Description of the CHRHS English Department

Housed in the Humanities Wing, the English Department is led by a teaching chairperson and consists of eight full-time teachers.  All have diverse backgrounds; ALL hold Master's Degrees,  three are National Board Certified,  and most are actively involved in extracurricular activities, and/or committee work.  

Students are given every opportunity to meet and exceed the State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy by acquiring the many skills necessary to become effective writers, readers, and thinkers through a program of study that offers a variety of levels of instruction intended to challenge students’ abilities and allow them to reach for higher levels of success.

CHRHS students have opportunities to explore other specialized interests through literature and non-literature-based electives open to all juniors and seniors.  These include but are not limited to Creative Writing, Women in Literature, Philosophy, Humans and the Environment, Debate, both AP Literature and AP Composition, and many more (see course guide). 

Philosophy of the English Department

The English Department of Camden Hills Regional High School, emphasizing the writing process, the study of literature, critical thinking, and related language arts, is committed to empowering every student through the use of the English language. Our teachers believe that students must develop communication skills and learn to understand and appreciate complex texts. To develop an understanding and appreciation of literature, students analyze a variety of literary genres and forms. Teaching methodologies and curricular designs in required and elective courses take into consideration students' abilities, interests, post-secondary education plans, and career goals.  The fundamental goal of the English Department is to produce graduates who are college and career ready, with the ability to communicate effectively in a diverse and complex society.

Rationale for English Education 

The Camden Hills Regional High School English Department firmly believes that a four-year English language arts curriculum is essential for all students.  Effective communication skills optimize students' potential college and career readiness in a global community.  In addition, the study of content-rich literature and non-fiction texts builds knowledge and enhances students' understanding of themselves and helps them realize and appreciate the diversities, the commonalities and the complexities of the human condition.  The four-year sequence of courses allows students to continually deepen and broaden their knowledge bases for these skills, preparing them for their post graduate experiences. 

English Department Essential Outcomes

From Maine English Language Arts (MELA) Standards 2020

SL–Speaking & Listening

English Language Arts Graduation Standard 1

Speaking and Listening–Comprehension and Collaboration: Evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats to prepare for and participate in conversations across a range of topics, types, and forums, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own. (MELA SL 1, 2)

9-12 Essential Outcomes

  1. Participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions propelling conversations by building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    (SL.1.9-D.a, b, d, e)

  2. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions by setting clear goals and responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives (SL.1.9-D.c, e)

English Language Arts Graduation Standard 2

Speaking and Listening–Presentation: Present information and supporting evidence appropriate to task, purpose, and audience, adapting speech as needed and incorporating multimedia when appropriate. (MELA SL.3, 4)

9-12 Essential Outcomes

  1. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence conveying a clear and distinct perspective so that listeners can follow the line of reasoning. (SL.3.9-D.a, b)

  2. Use appropriate organization development, substance, and style for purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks. (SL.3.9-D.b)

  3. Use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation, adapting speech to a variety of contexts. (SL.3.9-D.c, SL.4.9-D.a)

  4. Make strategic use of multimedia to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence. (SL.3.9-D.d)


English Language Arts Graduation Standard 3

Reading–Key Ideas and Details: Read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and assess a wide variety of texts in diverse forms (anything that can be read, heard or viewed) (MELA R.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

9-12 Essential Outcomes

  1. Read various texts closely to determine what each text explicitly says and to make logical inferences (R.4.9-D, R.12.9-D.a, c, R.12.9-D.b)

  2. Cite specific textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from the text. (R.4.9-D.a)

  3. Determine the theme(s) or central idea(s) of various texts (R.5.9-D.b)

  4. Analyze the impact of an author’s choices and how/why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. (R.56.9-D.a) 

  5. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in various texts (R.7.9-D)

  6. Analyze the structure of various texts. (R.8.9-D.a, b)

  7. Assess how perspective or purpose shapes the content and style of a text. (R.9.9-D)

English Language Arts Graduation Standard 4

Reading–Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Evaluate and analyze the content, argument, and specific claims presented in various texts (MELA R.10, 11)

9-12 Essential Outcomes

  1. Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of how authors use literary and/or rhetorical strategies to develop arguments in various texts and/or compare approaches to similar themes or topics. (R.10.9-D.a, b)

  2. Evaluate the premises, claims, and/or conclusions in various texts. (R.10.9-D.b)

  3. Synthesize multiple sources of information from a range of sources (R.11.9-D.a, 

English Language Arts Graduation Standard 5

Writing–Inquiry to Build and Present Knowledge: Use an inquiry process to gather relevant, credible information/evidence from a variety of sources (e.g., print, digital, discussions, etc.) that build understanding of and lead to conclusions about a subject under investigation while avoiding plagiarism (MELA W.1)

9-12 Essential Outcomes

  1. Investigate self-generated questions by participating in sustained inquiry (W.1.9-D.a, b)

  2. Take organized, purposeful notes while avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source. (W.1.9-D.c)

  3. Follow a standard format for citation (in-text and a list of sources). (W.1.9-D.d)

English Language Arts Graduation Standard 6

Writing–Process and Production: Develop, strengthen, and produce polished writing by using a collaborative process (MELA W.2)

9-12 Essential Outcomes

  1. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, composing, revising, editing, rewriting, reflecting, and/or trying a new approach.(W.2.9-D.a, L.2.9-D.a, b, c, L.2.9-D.d)

  2. Use ongoing feedback to produce increasingly dynamic writing products. (W.2.9-D.b)


English Language Arts Graduation Standard 7

Writing–Audience and Purpose: Routinely produce a variety of clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, audience, and purpose (MELA W.3)

9-12 Essential Outcomes

  1. Compose clear and increasingly varied and complex pieces (W.3.9-D.a)

  2. Develop and support the topic with a variety of relevant techniques (W.3.9-D.b)

  3. Use appropriate and varied transitions, along with purposeful syntax, to create cohesion (W.3.9-D.c)

  4. Use precise language to establish voice and tone. (W.3.9-D.d)

  5. Provide closure that enhances, supports, and reflects the purpose of the piece. (W.3.9-D.e)


 Reviewed by SBE Committee 2021