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Deborah Fahringer
K-12 ELA
Curriculum Leader

photo of Darlene Ingram
Darlene Ingram
Elementary Teacher Specialist, K-2

photo of Jennifer Butler
Jennifer Butler
Secondary English Teacher Specialist

photo of Marsha Grant
Marsha Grant
Secondary English 
Teacher Specialist

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Brenda Johnston
Administrative Support Specialist

photo of teacher reading to group of kids on the floor

The mission of the Hampton City Schools Language Arts Department is to provide instruction consisting of research-based practices that will allow every child to grow in their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

Elementary language arts instruction focuses on the five pillars of reading:  phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.  Writing instruction begins with sentence formation, progresses to paragraph formation, and advances to essay writing.  Grammar lessons are included in writing instruction.

Middle and high school ELA instruction emphasizes nonfiction, including informational and functional texts, and fiction, including poetry and drama.  In writing, the emphasis is on developing a variety of structures, such as expository, persuasive, narrative, analytical, research, and literary criticism, through a structured writing process which includes the study of grammar.

Reading comprehension, vocabulary, and ethical practices in research are also included throughout the language arts instructional program in HCS. 

photo of a boy in a library looking at a book.

2016 Summer Reading Letter to Parents
Required Summer Reading List 9-12
Summer Reading Video
Suggested Summer Reading List K-8

Suggested Instructional Model for Secondary Language Arts

LANGUAGE ARTS 6: This course of study includes fiction, nonfiction, and informational texts from multiple genres. There are four strands of instruction: Communication and media literacy; reading; writing; and research. In each unit, students read, write, think critically, and respond both orally and in writing. Writing at this level focuses on the process of writing a multiparagraph essay. Students write expository, descriptive, and narrative essays. The curriculum has been aligned with the 2010 Virginia Standards of Learning. Students will take the Grade 6 Reading SOL test.

LANGUAGE ARTS 7: This course of study includes short stories, poems, novels, nonfiction, and informational texts. There are four strands of instruction: Communication and media literacy; reading; writing; and research. Students will read, write, and think critically. Writing at this level focuses on narrative and expository essays. The curriculum has been aligned with the 2010 Virginia Standards of Learning. Students will take the Grade 7 Reading SOL test.

LANGUAGE ARTS 8: This course includes the elements of fiction, narrative nonfiction, literary criticism, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. There is both a literary and informational focus. Additionally there are four strands of instruction including: Communication and media literacy; reading; writing; and research. Students will continue to strengthen their skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Writing at this level focuses on narrative, expository, and persuasive writing. The curriculum has been aligned with the 2010 Virginia Standards of Learning. Students will take the Grade 8 Reading and Writing SOL tests.

READ 180
• 1 year class (1 credit)
• Reading intervention
• Focuses on vocabulary and reading comprehension strategies
• Open to students in grade 6-12
• May be taken more than one time
• Includes whole group instruction, small group instruction, computer-based practice, and independent reading

High School Course Descriptions
Required to Graduate:
4 standard credits and 2 verified credits in English
SOL End-of-Course tests:
Writing (1 verified credit) - grade 10 & Reading (1 verified credit) - grade 11

Levels: 2, 3-Honors
• Expand knowledge of the western world
• Investigate themes in art, music, and literature
• Read selections that vary in time, place, and theme
• Study major writers, artists, and musicians
• Critique dramatic readings and give oral presentations
• Read and analyze a variety of literature
• Develop narrative, expository, and informational writings to inform, explain, analyze, and entertain
• Study the fundamentals of research
• Apply grammar and usage rules
• Apply the writing process to refine narrative, literary, expository, and informational writing
• Apply learning tools (word processing, note taking, paraphrasing, summarizing, problem-solving, etc.)
• Increase vocabulary and improve spelling through word analysis
• Incorporate technology
• Analyze media for message, audience, technique, and impact

Levels: 2, 3-Honors
• Communicate in group activities
• Analyze literary works from a variety of cultures
• Refine writing skills
• Analyze printed consumer information
• Prepare a research report
• Apply grammar and usage rules
• Increase vocabulary and improve spelling
• Incorporate technology
• Analyze media for message, audience, technique, and impact

Levels: 2, 3-Honors
• Develop and deliver a persuasive oral presentation
• Analyze persuasive presentations
• Identify prevalent themes and characterizations in American literature
• Assess the value of a variety of printed materials
• Recognize the contributions of other cultures to the development of American literature
• Demonstrate mastery of persuasive, literary, expository and informational writing
• Create a documented research product
• Apply grammar and usage rules
• Increase vocabulary and improve spelling through word analysis
• Incorporate technology
• Analyze media for message, audience, technique, and impact

Levels: 2, 3-Honors
• Plan and deliver an effective oral presentation
• Analyze British literature as well as literature from other cultures
• Assess the value of printed and electronic resources
• Produce technical and expository papers
• Produce a well-documented research product and formal speech
• Apply grammar and usage skills
• Increase vocabulary and improve spelling
• Incorporate technology
• Fine tune learning/thinking/study skills for experiences beyond high school
• Analyze media for message, audience, technique, and impact

AP ENGLISH 11 English Language and Composition
• Develop and deliver persuasive presentation
• Analyze the development of American literature from the 17th century to the present
• Analyze independent readings
• Refine critical listening skills
• Increase vocabulary
• Demonstrate mastery of persuasive, synthesis, and rhetorical analysis writing
• Produce a documented research project
• Incorporate technology
• Prepare for the AP English Examination

AP ENGLISH 12 English Literature and Composition
• Review and demonstrate mastery of the Essentials of the Curriculum for English 12
• Focus on the historical and philosophical influence on literature
• Read various literary forms to stimulate creativity & focus on literary criticism
• Write assignments that require analysis, synthesis, and evaluation
• Present multimedia projects
• Apply knowledge of technology to writing
• Prepare for the AP English Examination

• Focus on writing skills and print media in the 20th century
• Write news stories, features, sport stories, and editorials for publication in the school newspaper
• Develop skills in newspaper style, news reports, feature articles, sports stories, editorials, captions, and editing/proof symbols
• Develop production/graphics skills in design, paste-up, advertising, circulation, photo cropping and sizing, and design elements
• Explore legal restraints on free speech that affect high school publications as well as metropolitan dailies
• Develop a newspaper vocabulary

• For students interested in writing various kinds of poetry and prose
• Develop expression of feelings and ideas
• Students should have good composition skills

Prerequisite: Creative Writing or Teacher Recommendation
• Built on skills students have learned in Creative Writing
• Production of school literary magazine

• 1 semester class (1/2 credit)
• Non performance class
• Basics of set construction and design, lighting, and costume makeup
• Practical experience which supplements classroom theory

• 1 semester class (1/2 credit)
• Performance class
• Trains beginning dramatic students in use of voice and body in stage projection

Prerequisite: Acting I and Technical Drama
• Act in and direct several one-act plays
• Open to juniors and seniors who have successfully completed Acting I and Technical Drama

Prerequisites: Algebra I, Geometry, and a college-bound course of study
• Classes meet every other day for 90 minutes (1/2 elective credit)
• 1 Semester Course: Half Math/Half Verbal & Writing
• Students may elect to receive a pass/fail grade or letter grade
• Uses SAT Software & SAT Practice Tests

READ 180
• 1 year class (1 credit)
• Reading intervention
• Focuses on vocabulary and reading comprehension strategies
• Open to students in grade 6-12
• May be taken more than one time
• Includes whole group instruction, guided reading instruction, computer-based practice and independent reading

Elementary Instructional Resources:

The Scott Foresman Series (Grades K and 5)
Benchmark Literacy (Grades 1-4) Reader's Workshop, Writer's Workshop
Word Study
Early Reading Intervention Resources 
DRA2 (Diagnostic Reading Assessment)
The Writing Process
Leveled Reader bookrooms
Read Aloud Selections

Secondary Instructional Resources:

Holt, Rinehart and Winston
READ 180

Scholastic Reading Inventory
Language Live
Write to Learn (7-10)
Voyager Language

Grammar for Writing
AP English Language and Composition (eleventh grade)
AP English Literature and Composition (twelfth grade)
IB English (Hampton High School & Lindsay Middle School)

Additional Resources:

Language Arts Instructional Leaders (Grades 6-12)
Reading Specialist Literacy Leaders (Grades K-5)
Read 180 Teachers (Grades 6-12)
Early Reading Intervention Assistants (Grades K-1)
Literacy Coaches (Grades K-8)
Reading Interventionists (Grades K-5)


Reading is Fundamental
Virginia Association of Teachers of English
International Literacy Association
Reading Rockets

SOL Connections

The Virginia Department of Education has dedicated part of the website to resources for the SOL tests.  This page includes links to view and access practice items, examples of the new content, and guides. In addition, there are narrated videos that demonstrate the new version of the tests.  Students need to be familiar with the new format and the Technology-Enhanced Items (TEI), which require students to submit or select their responses in ways that are different from the traditional multiple-choice format.  Please use this link to access these resources:

2010 SOLS - Test Blueprints

English SOL Curriculum Framework 2010 - K-5
English SOL Curriculum Framework 2010 - 6-8
English SOL Curriculum Framework 2010 - 9-12
Grade 3 Reading
Grade 4 Reading
Grade 5 Reading
Grade 6 Reading
Grade 7 Reading
Grade 8 Reading
Grade 8 Writing
EOC Writing
EOC Reading

  • To monitor, evaluate, and support ELA programs, diagnostic assessments, and implementation throughout HCS to assess value to student achievement.
  • To maintain a structured, data-driven, cohesive plan for all reading personnel through professional development.
  • To support district initiatives to improve PSAT, SAT, and SOL performance through differentiated instruction in grades K-12.
  • To provide writing guidelines aligned with standards and writing portfolios and folders, adopted rubrics, and formal writing assessments in grades K-12.
  • To revise curriculum to the current standards with emphasis on rigor and differentiation to meet the needs of all students.
  • To revise pacing guides consistent with the curriculum.
  • To revise quarterly critical skills assessments in response to data, test blueprints, and curricula.
  • To partner with the Special Education department for instructional strategies and intervention resources to improve student achievement.
  • To partner with Title 1 to share instructional strategies to improve student achievement. 
  • To train new teachers throughout HCS in language arts instruction.
  • To train Early Reading Intervention Assistants in all kindergarten and grade one classrooms.
  • To provide professional development and materials throughout HCS on the instructional strategies for language arts teachers in grades K-12. 

©2017 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000

HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or other protected classes in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Robbin G. Ruth, Executive Director, Human Resources, One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA 23669 757-727-2000. 

1.     PURPOSE

Hampton City Schools (HCS) is committed to making its website accessible for all, including individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure accessibility currently and as new technologies emerge.  The division welcomes questions and feedback on the site’s accessibility at each development phase.  By clicking on “Contact” at the upper right of the main webpage, all users are able to “Help Resolve a Concern,” “Share a Story,” “Provide Feedback,” and “Ask a Question.”  Additionally, the Contact Us page provides direct email access to HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper,


HCS’s computer systems and networks include all of the computer hardware, operating system software, application software, stored text, data files, electronic mail (email), local databases, externally accessed databases, CD-ROM, optical media, clip art, digital images, digitized information, communications technologies, and new available technologies. 


The HCS website is designed and monitored by HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper, who serves as the gatekeeper for website content and accessibility.   The Webmaster is under the direction of the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, supervised by the Director of Graphics.

Web visitors using assistive technology who may have trouble accessing information on the website may contact the HCS Webmaster,, the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing,, and/or the Director of Graphics,

When submitting a question or concern via email, “accessibility” should be included in the subject line.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to address the user’s concern within twenty-four hours.  To assist HCS in responding appropriately, all inquiries should include the following information:

·      A description of the accessibility concern or question;

·      The webpage address of the requested material;

·      The format in which the user prefers to receive the material;

·      The user’s contact information, including preferred method of contact.

Some documents on the website are in a portable document format (PDF).  The Adobe website provides a free service to convert Acrobat PDF files to other formats, including text and HTML.  Adobe’s web-based tool will quickly change an Acrobat file into an HTML file or textile.  The online PDF conversion form is available on the online conversion tool for using Adobe Acrobat.  With this tool, users can read PDF files with a screen reader.  Adobe and the Trace Research Center also offer a free Acrobat conversion service that converts PDF files to text or HTML format by sending a user’s request via email.  All individuals with internet service can access the online conversion tool for using Adobe Acrobat PDF website.


HCS monitors all technology resource activity and requires all employees, students and individuals with access to HCS computer systems and networks to annually read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  See School Board Policy IIBEA for Students; School Board Policy GBBB for Employees.

Prior to posting new website content, the HCS Webmaster determines if the proposed content meets the criteria of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  Periodically the HCS Webmaster checks the website with a recognized website checker such as 508 Checker and WAVE.  If the audit identifies issues of concern or content errors that impede accessibility to any user, the concerns/errors are evaluated and remedied within a six-week period.


HCS’s website and computer systems and networks are provided on an “as, as available” basis.  HCS makes no warranties, expressed or implied, without limitation, regarding the fitness for a particular purpose regarding any service provided by the system and any information contained or software used therein.  The division uses hardware and software provided by third-party technology vendors.  Therefore, the division does not warrant that the functions or services performed by, or that the information or software on the system, will meet the user’s requirements.