Presque Isle High School

Presque Isle • Mapleton • Chapman • Castle Hill • Westfield

Education in MSAD #1 will empower students to reach their potential as critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators.


Only one credit in English per year is permitted toward fulfilling the four-credit English graduation requirement. However, a student may enroll in a second English course if she/he is enrolling for make-up purposes. Making up a failed English course will take priority over the next level course in scheduling. Students may not enroll in a junior-
level English course until their ninth-grade English credit has been earned, nor may they enroll in senior-level English until their sophomore-level English credit has been earned.


This program is designed to develop literacy skills through the study of varied thematic units. There is an emphasis on meeting the individual reading, writing and critical thinking needs of students; each student will have his/her specific literacy needs addressed using data obtained through testing and teacher observation. In addition to numerous group language and literature activities, class time is provided each week for students to undertake an individualized reading program. Writing skills are developed through multiple drafts, shared writing prompts and conferencing. This skill building is geared to provide success in developing literacy. Students will be recommended for this course based on need (NWEA, SAT’s and performance/teacher recommendation.)

AP English Language and Composition is intended to teach students the rhetorical analysis and writing skills necessary in an introductory college composition course. The focus of the reading is non-fiction, although some fiction work is also required. Primarily, this is a composition course and the emphasis is on writing essays similar to those expected in most college courses. This course meets the requirements for the third or fourth-year English required credit, or it may be taken as a junior or senior elective course. Admission to the course also requires the successful completion of summer work.

This course is for those seeking a challenging English program that will strengthen their critical analysis skills and reading and writing abilities. Students can expect intensive reading from texts of literary merit, concentrating on the ways authors use language (structure, style, themes, figurative language, etc.). Texts will include selections from fiction and non-fiction genres, including expository writing, memoirs, poetry, drama, as well as comics and graphic stories. This course meets the requirements for the fourth year English required credit, or it may be taken as a junior or senior elective course. Admission to the course also requires the successful completion of summer work.

CP English I gives students a strong foundation in the language arts. This course is divided into thematic units designed to encourage development of critical thinking skills. Course work emphasizes literary genres, literary devices, speaking skills, study skills, library skills, vocabulary, expository writing and a review of grammar, mechanics, and usage.

CP English II concentrates on improving reading and writing skills. Both classic and contemporary literature includes the study of the American short story, drama, poetry, nonfiction, and the novel. Writing skills include mechanics of grammar, types of expository writing, and creative writing. Writing assignments originate from designated thematic units.

Emphasis is placed upon further development of skills in critical analysis and in written communication including English usage, vocabulary development, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Literature is approached thematically and draws from all genres and cultures. Students should expect to spend considerable time on reading and writing assignments and be prepared for class discussion. Mechanics and vocabulary are approached through written and oral communication. Long range assignments and projects are an integral supplement to daily activities. A goal is for students to know themselves as learners and to view themselves as readers and writers for a lifetime. Special care is devoted to development of thinking skills.

This course is an integration of vocabulary enrichment, grammar review, writing experience, and literary study surveying the development of all genres and cultures. Important to the course is student participation in discussions and writing on the universal literary themes revealed in the works studied. A term paper is assigned. Students are encouraged to see themselves as an integral part of the world and to evaluate themselves as learner, reader, and writer in the global picture.

This semester-long elective course is designed to give students who are interested in creative writing the opportunity to strengthen their skills. The writing focus for this semester will be on creative writing including, but not limited to, poetry, short stories, and dialogues. Emphasis is placed on the writing process. Peer editing is an integral part of the writing process; therefore, students must be willing to share their writing with classmates.

English I is designed to provide for a greater enjoyment of reading by allowing the student to select periodicals and novels that appeal to them. Work in several skills such as communication in the work place, following and giving directions, using problem-solving strategies, and technical writing will be an integral part of the course.

English II is offered to students who plan to enter vocational training or future employment and focuses on fundamental skills in reading, mechanics of writing and vocabulary enrichment. Specific emphasis is placed on contemporary American literature and on expository and creative writing that relate to a variety of thematic units.

English III is designed to aid the student who plans to enter vocational training or employment. Therefore, emphasis is placed on practical application of all aspects of employment. Special attention is placed on improvement of skills in written expression. Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and speaking skills are emphasized through written and oral communication, as well as through the literature studied.

The students enrolled in English IV develop communication skills, reading skills, and vocabulary enrichment. Emphasis is placed on all genres of literature. Students become involved in varied discussions and group work. They also are assigned individual and group projects. Some groups function on a directed independent enrichment basis.

HONORS ENGLISH I/II (1 credit each year) Grades 9&10
This course is designed to challenge students in the areas of composition, literature, oral communication, vocabulary, research and critical thinking, and study skills. Individual and group projects are an integral part of the program. Where applicable, students will be prepared to assume responsibility for leading class discussions and for taking an active role in peer critique writing. Substantial class time will be spent on the following: small group and whole class discussion, evaluation of authors’ writings, evaluation of students’ own writings, students’ presentations of their research findings, and students’ presentations of creative projects done in conjunction with various units of study.

MEDIA LITERACY (1⁄2 CREDIT) Grades 10 – 12
This is an elective course that explores the relationship between the media (TV, film, magazines, newspapers, Internet) and the individual. Through discussion and analysis students apply critical thinking to the media they use every day. There is an emphasis on the persuasive techniques used in media and the evolution of media in American society. This course partially meets the state’s Fine Arts requirement.

Play Production is an elective course in which all aspects of drama – acting, directing, choosing and casting the play, rehearsal procedures, technical personnel, scenery design and construction, properties, costumes, and makeup – will be covered. Students are involved in monologues and improvisation. The practical application of this learning will be demonstrated through a student-directed stage play presented before a live audience. The workshop will be held in the classroom and on the stage. Class is limited to 20 students. This course partially meets the state’s Fine Arts requirement.

This course will introduce students to the vast range of literature and literacy genre geared to children and adolescents. There will be opportunity to engage in modes of storytelling, interpretive reading and performance. Literary analysis will be integral and will include writings related to the readings. Students will write their own story with illustrations using computer technology as needed. Both individual and group work are central to this course.
Photography, drawings, paintings and other art work through digital means will be part of the program.

Publications is designed for a limited number of students interested in advertising and business practices, graphic design and layout, and communication. The Publications Class will be responsible for the creation and publication of the SHIP, Presque Isle High School’s annual yearbook. Yearbook staff members will be in charge of all aspects of creating the yearbook using specialized software, digital photography and scanning, computer-generated page layouts, and online publishing techniques. Students are responsible for the following: yearbook advertising sales, accounts payable and receivable, organization of yearbook content, and accurate completion of yearbook sales and advertisers’ requests. Students will have an opportunity to write copy and to practice editing and proofreading skills. Becoming part of the publications class involves a rigorous screening process which takes into consideration a prospective student’s proven citizenship, ability to work cooperatively on a team and work independently with limited supervision, to meet deadlines, and to maintain a positive attitude which contributes to an effective working environment. Interested students should discuss this opportunity with their guidance counselor.

This is an elective course for students in grades nine – twelve. It is designed to develop self-confidence and physical and mental poise when speaking before varied audiences and for a variety of purposes. It offers extensive practice in a wide variety of practical speech experiences involving logical thinking, systematic organizing, and effective delivery. This course partially meets the state’s Fine Arts requirement.