Mills High School

English

The Mills English Program is a sequence of year-long courses that allows each student to develop and progress at an appropriaterate toward the goals of the State and District English Standards.

Four years of English are required for a diploma.

 

The following levels of English courses are offered at Mills:  College Preparatory (CP) for 9th through 12th Grade, Advanced Standing (AS) for 10th Grade and Advanced Placement for 11th and 12th Grade.

 

Students and parents are encouraged to use this guide in choosing between Advanced Standing and College Preparatory EnglishStudents who enroll in AS /AP classes are committed to the class for the entire school year.

 

Recommendations for Class Selection

 

CP

AS/AP

 

Best for students who READ:

 

  • At or approaching grade level, at a moderate or slower pace
  • Best with direction and support in analyzing text for style and craft

 

Best for students who WRITE:

 

  • At or approaching grade level
  • More confidently with additional structure and support

 

Best for students who WANT:

 

  • Focus on essential writing skills
  • Help learning to self-advocate
  • Support and structure in meeting deadlines, note taking, class discussion and completion of larger assignments
  • Time to commit to studies in other subject areas over humanities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best for students who READ:

 

  • Above grade level, at an accelerated pace, with persistence
  • Often and beyond what is assigned in class
  • With an analytical approach and an appreciation of style and craft

 

Best for students who WRITE:

 

  • Above grade level in a variety of contexts
  • With sentence variety, advanced vocabulary, excellent control of grammar and usage, and attention to audience and purpose

 

Best for students who ARE:

 

  • Planning to take AP English classes
  • Organized and skilled at time management
  • Able to self-advocate and seek help when needed
  • Independent workers who naturally take initiative
  • Interested in extended discussion and discourse
  • Particularly committed to studies in the humanities
  • Wanting a faster pace and more demanding workload

 

 

 

English I

Grade Level: 9

This course of study is designed to prepare students to succeed at the college levels. Study and practice writing grammatically correct sentences and unified, coherent, well-developed paragraphs. They will also be introduced to the format of the multi-paragraph analytical essay. Students will study the elements of fiction, various literary devices, and characteristics of different genres of literature. In this course, students will learn to take effective Cornell Notes, to use context clues to determine meanings of words, and to employ other study and organizational skills. The literary focus is on genres, and includes a short story unit, a mythology unit and a play.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirement.

 

English I AS  

Grade Level: 9

This course of study is designed to prepare students for the demands of the Advanced Placement Examination and highly competitive colleges and universities. To be successful in the AP track, a student must read and comprehend complex literature, must be self-directed and motivated and must be eager to work at an accelerated pace. All classes will be open to all students who understand the course expectations and make an informed decision. Students enrolled in this sequence of courses are expected to stay for the duration of the course and seniors are strongly encouraged to take the AP exam. To continue on the following year, a student should maintain a grade of C or better at the end of each semester.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirement.

 

English II

Grade Level: 10

This course of study is designed to prepare students to succeed at the college levels. Students continue to practice and add to the skills introduced in the previous year. Students write critical literary essays based on their reading of books. They will study a consumer unit, which includes reading non-fiction documents, researching advertising and propaganda, and writing a business letter and a persuasive essay.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirement.

 

English II AS

Grade Level: 10

This course of study is designed to prepare students for the demands of the Advanced Placement Examination and highly competitive colleges and universities. To be successful in the AP track, a student must read and comprehend complex literature, must be self-directed and motivated and must be eager to work at an accelerated pace. Students enrolled in this sequence of courses are expected to stay for the duration of the course and seniors are strongly encouraged to take the AP exam. To continue on the following year, a student should maintain a grade of C or better at the end of each semester.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirement.

 

English III

Grade Level:  11

This course of study is designed to prepare students to succeed at the college levels. Students refine the writing, literature, and other language skills introduced in previous semesters. They learn to research a controversial issue topic using primary and secondary sources, and to report their findings in the form of a formal debate, and to write the reflective essay. They continue to review for the SATs with weekly vocabulary lists of Greek and Latin root words, SAT prep words, and study of common language usage errors seen on the SAT test. They will study the American heritage in literature and focus on such themes as American Individualism and the American Dream.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirement.

                         

AP English Language  

Grade Level: 11

This two semester course focuses on the nature of the American experience in literature. English AP prepares students for the Advanced Placement examination and advanced studies in English. Students must complete a summer reading requirement consisting of three or four novels or plays to be finished by the opening week of the fall semester. In the fall, students study such topics as American Individualism, Realism, Romanticism, Gothicism, and Modernism, and a variety of American Transcendentalist essays. They will also study poetry and learn to write the reflective and controversial issue essay. During this time students will write a large number of critical and personal essays, working on techniques of analysis and synthesis as well as perfecting their own personal writing style. In the spring, students will focus on the American experience of the twentieth century and will read such works as The Great Gatsby, Invisible Man, and As I Lay Dying, as well as controversial issue essay and debate.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirement.

 

English IV

Grade Level: 12

This course of study is designed to prepare students to succeed at the college levels. Students refine the writing, note taking, reading, and study skills. They learn to write college-level essays in a variety of rhetorical patterns, as well as to prepare an autobiography and resume suitable for college applications or a job. Throughout the year the focus is philosophical; students analyze an author’s implicit and explicit philosophical assumptions and beliefs about a subject, and read Othello, Siddhartha, and nonfiction articles. The latter part of the semester focuses on film analysis and building visual literacy. The semester culminates in a Career Presentation Project where, utilizing research, interview, writing, computer, and public speaking skills, students explore possible future occupations.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirement.

 

AP English Literature

Grade Level: 12

This two semester course of study is designed to prepare students for the demands of the Advanced Placement Examination and highly competitive colleges and universities. Students must complete a summer reading requirement to be completed by the opening week of the fall semester. Students read a variety of prose and poetry selections, study complex works of literature, and learn a variety of techniques for approaching all types of literary works. They further develop their writing as well as perfect their own critical essays. Students learn to analyze the stylistic characteristics of prose and to define the relationship between a writers’ style and his meaning. They also read works of literary criticism and theory. To continue on the following year, a student should maintain a grade of C or better at the end of each semester.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirement.

 

Strategic English Support 1

Grade Level: 9

Students are placed into this support course based on district guidelines. Prerequisite: CAASPP English/Language Arts and SRI performance scores at below basic or lower, and teacher recommendation.

This course does not meet UC/CSU A-G requirements.

 

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (ELD) DEPARTMENT

 

English Language Development (ELD) III  

Grade Level: 9-12

This double-period course for intermediate ELs is designed as a bridge from EL to mainstream English. The curriculum for ELD III is aligned with English I. Heavy emphasis is given to literature of various genres, writing, grammar, and vocabulary acquisition. Students in this course may also take other sheltered classes in the Mathematics, Science, and Social Sciences departments. To exit ELD II and go into mainstream English, students must read at an 8th grade level and be able to write a coherent essay. This class may be repeated for credit towards graduation; however English credits for UC/CSU requirements are only counted once.

This course meets the UC/CSU A-G “b” english requirements.