English Elective Course Offerings

The English Department offers the following elective courses in grades 10–12. Electives may vary from school to school. Please check with your guidance department to see if the elective is available. Enrollment in an English elective cannot substitute for a required English course. Application and instructor approval are prerequisites for each of these courses.

Creative Writing I and II

11710 (C WRIT I) 
1 Credit
Grades: 10-12
 
11711 (C WRIT II)

1 Credit
Grades: 10–12
Prerequisite: Approval by Instructor

These courses develop the creative writing skills of students who are highly motivated and have the interest, desire and aptitude for writing. First-year students experiment with a variety of genres (short story, poetry and nonfiction) and learn the principles of magazine production. Second-year students develop expertise with a genre of particular interest to them and serve as editors in the production of the school’s literary magazine.

Creative Writing III

11712 (C WRIT III)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Creative Writing I and II and Approval by Instructor

Students in Creative Writing III will study writing for publication, complete an intensive study of the business of writing, develop the pieces for a professional writing portfolio, and continue to grow as writers by attempting new methods and genres of writing. These students will also offer their expertise to younger writers and develop the communication skills vital to collaborating on a writing project. Students will construct a professional writing portfolio for admission to college writing programs as well as for obtaining employment. In addition, students will study the writing trade, focusing primarily on the different venues to become a published writer.

Journalism I and II

1200 (JOURN I)
1210 (JOURN II)
1 Credit each
Grades: 10–12

These courses provide the training necessary to produce a newspaper. First-year students are trained in the skills necessary to obtain an editorial position on the newspaper staff the following year. They also receive instruction in such areas as news, feature, sports and editorial writing; layouts; proofreading; copyreading; and sales. Second-year students learn advanced writing and newspaper production skills and occupy editorial positions on the school newspaper staff. Work includes writing copy, designing and pasting-up pages, providing photographic coverage of school events, selling advertising space and distributing the paper. 

Journalism III

1211 (JOURN III)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Completion of Journalism I, II and Approval by Instructor; Interview


The student will select one area of journalism for intensive, independent study. The student may choose to focus on reporting and news writing, layout and design, photography or advertising, or another field with the approval and guidance of the advisor. In addition to the independent study, the student will work in a leadership capacity (editor) with the Journalism I and II classes. The intensive independent work, combined with the editorial responsibilities of the student newspaper, is designed to prepare a student to study journalism—with an emphasis on news editorial—as an undergraduate major. 

Drama I and II

1410 (DRAMA I)
1420 (DRAMA II)
1 Credit each
Grades: 10–12


These courses acquaint students with phases of dramatic productions. First-year students learn the basics of acting, evaluation of performance and technical theater (make-up, set design, lighting and sound). Second-year students continue to develop their talents and learn to direct productions. 

Drama III

1430 (DRAMA III)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Completion of Drama I, II and Approval by Instructor; Interview


This is a high school course intended for students who successfully complete Drama I and II and are approved by the instructor. The student will select one area of theatre for intensive study. The student may choose to focus upon playwriting, lighting, costume design and construction, acting, makeup design and application, choreography, musical theatre, directing, box office (ticket sales, business management, budgeting, promotion), film studies (production or critical evaluation), or another field selected with the guidance of the instructor. The student will work in a leadership capacity with the Drama I and Drama II classes in addition to independent study projects and assignments. Assessment will be based upon the Virginia Standards of Learning for Theatre Arts. 

Debate/Public Speaking I and II

13020 (DEB/SPEAK I)
13021 (DEB/SPEAK II)
1 Credit each
Grades: 10–12

These courses are for students who are interested in interscholastic speech and debate competition. The courses meet after regular school hours twice each week, and students are required to compete in an average of one tournament per month. First-year students learn the basic skills required for the events they have chosen. Second-year students advance their skills in their chosen events or learn new events. Second-year students also are expected to assist in the training of novice competitors. All students are expected to learn to set realistic goals for their performance and to work independently to reach those goals. 

Debate/Public Speaking III

01153 (DEB/SPEAK III)
1 Credit
Grades: 11-12

Third year students advance their skills in their chosen events or learn new events. They are expected to assist in the training of novice competitors. All students are expected to learn to set realistic goals for their performance and to work independently to reach those goals.

Publications I and II

1215 (PUBLIC I)
1216 (PUBLIC II) 
1 Credit each
Grades: 10–12

Students learn all aspects of producing a publication including layout and design, copywriting, photography, graphic arts and advertising. The overall objective is to develop the skills needed to produce quality publications including the school yearbook. Other small scale publication projects are used to broaden students’ experiences in production skills. 

Publications III

1217 (PUBLIC III)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Completion of Publications I, II and Approval by Instructor; Interview


This is a high school course intended for students who successfully complete Publications I and II and who are approved by the instructor. The student will select one area of publications for intensive, independent study. The student may choose to focus on reporting and news writing, layout and design, photography or advertising, or another field with the approval and guidance of the advisor. In addition to the independent study, the student will work in a leadership capacity (editor) with the Publications I and II classes. The intensive, independent work, combined with the editorial responsibilities of the yearbook, is designed to prepare a student to study photojournalism in college and to provide a transition from work on the high school year book to work on a collegiate publication. Note: Students may elect either Journalism III or Publications III, but they may not receive credit for both courses. 

Speech Communications

1300 (SPCH COMM)
1 Credit
Grades: 10–12

This course introduces students to the basics of speech communication. Particular emphasis will be given to communication ethics, interviewing, group discussion, informative speaking, persuasive speaking, debate, parliamentary procedure, radio and television broadcasting and oral interpretation of literature. Students participate in a variety of speech and debate activities designed to develop self-confidence and poise through preparation, performance and evaluation both competitively and non-competitively. This course is designed to benefit students planning a career in law, political science, education, radio or television broadcasting, consumer relations, marketing, or administration.