English courses stress critical thinking, problem solving and analysis—skills required for success in all areas. Students will become critical consumers of text who can communicate effectively. All courses address standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, language (grammar) and research. While literacy standards are important across curricula, English courses allow students to explore increasingly complex literary texts in addition to nonfiction selections. In a 2017 interview for the New York Times, President Obama discussed the value of literature, saying that he found himself “better able to imagine what’s going on in the lives of people throughout my presidency because of not just a specific novel but the act of reading fiction. It exercises those muscles, and I think that has been helpful.”
(**All students meet with their designated counselor to review and discuss course requests.)
In addition to the comprehensive core curriculum, the Providence English Department offers a number of electives.
AP English Language and Composition (11th Grade) is aligned with an introductory college writing and rhetoric course. This course “focuses on the development and revision of evidence-based analytic and argumentative writing, the rhetorical analysis of nonfiction texts, and the decisions writers make as they compose and revise. Students evaluate,synthesize, and cite research to support their arguments. Additionally, they read and analyze rhetorical elements and their effects in nonfiction texts—including images as forms of text—from a range of disciplines and historical periods” (College Board). The course also includes American literary selections and thus satisfies the requirement for 11th grade English in NC.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of 10th grade English. Student success: In 2019, 98% of our students scored a 3 or higher on the AP Language exam, and 73% scored a 4 or a 5.
AP English Literature and Composition (12th Grade) is aligned with an introductory college literature course, and approximately sixty percent of the exam is poetry-based. The course “focuses on reading, analyzing, and writing about imaginative literature (fiction, poetry, drama) from various periods. Students engage in close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, and symbolism. Writing assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require students to analyze and interpret literary works” (College Board). The course also meets the requirement for 12th grade English in NC.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of 11th grade English. Student success: In 2019, 97% of our students scored a 3 or higher on the AP Literature exam, and 62% scored a 4 or a 5.
AP Capstone is an innovative diploma program that is built on the foundation of two courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. It is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study provided through AP courses. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research Exams and scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams of their choosing will be awarded the AP Capstone Diploma. signifying outstanding scholastic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Only a few districts in North Carolina that offer the AP Capstone Program.
Prerequisite: Application/Open to all freshmen in Spring semester
AP Seminar (10th Grade) AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice synthesizing information from multiple sources, developing their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and designing and delivering oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team.
Prerequisite: Acceptance into the AP Capstone Program. Student success: In 2019, ALL seminar students scored a 3 or higher on the exam, and over two-thirds of our students scored a 4 or a 5.
AP Research (12th Grade) AP Research allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. Students further their skills acquitted in the AP Seminar course by designing, planning, and conducting a year-long research-based investigation to address a research question, documenting their processes, and curating the artifacts in a portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4000–5000 words and a presentation with an oral defense.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of AP Seminar.
Literary Magazine (Grades 10-12) Literary magazine combines elements of a creative writing course with the publication of the magazine. Students write a variety of fiction and nonfiction pieces and engage in all aspects of magazine production, including graphic design, fundraising and community relations. Honors credit is available after the first year—these students are expected to be self-directed learners and peer teachers.
Prerequisite: application and teacher approval. Student success: Roars and Whispers won the NSPA Pacemaker and the CSPA Gold Crown in 2019, ranking the magazine as one of the top national publications.
Yearbook (Grades 9-12) provides students the opportunity to participate in a mini entrepreneurial experience through producing and publishing the school's yearbook. Students engage in photography, graphic design, interviewing and writing in accordance with Associated Press style. Honors credit is available after the first year.
Prerequisite: application and teacher approval. Student successes: The 2019 Prowler won the NCSMA’s Tarheel Award, ranking it among the state's best publications, as well as NSPA's First Class with 3 Marks of Distinction.
Creative Writing (Grades 9-12) is a composition course that will introduce students to processes and techniques aimed at developing the creative process. Students will experiment with expressive and poetic modes of writing, including fiction and poetry. Class readings will expose students to different writing styles and provide examples of the strategies used by successful authors. Students will concentrate on developing proficiency with prewriting, drafting, revising and peer editing.
Prerequisite: none. Students will be asked to submit work to the literary magazine and will have the opportunity to enter a variety of writing contests.
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