English Department

Dept Chair – Jeanine Caldaro: jmramsey@philasd.org

The English Department will promote learning of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) which have been established “to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life” (CCSS Initiative).

Goals for the English Department:

  • Students master all steps of the writing process to produce final drafts that are organized, concise, and logical.
  • Students develop critical thinking skills in order to synthesize information during class discussions, through research, and through independent projects.
  • Students improve communication skills through active engagement in a variety of activities that honor different learning styles.
  • Students appreciate literature from different traditions through close reading of texts, sharing their cultural heritage, and exploring historical periods.
  • Students develop academic literacy and proficiency in expository, analytical, and argumentative reading and writing that will meet the demands of higher education.
  • Students actively engage in the learning process, both cooperatively and independently, in preparation for college, the workforce, and the global community.
  • Provide professional development opportunities for teachers.
  • Encourage student responsibility and parent involvement.
  • Recruit qualified English teachers and develop new classes.
  • Support new ideas for learning.

Dept Courses and short descriptions:

Students taking English courses will read a variety of works, including novels, short stories, poetry, and drama. Students will study grammar in conjunction with writing and will follow the writing process to produce quality compositions. Students will also write with a purpose as they work with each form of composition: narrative, expository, descriptive, and argumentative. Students will read with greater comprehension through the development of higher-order thinking skills and the acquisition of new vocabulary. Students are expected to participate in class discussions; discussions will focus on the ability to interpret and analyze the assigned reading.

  • English I – IV
  • English I – IV Honors
  • AP Language & Composition
  • AP Literature
  • IB English A: Literature, Higher Level, years 1 & 2

Honors/AP/IB guidelines (requirements & procedures), articulations & dual enrollments:

General Academic courses moving to Honors – recommended 80% or higher in general academic course the previous year
Honors courses moving to AP or IB – 75% or higher in an honors course the previous year