High School English Language Arts

The mission of the Andover High School English Department is to prepare all students to successfully participate in a modern society in which great literature and literary traditions are valued and passed on, clear communication and successful collaboration are essential to the common good, and creative endeavors are wholeheartedly supported. We offer a program that strives to develop literate and literary citizens who can read and think critically and creatively, who can analyze literature and text, and who are able to write with power and clarity for various purposes. Students also learn study and research strategies and they develop communication and active listening skills. By experiencing a relevant and rigorous English curriculum, Andover High students will be well-positioned to pursue advanced studies in any area of interest.  

Andover High School students are required to earn four credits of English and to take English all four years to qualify for a diploma. All 9th grade students are enrolled in a semester of English 9 and a semester of Composition 9. The English 10 course provides the second foundation year of the program, and 10th graders take the English MCAS exam in March of their sophomore year. For the 2016-2017 school year, all 11th graders will choose from the following 3 courses: Survey of American Literature, Survey of British Literature, or AP Language and Composition. Seniors may choose from a wide variety of elective courses. Those choices are also open to interested juniors in addition to their grade 11 course.

Our curriculum is informed by the Guiding Principles for English Language Arts and Literacy Programs as outlined in the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy-

  • Develops thinking and language through interactive learning
  • Uses literature to develop student understanding of their literary heritage
  • Draws on informational texts and multimedia to build academic vocabulary and content knowledge
  • Develops oral language and literacy
  • Emphasizes writing arguments, explanatory/informative texts, and narratives
  • Holds high expectations for all students
  • Provides explicit skill instruction in writing
  • Builds on the language, experiences, knowledge and interests of students
  • Nurtures students’ sense of their common ground and prepares them to participate responsibly in school and civic life
  • Reaches out to families and the community to sustain a literate society 


Please see the link below to our current Program of Studies for detailed course information.

AHS Course Catalog