nature as well as the inherent leadership lessons his plays provide.  The course is an interactive exploration based on discussions, film analysis, contemporary adaptations/applications, and student centered films and/or plays.

Theater Arts I 
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite:  None

This is a combination theory and workshop course for anyone who is interested in acting and exploring the complex art of theater.  This year-long elective is a survey course that covers a wide range of content areas:  performance, directing, acting, role playing, improvisation, theater games, pantomime, non-verbal communication, theater history, varieties of drama, dramatic analysis, and character interpretation.  No prior knowledge is needed to enroll in this class, and the emphasis of the course will be on the pleasure of transforming the creative process of theater into art.

Theater Arts II 
Grade 10-12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  Theater Arts I

Theater Arts II is an intensive course intended for those students who want to continue their serious investigation of the discipline of theater.  It is, therefore, an advance study built on the Theater Arts I foundation.  Students in Theater Arts II will participate in a series of intriguing performance projects that will focus on the following content areas:  William Wegman, Animals as Characters Video, Storytelling through Tableaus, Voice Dialects, Storytelling through Shadows, Stage Combat, Acting, Playwriting, Lip-synching/Karaoke, and Dramatic Literature.

English and Math SAT PREP 
Grade 11-12
Level 2-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  Students taking SAT prep must have successfully completed a course in Geometry prior to entering the course.  Preparation for the ACT will be limited to the math and verbal sections of the test.  It will not address the scientific reasoning section.

This course is essential for all college-bound students who want to get the best SAT score possible.  Offered by both the English and mathematics departments, SAT is designed to help students prepare to take the SAT examination.  The semester course is divided into two nine-week units:  one nine weeks concentrating on the verbal section and the other concentrating on the mathematics section.  Both nine weeks will include instruction in test-taking strategies that have been proven to be highly effective.  Additionally, the verbal section prepares students in effectively writing college essays for admission.  Practice examinations and drills will be used to familiarize students with the various math and English questions on the SAT.  The class is offered on a pass/fail basis, so students are required to successfully complete all work and tests assigned as an incentive for improving their SAT scores and for passing the course.