In grade 9 students have seven periods of English per week. There is no overlying theme for grade 9 -- instead students simply engage with a variety of different types and levels of literature. The five units of the year are about empathy and personal bias, horror, the Great Depression, poetry and the hero’s journey. The principal types of writing include structured paragraphs, compare-contrast essays, persuasive essays, short stories, poetry and synthesis paragraphs.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Various Horror Readings by Bram Stoker, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and others

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Various Poems by poets of the 19th and 20th century

Various Myths from a variety of sources


In grade 10 the English program consists of five periods per week. The overlying theme is coming of age. The students are exposed to novels, drama, non-fiction readings and a graphic novel. The principal types of writing are analytical essays, cause-and-effect essays, personal narratives and creative writing.


The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Various Psychology Readings by several prominent 20th century psychologists

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


In grade 11 students have six periods of English per week. In the regular class, the overlying theme of the year is power, oppression and rebellion. The students return to previously covered writing types, including persuasive essays and literary analysis but are also challenged with new forms of assessment, including an intensive research project and a Shakespearean drama project. In anticipation of their university applications in the coming year, there are also two short units in which students write personal narratives and personal statements.


Antigone by Sophocles

1984 by George Orwell

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Maus by Art Spiegelman

GRADE 11 AP Language & Composition

For students who choose to take AP English in 11th grade, they also have six periods of English per week. The program is completely different from the regular English program and prepares students for the AP Language exam in May, focusing on three main types of essay writing: persuasive, rhetorical analysis and synthesis. The course is based around a number of non-fiction and fiction readings.


The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut

Various Non-Fiction Readings by authors from the 18th-21st centuries


In grade 12 students have six periods of English per week. Our main goal is to prepare students for the rigors of university-level reading and writing. There is an equal focus on fiction and non-fiction texts. Along with improving upon skills taught in previous years, the students are introduced to critical writing.


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Various Short Stories by a number of 20th century authors

A Bildungsroman (chosen at student discretion)

GRADE 12 AP Literature & Composition

Students who choose to take AP English in 12th grade also have six periods of English per week. The program is completely separate from the regular 12th grade program. Students are exposed to a variety of readings from the time of Shakespeare until nearly the present, including significant readings in fiction, poetry and drama. There is an emphasis on making connections between texts throughout the year. Units focus on intertextuality, Shakespearean tragedy, poetry, modernist and postmodernist narratives and women in literature. Significant lesson time is spent preparing for the AP Literature exam in May.


Various Intertextual Readings by authors from ancient times to the present

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Various Poetry in English by poets from 1600-1950

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Various Short Stories by authors of the 19th and 20th century


AP Capstone

AP Capstone is a two-year research-based course offered to 11th and 12th graders which runs for four hours per week. The first year is spent learning research methods and the second is spent on an individual research project. The course is skills-based rather than content-based. Students who complete both years of the course will receive the AP Capstone certificate. Students who complete both years along with four other AP classes in which they receive a 3 or higher on the exam will receive the AP Capstone diploma.

Creative Writing

This year-long course is offered to 10th and 11th graders for two hours per week. Students will hone their own writing skills partially through a study of literature and primarily through workshopping their own writing with other students in the class.