The purpose of this site is to keep SAD 4 students and their families informed of current classroom events. Below, you will find course syllabi for various English classes currently being taught for eleventh and twelfth grade students at Piscataquis Community High School. Using the navigation bar to the left, you will find a link to each class containing the weekly class agenda, relevant notes, daily slide presentations, supplementary articles and readings, and other material and media under discussion. These class pages will be updated weekly and are subject to change, so please check back frequently for the most current information. 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at the information located to the left. I look forward to working with all of you for a successful 2019-2020 academic year. Thank you for your time and have a good day.


Mr. Hennessey

Courses Taught and Schedule
    • English 11: American Literature           
      • Periods 3(G) and 2/4(B)
    • English 12: World Literature 
      • Periods 4/2(B) and 1/5(G)
    • AP English Literature and Composition 
      • Period 1/5(B)
    • Camden Conference Seminar
      • Period 5/1(B)
    • Academic Lab
      • Period 2/4 (G)
    • Exam Preparations-- First Semester
      • Period 4/2(G)
    • The Forum-- Second Semester
      • Period 4/2(G

Academic Expectations

From the Maine Department of Education:

"The English language arts form the foundation for effective communication. The ability to construct meaning through reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and the process of inquiring as well as the ability to present ideas through writing, speaking, and visual media are the bases of English language arts. These skills, essential to the health of our democracy and the quality of our culture, have become ever more important with the modern explosion of modern communication media. Effective communication is critical regardless of the devices used or the distances over which we are communicating. 

The study of language helps students to control their lives and become more effective thinkers through communication, reflection, and understanding. To develop good thinking strategies, students must become engaged as active learners. To help them improve, students need to practice English language arts skills and receive frequent feedback across all areas of study. Parents, teachers,  and other adults must encourage the interest in language that students bring with them when they first enter school. Collectively, the English language arts constitute both a discipline in its own right, like mathematics or science, and a means of communicating about all other disciplines. Without a command of these English language arts, it is difficult to think about, understand, or explain other disciplines".

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The predominant goals of English Language Arts study are for students to become better readers, writers, speakers, and critical thinkers. While academic rigor and classroom activity vary from grade level to grade level and syllabus to syllabus, the focuses upon helping students to better interact and appreciate the humanities does not. In order to continually improve in each of these areas, students will practice each of these skills on a regular basis both at home and in class. Accordingly, all assigned reading and writing must be completed prior to class in order to inform our upcoming work. The better prepared we are as an intellectual community, the more robust our discussions, reading, writing, and overall learning will be. 

If a student finds him or herself struggling to understand a topic or concept in class, he or she must demonstrate the emotional maturity to ask for help and maintain open communication with the teacher, parent/guardian(s), and other staff. Other individuals present in the classroom are resources, not adversaries, and we all must work together if we are to achieve as great of things as we are capable. Ultimately, SAD 4 asks for a student's full effort in all endeavors, and it is through this full effort that we will exemplify the district values of Fairness, Compassion, Honesty, Responsibility, Respect, and Courtesy.

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Grading Policy

Taken from the PCHS Student Handbook:

"Grading Criteria (7 - 12) -  The grading practices at PCHS have returned to the familiar 0-100 scoring system for assignments, projects, quizzes, tests, etc.  However, in order for an assignment, project, quiz, or test to be accepted and recorded in the grade book, a legitimate score of 50 or better must be achieved.  Any score lower than a 50 will automatically mean the assignment, project, quiz, text, etc. needs to be done again and the student will be given an academic intervention.   When an assignment, project, quiz, or test score is missing, this means your child's grade in that class is “Incomplete”. An incomplete is treat as an unacceptable grade and many interventions will be initiated including academic probation, academic intervention and ineligibility for extra and co curricular teams.

Students and staff will work cooperatively to resolve any incomplete (INC) grades as quickly as possible including scheduling and attending academic intervention.  Teachers will provide opportunities for the work to be submitted in a reasonable amount of time. Should the work not be submitted during that time, then more intensive measures will be taken.

Students will be assigned to academic interventions by teachers and/or In-School-Suspension by administration until all work is submitted.  Additionally, incomplete work will adversely impact eligibility of student participation in non-academic, school activities such as: athletics, clubs, privileges, etc.

In the past, a failing grade has been possible through lack of evidence of performance.  This is no longer allowable. The new grading policy means that all work must be turned in and done satisfactorily.  A zero should never be seen in a gradebook as we do not accept zeros. In an effort to move toward a more proficiency-based system, a requirement by the Maine Department of Education, we must be certain that our grades document student performance.  Only then can we evaluate each child's level of proficiency with respect to Maine's required academic and performance standards.

Starting in 2017 for freshmen only and then subsequently for all ensuing classes [at PCHS], students will need to meet the traditional requirements for receiving a diploma as well as the new requirements of Maine’s Proficiency Diploma Law [as applied at PCHS]. Students will need to meet the required STATE of MAINE proficiencies in order to receive a diploma. To provide an ongoing documentation of a student’s progress toward these proficiencies, at the end of each semester we will generate a proficiency based report card for all students. The graduation proficiencies will be listed on this document and it is expected that each area of proficiencies are met to a satisfactory level.”


93 - 100 = A = 4

80 - 92   = B = 3

70 - 79   = C = 2

55 - 69   = D = 1

  Below 55 = F = INC

Makeup Work

Taken from the PCHS Student Handbook:

It is expected that students will be prompt in making up assignments, tests, etc. when absent from school. The maximum time permitted for a student to makeup work due to absence shall not exceed one day for each day absent. Students will have a maximum of two weeks to makeup work from the day it was due. An extension may be granted to a student who is absent due to an extended illness or excused absence.  Students may be required to stay after school.”