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Course Sequence & Catalog

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To receive a Preston High School diploma, a student must pass with a grade of 65 or higher during her four years of English study. At the end of her junior year, a Preston student takes The New York State Common Core Regents Exam in English.  

9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade
Reading & Writing for High School Success—Regents British Literature—Regents American Literature—Regents Reading & Writing for College Success/Electives*
Reading & Writing for High School Success—Honors British Literature—Honors American Literature—Honors AP English Literature—Advanced Placement**
Freshman Communications      


*The English Electives can vary from year to year, based on student interests. Current and recent electives include Creative Writing, Film History, Stage to Screen, Media Studies, NYC in Literature, and Mythology, Fairy Tales & Folklore.
**AP English students may also choose to take Film History as an elective.

Course Catalog

1100/1110 English 1 Honors/Regents

We might rightly subtitle this course “Reading and Writing for High School Success” because it emphasizes developmental reading and writing skills. Students learn strategies for improving their comprehension of difficult texts while we also highlight expanding vocabulary. Students will read a variety of works from a wide range of genres such as The Catcher in the Rye, Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color of Water, short stories, and poetry. Students also hone their writing skills through grammar and process-instruction. Students compose expository, persuasive, analytical, researched, and creative pieces—therefore developing a varied portfolio of their writing accomplishments.  Preparation for the NYS Common Core English Regents Exam begins at this stage. We also offer an honors section for qualified students.

Reading Workshop (Reading Across the Curriculum)
This required, year-long course addresses all freshmen in a reading-workshop structure so they can strengthen reading-comprehension strategies needed for all content areas. Pieces from an English class, for example, initiates reading strategies while history, science, religion, math, language, and art content offers opportunities for students to subsequently reinforce such techniques. Like any course, this class requires classwork, homework, tests, quizzes, and group projects. Later in the year, particular attention centers on SAT and Common Core test-taking strategies. By the course’s end, students should more thoroughly understand their thinking processes so they can pride themselves in becoming independent and cognizant learners.

2100/2110 English 2 Honors/Regents
Students study British Literature from the Old English period to modern times. We emphasize analytical and persuasive essays, creative writing, and literary research papers. Additional instruction includes oral presentations, vocabulary practice, grammar strategies, close readings of literary texts, independent readings, and PSAT preparation. Instruction for the NYS Common Core English Regents Exam also continues. In addition to a textbook, the students will read a variety of works from British literature, including Grendel, Pride and Prejudice, and Macbeth. To enroll in this course, a student must have successfully completed English 1. To enroll in the honors level course, a student must have mastered English 1 and receive departmental approval. 

Advanced Placement English Language and Composition
The purpose of this introductory course to reading and writing at the college level is to enhance the analytical writing skills and critical reading and thinking skills of the students to prepare them for success in college and the workplace.  Students read a broad spectrum of non-fiction works and visual texts to broaden their appreciation and ability to analyze the use of rhetoric, language and images and to apply the skillful use of language in their own writing.  Throughout the year, students write frequently to analyze and argue issues raised in the various complex texts they read in class.   Each student takes the AP English Language and Composition exam in May and the New York State ELA Common Core exam in June.  To take this class, a student must have successfully completed English 2 Honors, achieved an average of 90 in the English Regents class, and must have submitted a writing sample administered by the English Department. In addition, all potential students for this class must receive departmental approval.

4100 Advanced Placement English Literature
This full-year course focuses on an in-depth study of a wide range of literary texts. Literature studied has included Hamlet, Oedipus Rex, Death of a Salesman, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, The Awakening, The Things They Carried, as well as shorter works. Emphasis is also placed on the refinement of analytical writing skills, as well as preparation for the Advanced Placement exam given in early May. All students taking this course are expected to sit for this exam. Students are also required to complete several analytical research projects based on their reading. Enrollment in this class requires the permission of the course instructor or the department chairperson.

4110 Reading and Writing for College Success
All non-AP students are required to take this one-semester course during the fall term. The course emphasizes close reading of texts and continued development of higher-order reading and thinking skills vital for success in college. The writing component of the course emphasizes analytical writing; a research paper is required. Works studied include a broad range of literature representing major components of the Western Canon and world literature and an eclectic assortment of authors.

4125 Creative Writing Seminar
This one-semester seminar familiarizes students with a wide variety of writing styles and formats and asks them to produce examples of each technique. They will read a variety of literature which will serve as models for writing. While special emphasis is placed on creative writing, students also learn advanced editing skills. Students are not only required to write, they are expected to share their writing with the class in order to benefit from critiques offered by their peers. Students are required to maintain and submit a portfolio of their work for evaluation. In order to allow for sufficient time to discuss and critique student work in a seminar format, enrollment is strictly limited to a maximum of 20 students. Submission of writing samples and permission of the Creative Writing teacher are required for enrollment.

4130 Mythology, Fairy Tales & Folklore: Greeks, Grimms & Gremlins
This one-semester course explores the psychological underpinnings of our earliest stories. Students examine classical myths, fairy tales, folk tales and some modern novels from an adult perspective to understand how they reflect the human experience and to better understand themselves. In addition to reading and discussing a wide variety of works, students will write essays and creative pieces. This course culminates in a school examination or equivalent project.

4135 Stage to Screen
This one-semester course focuses on drama. Students will read a number of classical and modern plays, including comedies and more serious works. In addition to class discussions and written analyses of drama, the class will view and critique film versions of the plays in order to understand and appreciate the differences in technical and artistic interpretation between stage and screen versions of the same play. This course culminates in a school examination or equivalent project.

4145 Media Literacy: Reading Popular Culture
This half-year course allows students to study a variety of media forms. Students identify types of media (television, radio, print) and each one's appeals to the public. They study the history of television, radio and advertising and how these media represent cultural values. Students are required to view television programs/advertising/films in class. The writing aspect of this course includes essays and projects. This course culminates in a school examination or equivalent project.

4170 Film History
This full-year course involves an extensive study of the history of film. Both the technological, historical and sociological aspects of film are studied in a chronological pattern, enabling the student to evaluate the development of film as an art form and as a representation of modern culture. Both American and foreign films are studied and emphasis is given to specific periods in film history, such as Silent Film and Film Noir. Films are viewed and discussed in class. The writing aspects of this class include tests and essays. This course culminates in a research project or an oral or filmed presentation.