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Important Letter to 10H Parents

August 14, 2017
Dear 10H Students and Parents:
Since I teach senior AP English as well as sophomores, I'd like to add one book to the traditional honors sophomore curriculum this year, to better help prepare students for the Advanced Placement Literature test coming up in a few years, as well as college:  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.  Many students across the country don't perform as well on the AP English Literature test  because they don't read enough pre-20th Century works, and I have found adding this book to the curriculum helps fill that gap.   Unfortunately, because the school does not supply this book, I must ask students to buy their own.  The cost will be a reasonable $10 and the book will remain the property of the students, allowing them to annotate and highlight their copy as they would in college.  Hopefully it will also form the basis for a growing classical library.  

If you already own an unexpurgated version of David Copperfield,  that's great, even though the pagination may be slightly off the one we'll be using in class. There are many highly edited copies in publication, however, which lose all the flavor and humor of the book, and will not be acceptable.  If in doubt, have your student bring the book in for me to check.   A limited number of books will be available for students to borrow, but they will remain the property of the school and may not be marked on or annotated.  As usual, in cases of financial hardship, please contact me as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made for your student to own or borrow this book. Checks for the book must be turned in by Tuesday, September 5, so I can order them as soon as possible.

I would like to add that of late years more sophomore students are uncertain about whether they mean to take AP English their senior year.  I want to urge you to encourage your student to do so.  There are many reasons why it's important for honors students to continue to take the most challenging courses, including the fact that 100% of our students passed the AP Lit test last year, making them eligible to pass out of both college freshmen English courses, which saves you money.  We also have a wildly successful program, with 57% of our students last year scoring an incredible 5, when the global average was about 7%!  But there are other, less tangible reasons which students and parents are sometimes not aware of, including the fact that universities note when students drop to a lower level in a course at any time, which may affect college admissions, nor do they want students who have taken almost nothing but math courses.  They are looking for well-rounded students who show that they are interesting and would make a great addition to their campus.    Most colleges also know that merely taking an AP course is a better predictor of success in college than the SAT score.  But the most urgent reason is that studies show that reading the world's great literature and taking other humanities courses make students far more creative and curious, not only as students, but as human beings and future leaders of the world  The critical thinking they learn in these courses also makes them deeper thinkers, and thus far more adaptable in a rapidly changing world.  In their career unit last year,  sophomores heard a speaker (and recent former Mission grad) who was very successful in a field and an industry that didn't even exist ten years ago, which emphasizes the need for the skills and flexibility taught in humanities courses.
If you have any questions about any issue,  please contact me directly.
Thanks for your support,
Cherylle Lindsey