Department Philosophy

Mount Alvernia High School believes that every student is capable of learning at high levels.  The English Department’s curriculum embodies this fundamental belief.  Beginning in grade 7 students are challenged to read critically, speak thoughtfully and write concisely in order to develop their voices.

Department Goals

Mount Alvernia aims to develop the whole person in concert with others. Reading, writing, listening, and speaking clearly and effectively are essential to that goal.  The six-year English program is designed to foster within our students honest self-reflection, critical thinking and a sense of empathy.

Students who complete the six-year English program will:

  • understand better herself and others
  • develop and exhibit a sense of empathy
  • realize that knowledge results from both acquiring information and constructing meaning
  • appreciate the power of reading, writing and image making
  • recognize the value of reading deeply and broadly
  • understand the human propensity to explain life in narrative form
  • appreciate the differences that perspective lends to story
  • see writing as both an internal process and a public performance
  • understand that audience is a defining element in communication
  • read and view critically
  • write clearly
  • speak articulately
  • listen attentively
  • value vocabulary, diction, syntax and grammar as essential tools of communication

Course of Study

  • Grade 7: The Power of Stories
  • Grade 8: The Power of Voice
  • Grade 9: Literary Forms (H, CP)
  • Grade 10: American Literature (H, CP)
  • Grade 11: British Literature (H, CP)*
  • Grade 12: World Literature (AP English Literature & Composition, H, CP)
  • 21st Century Communication (elective)
  • Graduation Requirement: Senior Symposium

    *Juniors taking honors British Literature have the opportunity to elect to prepare for and take the Advanced Placement English Language & Composition exam.

Department Faculty

Ms. Rebecca Brown, Chair
Ms. Katherine Hamilton
Ms. Meghan Hooper