English Department

English Instructors:

Jenna Clark
Randy Hussey
Sol Jones
Allison Lampman
Rick Lewis
Caitlyn Mulhbeier
Geoff Proctor
Collin Salisbury
Meghan Schulte
Jonna Schwartz
Jeff Sykes
Jill VanAlstyne

Academic Integrity Policy-Helena High School

Summer Reading Assignments 2017

Spending time in the summer reading an additional title or two (along with some excellent poetry) will make you better prepared for AP Literature, college, and life as a fully realized human being.

Honors English I letter 2017

Honors English II letter 2017

Honors English III letter 2017

English AP Language letter 2017

AP Literature Summer Reading English 2017

English Writing 101-Lit 110 Letter 2017

A genuine writing program is a cumulative process. This continuous and
inclusive writing program guarantees the best learning and most
individualized instruction for all students.

Helena High School Significant Writing Program


The English Departments of Helena School District #1 present balanced instruction in reading, writing, speaking, and listening to enable students to be proficient readers, writers, and thinkers in today’s world.

Reading: Through study of contemporary and classic literature, students interpret and evaluate literary elements, demonstrate complex thinking skills, and become independent and able readers. Students gain reading comprehension as they study fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, and film. Recognizing the uniqueness of Montana’s Indian population, students explore the literature of Native Americans.

Writing: Students demonstrate continuous improvement in establishing writing competencies by practicing various modes of writing as established by the English Department’s Curriculum. Through active involvement with the writing process, including planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing, students gain writing strength and maturity. Capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary are taught both in direct lessons and within the context of written communication. A district-wide Benchmark Writing Assessment is administered to all levels twice a year, to ensure continued growth as writers. The exception are the juniors, who in the spring take the ACT Plus Writing test, providing an evaluation of their writing as they prepare for their post-secondary endeavors. Writing a research paper is an important skill; students learn the basics of Modern Language Association citation beginning with the freshman level and utilize the skills of research in well-developed papers by the senior level.

  • District Goal: Significant Writing Program – By balancing and linking the instruction of literature with the instruction of writing, as well as integrating the reading of non-fiction with writing, this program insures a writing-intensive learning experience that is both literature-based and expository for all students.
  • In keeping with the district and department goals in conjunction with the Significant Writing Program, the English Departments agree and commit to the following:
  • A writing-intensive program that is both literature-based and expository (teaching critical thinking through written response to literature and non-fiction)
  • A minimum of two major process pieces per quarter or four such pieces per semester
  • Use of 6+1 Traits™ of Writing model for instruction and assessment
  • Use of the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, editing, publishing)
  • Use of standard methodology in all research papers (MLA format)

Speaking: Students demonstrate ability to prepare and present a variety of stories, reports, and persuasive or expository speeches. Students develop poise as speakers and communicate effectively in an organized manner.

Listening: Through artistic, persuasive, and informative presentations from themselves, peers, public figures, and the media, students recognize and analyze purposes for speaking. They discriminate various points of view, and differentiate facts from opinions. They identify logical fallacies in verbal and nonverbal messages. They monitor understanding by asking questions, restating information, taking notes, summarizing oral and visual information, and evaluating oral and visual clues.

Novel Rationales for Grades 9-12

Click here to obtain the Novel Rationales for HSD English.