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Welcome to the English Department

Four years (40 credits) of English are required for graduation. Our English classes emphasize reading, writing and speaking. Courses are designated as College Preparatory (CP), Advanced Standing (AS) or Advanced Placement (AP).

Course Placement

Student placement in CP versus AS/AP will be determined by achievement, teacher recommendation, and student aspirations.  For additional information see the San Mateo Union High School District’s Open Enrollment Policy. Placement of incoming ninth grade students is determined by recommendations made at the intermediate schools in the spring of the eighth grade, by available test scores and by student aspirations for college level work. Transfer students may take a reading and writing test and are placed according to the same standards as entering freshmen. These groups are in no way permanent or exclusive. At the end of each semester a student’s progress will be evaluated and changes may be made if the student, parents, teachers, and counselors agree.

College Preparatory (CP): This level of English provides challenges for students with an average or above average command of basic skills in reading, writing, and speaking to prepare them for college. Students in need of remediation of their English skills will have assignments provided to improve their reading, writing, speaking, and study skills.

Advanced Standing (AS): This level of English suits students who have above average to superior English skills and who seek academic and intellectual challenges. At the freshman level, placement is determined by the eighth grade English teacher, and at the sophomore through senior level, it is determined by the districts open enrollment policy as well as teacher recommendation, an “A” or “B+” in a college prep class, and student willingness to work at an accelerated level. A student is encouraged to maintain at least a “C” grade in Advanced Standing English.

  • read core fiction texts representing a variety of time periods and perspectives;
  • read shorter, rigorous nonfiction and fiction texts that complement core works;
  • write informative, narrative, literary analysis, and argumentative paragraphs and essays
  • participate in small and large group discussions;
  • conduct short and longer, more sustained research projects;
  • use technology to gather, process and present information;
  • complete nightly homework