• Welcome to Ms. McGuirk's page! 

  • Welcome to High School and College English.

    I am actually out of the building due to illness this first marking period.  Mrs. Winchester and Ms. Boucher have kindly agreed to switch up their schedules to cover my classes. You will enjoy working with them.  Keep watch; I will update the website closer to my return!  

    hand holding boook

    I usually teach English 11, 12, college English 101 and 108 and English 8 Lab. Should you plan to take the college classes--Welcome, and be warned! Please plan to read and follow the college syllabi carefully for these classes require a slightly different format than the high school classes. Still, the more things change, the more they remain the same. I still continue to play with technology and essays are still the favored assignment for English.  The college course is now a Distance Learning course and students in all classes will be using Google Apps in Education, specifically Classroom, for their written work.  We should be fairly "green" across the board.

    That said, all essays in all my classes must be typed, double-spaced, in either MLA or APA format.
    Students will be taught the proper format at the start of the school year.  Hand-written, full-length essays, however neatly written, cannot be accepted.  

    In an emergency, I will accept work on flash drives, emailed to me as attachments, or downloaded through the Homework Drop Box located here on the right-hand navigation bar, but submitting homework to me via Classroom is the preferred method.  Please do not attempt to copy/paste your essay into the body of an email as this destroys the MLA formatting.

    All essays are due on the date given unless the student has spoken with me well in advance of the deadline. Yes, emergencies sometimes occur; however, printer/ink/computer problems do not qualify as emergencies. Nor do sporting events.  

      To access Classroom, students must sign in to their HCS Google accounts.  These use the same logins and passwords that students use for school. On Classroom, students will have access to assignments, due dates, announcements, and electronic versions of handouts provided in class.  Google Calendar is my backup for all class assignment deadlines.  Google Calendar may be printed or downloaded.  If students are having trouble viewing the calendars embedded here on my website, they should sign in to their HCS Google accounts and try again.

  • Educational Goals and Objectives

    Our curriculum is firmly entrenched in the NYS Common Core Learning Standards as revised by the New York State Next Generation English Language Arts Learning Standards.  For information on these updated standards, please check here.

    English 11

    Our focus in English 11 is the NYS English Regents. English readings may include Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, "Feathertop" and "The Minister's Black Veil"; as well as Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"; Shakepeare's Hamlet; Arthur Miller's The Crucible; John F. Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby; Irene Hunt's No Promises in the Wind; Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea; Shakespeare's sonnets; Edith Hamilton's Mythology; Faulkner's As I Lay Dying; and several other short stories, memoirs, and poems. See above for information concerning essays.

    English 12

    Seniors take quarter courses. Each session counts as one-quarter of the English grade for the year. There is no midterm or final. Should the course average be only a 64 at the end of the year, graduation will not occur. See above for information concerning essays.

    First quarter we will be reading short pieces of Norse Literature and nonfiction and writing college applications and other real-world essays.

    Second quarter will include some Public Speaking. Specific assignments may include Julius Caesar, analysis of several famous speeches, a movie review podcast, and any of the following speeches: a 1 1/2-2 minute toast, a 5-7 minute persuasive speech, or a 5-7 minute oral interpretation of literature.

    Third quarter is usually our drama unit. Shakespeare is the preferred author, but several shorter plays by lesser-known authors may slip in. Students will focus on either Memoir or Fiction Writing or In-class Dramatic Readings. The writing option may conclude with a "public" reading of student work. Video productions and/or field trips to nearby theaters may flesh out the dramatic reading option.

    Fourth quarter is an Unsolved Mystery Research Narrative Project in MLA format. There is no final exam scheduled for seniors. Instead, students will create a class anthology and plan to present their findings using audio-visual methods during the 3-hour scheduled exam block.

    English 101--Intro to College Writing

    Instruction and practice in the process of writing, including revision, careful analysis, and the sharing of each other's writing. Assignments may include reflecting on one's experience, exposition, and interpretation of a text. Information literacy, in the form of research and documentation, will be presented. 

    English 108--Writing in and about Literature

    A writing workshop in which students read from a diverse selection of short stories, poetry, essays, and drama. Writing explores students' responses to critical questions raised by the readings and may include a reference paper examining the life and work of an author.

    English 8 Lab

    This is an intensive, hands-on workshop focusing on those skills necessary to achieve success in the English classroom.  There will be no homework.  The only requirements are pen, paper, and a desire to communicate.

    All courses are subject to change.

  • Supplies

    • lined paper
    • three-ring binder
    • divider pages w/folders
    • pen-blue/black
    • highlighter
    • post-its  (small for marking sections in books)
    • flashdrive (strongly recommended if not submitting work to Google Classroom)

    Classroom Activities


    REMIND is suspended for the rest of this 2017-18 year. 
    Next year, however, it will be reinstated.  For next year (2018-19), please prepare once again to follow us using REMIND.  Parents, you should receive the Remind code for your child's class by the 2018 Open House, but in case you do not and would like it, please email me.  The forms are sent home early 1st quarter or may be picked up during Open House.  

    English 11 is working on strengthening student responses to literature in preparation for the Common Core Regents exam in June. 

    English 12 is working on personal and creative literary responses to literature.

    ACC ENG 101 is now complete.

    ENG 108 is working on Intro to Literature.

    English 8 Skills Lab is working extensively on writing:  spelling, vocabulary, grammar, usage, punctuation, MLA research, and coherent organization of essays.

  • Grading Policies

    With the exception of final deadlines for extended projects, there will be one day of makeup time for each day of excused absence.

    • Final Essays
           Essays count double.

    1 day late= 5 pts. off
    2 days late = 10 pts. off
    3 days late = 15 pts. off
    3+ = see me!

    • Tests/Quizzes
           Count equally as single grades.
    • Extended Projects
           Usually count as Unit Tests or 1/3 -1/4 of the quarter grade.
    • Mini deadlines = quiz/test grades.
    • Final Deadline = FINAL
           NO late day acceptances!
           NO extensions for any reason.

    Should you be absent for any reason, the project must be received by me at or before the deadline. Submit to Classroom!  If that is not possible, an e-mail attachment or the dropbox listed on the left is also acceptable.