This year Concept English has a very succinct goal:  To help teachers engage students in deep and meaningful instruction that focuses on close reading of Anchor Texts, including multiple opportunities to write essays that reflect an insight into the readings.

As our member schools continue to  transition to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Collections textual resource, and we will continue to plan for instruction that incorporates balanced literacy and focuses on analysis of textual resources whereby students move from oral discussions to writing their own texts.

Grade levels 6-12 have six units of instructions that each include:  a Performance-Based Task (PBA), 2 Anchor Texts, PDF’s of additional readings, suggested activities, research-based strategies for instruction, and suggested accommodations.  Teachers using novels (maximum 3) must insert them into a specific unit to extend the learning of the unit both in terms of skills/themes and include the novel units/lessons that they are teaching.  Novels must be approved through Concept English.

Teachers are encouraged to further develop these units to reflect their specific school culture, individual student needs, and the larger community values.  Concept English is here to be a collaborative partner with all teachers who hope to develop and refine these units to reflect their specific pedagogical approach.

It is required that all teachers use the Anchor Texts, complete the Unit PBA, and complete weekly lesson plans within the body of a specific unit of instruction.  Weekly lesson plans must give enough details to know the content and the skills that are being taught and how they connect to the larger unit of instruction.

Monthly communication will take place between the Director of English and English Department Chairpersons as they plan their monthly meeting agendas/notes and assist the Director as we work to align curriculum both horizontally and vertically throughout our schools.

We are looking forward to another great year and being able to assist any and all teachers as necessary.


On behalf of Concept English, thank you

Andy Flaherty



Great teachers engineer learning experiences that put the students in the drivers seat and then get out of the way.