In a rapidly changing world, words are constant.

The Penn Charter English curriculum nurtures and celebrates verbal and written expression in order to empower students to express themselves clearly and powerfully, read perceptively and critically, speak articulately and listen actively.

“For over three hundred years, Penn Charter students have read Shakespeare and Sophocles, and this traditional grounding, augmented by new voices and perspectives in literature, equips our graduates to be informed and critical citizens of our world.” Nora Landon, English Department Chair


Key Characteristics

  • All students engage in an in-depth exploration of the literary and cultural traditions of the United States in American Literature: “What is an American?”
  • For students who wish to pursue more rigorous, college-level English studies, AP English Literature and Composition is offered in 11th grade.
  • In elective courses offered during spring semester of senior year, students have the opportunity to apply their language skills to the topics that most interest them.

Curricular Highlights

The Writing Center. Our faculty-staffed writing center sees students all periods of the day, as well as before and after school, in more than 500 unique visits a year.

American Studies. A team-taught, interdisciplinary Social Studies and English course with a student-centered curriculum and emphasis on reflection.

Spring Senior electives. Special topic offerings, such as Caribbean Literature and Literature of Evil, allow students to select a course for in-depth study in their last semester at Penn Charter.

"By the time I graduated from PC, I no longer simply read literature; I conversed with it." Tom Noonan OPC '10

Graduation Requirements

All students are required to take a full year of English each year. The requirements are to be met in the following manner:

  1. Two semester units (E100 or E110) are required in 9th grade.
  2. Two semester units (E300 or E310) are required in 10th grade.
  3. Two semester units (E500, E510 or E520) are required in 11th grade.
  4. One semester unit (E701 or E701A) is required in Semester 1 of 12th grade.
  5. One semester unit is required in Semester 2 of 12th grade. Seniors have their choice of electives.

Course List

All Year

One Semester

12th Grade Electives