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English Department

Allan, Stewart
Bond, Shaun
Boris, Evan
Cortez, Marcos
Evans, Jaime
Hager, Cynthia
Palisoul, Mary
Simenstad, Chris
Simmons, Andrew
Thurston, Jeannine

About the English Department


English Summer Assignments 2017

The English Department at San Rafael High School is committed to the belief that all students deserve a rigorous, challenging, and interesting education!  We believe that by reading, discussing and writing about important ideas, our students learn the language arts skills they will need to be successful throughout school and their lives.


Incoming 9th Graders

The English Placement Assessment is a reading and writing task designed to ensure two things: that the English teachers at SR have a sense of the skills, talents and academic needs of their incoming students, and that we are able to make informed placement recommendations to counselors and families.  The task itself is similar to those students regularly encounter in class: reading an informational article and responding to that article in writing.  The assessment is designed to be completed in a 55 minute class period.  Student work will be scored against a rubric that assesses reading comprehension and writing skills.  Score information and feedback about recommended placement will be made available to counselors and families.


English Department Program Options for an incoming 9th grader can be pretty overwhelming.  "Do I need a support class?" "Should I take honors?" "What happens if I take honors and I can't handle it?"  "What if I don't sign up for honors, and then change my mind?"  Check out this linked FAQ page for our answers to those questions!

Wondering Which English To Take Next Year?

Need more information about English course offerings at SR?  In addition to the regular college preparatory program, there are other options you might think about. The following teachers can give you some information and advice about your options for next year.  Send an email, or find them in the LA building.

8th Graders:  

Mr. Bond will help you understand everything you need to know about English Honors 9 at SR. 

Mrs. Evans can tell you all about Banyan.

9th Graders: 

Mrs. Hager will give you the low down on English Honors 10.  

Mr. Cortez will give you some info on a new class for 10th graders he's piloting called "Get Reel" that combines Media studies and English.

10th Graders: 

Mr. Boris can tell you everything you need to know about AP English Language and Composition (11). 

Ms. Thurston can tell you what's up with Media Academy, and get you a tour of the program if you're interested.

11th Graders: 

Ms. Thurston will tell you all about AP English Literature (12).

Course of Study

College Prep & Honors/AP

The College Preparatory Curriculum (CP) exposes students to curriculum approved for entrance into CSU/UC's. 9th and 10th grade students may take honors courses which are designed for reading and writing at an advanced level.  In the 11th and 12th grade students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement English classes for which they may be eligible to receive college credit. 

English Language Development (ELD)

For students who are learning English as a second language, the English Department provides a course of study in English Language Development (ELD).  This series of classes is designed to teach students oral English and literacy skills.   The ELD program is organized to allow students as many academic options as possible.  


Strategic support English 9 and 10.  These courses provide students with additional support in mastering college preparatory English coursework.

CAHSEE Prep.  This class supports students who need additional help to pass CAHSEE.

See the planning guide for full course descriptions of all classes.