English

Philosophy
Critical reading, writing, and speaking skills are keys not only to academic and career achievements but also to personal fulfillment. The study of literature and rhetoric enables us to share common human experiences, to identify and empathize or challenge others’ viewpoints, and to reason with a world that is not always rational.
Course Offerings and Descriptions
The eighth grade literature focuses on enriching students’ vocabulary and sharpening their critical reading and writing skills. The course also familiarizes students with a variety of genres--including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, informational text, myths, legends, and folktales—and teaches them to analyze plot, conflict, characterization, setting, mood, style, voice, and tone.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Group I
Open to Grades: 8
Prerequisite: None. Enrollment based on placement testing.
Like the regular level course, the eighth grade literature focuses on enriching students’ vocabulary and sharpening their critical reading and writing skills. The course also familiarizes students with a variety of genres--including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, informational text, myths, legends, and folktales—and teaches them to analyze plot, conflict, characterization, setting, mood, style, voice, and tone. At the Honors level, coursework will be supplemented with class studies of full-length novels and independent reading projects.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Group II
Open to Grades: 8
Prerequisite: None. Enrollment based on placement testing.
This course offers instruction in grammar, structure, usage, and mechanics as well as a wide variety of writing experiences, including essays, creative writing, and research. Students learn and apply the criteria for effective writing, such as clear organization, coherence, precise word choice, and sentence fluency. They also practice the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising/editing, proofreading, publishing/presenting.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Group I
Open to Grades: 8
Prerequisite: Enrollment based on placement testing.
This course offers a variety of writing experiences at the Honors level, including essays, creative writing, and research, as well as instruction in advanced grammar, structure, usage, and mechanics. Students learn and apply the criteria for effective writing, such as clear organization, coherence, precise word choice, and sentence fluency. They also practice the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising/editing, proofreading, publishing/presenting.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Group II
Open to Grades: 8
Prerequisite: Enrollment based on placement testing.
The Study Skills course strengthens students’ organizational and time management skills, study strategies, test preparation methods, critical reading and writing skills, and use of technology. Students will focus on the application of these skills in order to strengthen their performance in all subject areas.
 
Credit: 2
Quality Group I
Open to Grades: 8
Prerequisite: None. Course runs concurrently with Physical Education (3 days Physical Education/ 2 days Study Skills).
English I pairs the study of grammar, vocabulary, composition, and public speaking with various literary genres, such as autobiographies, biographies, essays, short stories, dramas, novels, and poetry. Students also learn proper research skills, including how to effectively and accurately support an argument using secondary sources and MLA format.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: I
Open to Grades: 9
Prerequisite: Enrollment based on placement testing.
Honors English I is designed for students with advanced reading comprehension and writing skills. The course surveys major literary genres and requires analysis and evaluation of selected short stories, myths, poems, and Shakespeare’s plays Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. Students also study Greek and Latin vocabulary roots, public speaking, and proper research skills, including how to effectively and accurately support an argument using secondary sources and MLA format. By year’s end, students should be able to write clear, effective, and structurally accurate essays.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: II
Open to Grades: 9
Prerequisite: Pope John 8th graders must have a 93 average in BOTH English and Writing Skills or an 85 in BOTH Honors English and Honors Writing Skills to proceed to Honors English I. Students entering Pope John as 9th graders must take a placement test.
English II offers a survey of American literature, including autobiographies, biographies, essays, short stories, dramas, novels, and poetry. The course also reinforces proper research skills, including how to effectively and accurately support an argument using secondary sources and MLA format. Students study grammar, vocabulary, public speaking, and the fundamentals of writing clear, effective, and structurally accurate essays.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: I
Open to Grades: 10
Prerequisite: Final grade of 65 in English I
Honors English II offers qualified students an accelerated survey of American literature, including essays, short stories, dramas, novels, and poetry. Students will hone not only their critical reading, writing, and public speaking skills, but also their ability to effectively and accurately support an argument using secondary sources and MLA format. Honors English II stresses the development of critical thinking skills, reading comprehension and analysis, and coherent and logical expression of written and spoken ideas.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: II
Open to Grades: 10
Prerequisite: Final Grade of 83 in Honors English I or 93 in English I.
English III offers a survey of British literature, including essays, short stories, dramas, novels, and poetry. Students also study grammar, vocabulary, public speaking, and the fundamentals of writing clear, effective, and structurally accurate essays. The course reinforces proper research skills, including how to effectively and accurately support an argument using secondary sources and MLA format.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: I
Open to Grades: 11
Prerequisite: Final grade of 65 in English II.
Honors English III offers qualified students an accelerated survey of British literature, including essays, short stories, dramas, novels, and poetry. Students will hone not only their critical reading, writing, and public speaking skills, but also their ability to effectively and accurately support an argument using secondary sources and MLA format. Honors English III stresses the development of critical thinking skills, reading comprehension and analysis, and coherent and logical expression of written and spoken ideas.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: II
Open to Grades: 11
Prerequisite: Final grade of 83 in Honors English II, or 93 or in English II.
English IV offers an overview of World Literature, often pairing an ancient text from a particular region with a modern one, for example the Persian epic The Shahname with The Kite Runner. Works studied include essays, short stories, dramas, novels, and poetry from ancient to modern times. Students also study grammar, vocabulary, public speaking, and the fundamentals of writing clear, effective, and structurally accurate essays. The course reinforces proper research skills, including how to effectively and accurately support an argument using secondary sources and MLA format.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: I
Open to Grades: 12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 65 in English III.
Honors English IV offers qualified students an accelerated survey of World Literature, often pairing an ancient text from a particular region with a modern one, for example the Persian epic The Shahname with The Kite Runner. Works studied include essays, short stories, dramas, novels, and poetry from ancient to modern times. Students also study grammar, vocabulary, public speaking, and proper research skills, including how to effectively and accurately support an argument using secondary sources and MLA format. Honors English IV stresses the development of critical thinking skills, reading comprehension and analysis, and coherent, logical, and structurally accurate essays.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: II
Open to Grades: 12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 83 in Honors English III or 93 in English III.
This course focuses on journalism, graphic design, photography, editing, and marketing skills. Students will produce the Pope John yearbook as well as online journalism content.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: I
Open to Grades: 10,11,12
Prerequisite: 85 or above in prior English class and a writing sample.

Only offered in September of even numbered years

This course offers students the opportunity to combine critical reading of texts and critical self-reflection of students’ own experiences and prior knowledge to answer the questions “What is learning?,” “What is education?”, and “What is knowledge?”. Students will draw upon selections from the so-called “Great Books” of Western thought, namely works by St. Augustine, John Locke, George Berkely, and John Dewey, to actively interrogate their own understanding of what it means to learn and teach. Further, students will push the boundaries of what we consider to be “texts,” and are encouraged to analyze modern forms of discourse and communication, like sitcoms, podcasts and popular music, in order to unpack diverse pedagogical and epistemological theories. Great Books is a seminar course, which requires students to engage in critical thought, lead class discussions, and develop convincing oral and written arguments, in order to prepare them for university-level, roundtable discussions in the tradition of a liberal arts education.

Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: II
Open to Grades: 10,11,12
Prerequisite:
Incoming 10th graders: a final grade of 83 in Honors English I or 93 in English I.
Incoming 11th graders: Final grade of 83 in Honors English II or 93 in English II.
Incoming 12th graders: Final grade of 83 in AP Literature and Composition or 83 in Honors English III or 93 in English III.

Only offered in September of odd numbered years.

This course offers students the opportunity to combine critical reading of texts and critical self-reflection of students’ own experiences and prior knowledge to answer the questions “What is the self?,” “How can we know we exist?”, and “What is identity?”. Students will draw upon selections from the so-called “Great Books” of Western thought, namely works by Plato, Aristotle, René Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Jean-Paul Sartre, to actively interrogate their own understanding of what it means to be and exist in the world. Further, students will push the boundaries of what we consider to be “texts,” and are encouraged to analyze modern forms of discourse and communication, like sitcoms, podcasts and popular music, in order to unpack diverse philosophical and existential theories. Great Books is a seminar course, which requires students to engage in critical thought, lead class discussions, and develop convincing oral and written arguments, in order to prepare them for university-level, roundtable discussions in the tradition of a liberal arts education.

Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: II
Open to Grades: 10,11,12
Prerequisite:
Incoming 10th graders: a final grade of 83 in Honors English I or 93 in English I.
Incoming 11th graders: Final grade of 83 in Honors English II or 93 in English II.
Incoming 12th graders: Final grade of 83 in AP Literature and Composition or 83 in Honors English III or 93 in English III.

This course is designed according to the guidelines of the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. At the conclusion of the course, all students sit for the Advanced Placement examination in English Literature and Composition. A course in literary interpretation, AP Literature and Composition offers an intense study of the various genres in literature: poetry, drama, the short story, the novel and the essay. Through critical essays and class discussion, students consider the work’s structure, style, theme(s) as well as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: III
Open to Grades: 11
Prerequisite: Final grade of 87 in Honors English II or 97 in English II. Students in English II must take a placement test.
The AP English Language and Composition course teaches students to recognize and analyze a variety of rhetorical contexts and to write skillfully for multiple purposes and audiences. At the conclusion of the course, all students sit for the Advanced Placement Test in English Language and Composition. The course emphasizes the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing practiced by academics and other professionals as well as personal and reflective writing. Students will read primary and secondary sources carefully, synthesize materials from these texts in their own compositions, and cite sources using the Modern Language Association (MLA) conventions.
 
Credit: 5
Quality Point Group: III
Open to Grades: 12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 83 in AP Literature and Composition or 87 in Honors English III or 97 in English III. Students in English III must take a placement test.