English is not only a discipline in itself, but also a necessary corollary to success in all subject areas. The communication skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening are essential for meeting the economic, social, and cultural challenges in today’s society. To think clearly and creatively and to express ideas effectively are the responsibility of every human being. The goal of the English Department is to develop these skills to the fullest extent in all students. In order to meet individual needs, the English Department places students in appropriate ability groups. Placement is based on standardized test scores, past achievement in English, and teacher recommendation. No placement, however, is final, and changes in a student’s assigned level may take place at any time performance warrants such a move. In addition to the teaching of communications skills, the English Department feels a strong commitment to broaden each student’s understanding that literary works relate to their eras, that certain universal themes span history and that both factors have relevance to the individual today. Students are engaged in reading and responding to short stories, novels, poems, essays, and plays. The goal is that students will gain an appreciation for literature and become lifelong readers and writers.