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Dr. Kelli Cedo

K-12 ELA
Curriculum Leader

Kim Hatfield
Administrative Support  Specialist
Language Arts/Social Studies

Marsha Grant
Alisa Innes
Elementary School Teacher Specialist

Crystal Midlik
Crystal Midlik
Elementary School Teacher Specialist

Tracie Judd
Tracie Judd

Middle School Teacher Specialist

photo of Jennifer Butler
Jennifer Butler
Secondary School Teacher Specialist

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 genres, such as expository, persuasive, narrative, analytical, and research, through a structured writing process which includes the study of grammar.

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

Summer Reading 2021 - Letter to High School Parents (pdf) | Letter to Middle School Parents (pdf) | Summer Book Club Gaming Events for 6-8 grade (pdf)

Literacy Pro Family Letter (PreK-8)
Literacy Pro Family Tip Sheet

How to Access Literacy Pro: A Visual Guide

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

English 9, 10, 11, 12 (levels 2 and 3 honors offered for each grade level)

  • Make and deliver multimodal presentations

  • Evaluate participation in group activities

  • Evaluate persuasive techniques used in media messages

  • Increase vocabulary and analyze language choices

  • Analyze author’s choices in fictional texts

  • Analyze nonfiction texts

  • Write effectively in a variety of forms (expository, persuasive/argumentative), reflective, and analytic)

  • Apply rules for correct grammar and mechanics

  • Create research products that correctly reference credible sources

  • Use technology ethically

Grade 10 literature focus: multicultural

Grade 11 literature focus: American

Grade 12 literature focus: British

AP English 11 Language and Composition

  • Comparable to an introductory college-level rhetoric course

  • Development of analytic and argumentative essay writing (including incorporating research effectively)

  • Development of personal style

  • Analysis of rhetorical elements in nonfiction

AP English 12 Literature and Composition

  • Comparable to an introductory college-level literary analysis course

  • Critical analysis of writer’s purpose and stylistic choices

  • Writing assignments include expository, analytic, and argumentative

Consult your school’s guidance department to learn more about Dual Enrollment options available.

• 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 poetry and prose
• Develop expression of feelings and ideas
• Students should have good language 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

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

Voyager Language

Grammar for Writing

Additional Personnel:

Language Arts Instructional Leaders (Grades 6-12)
Reading Leaders (Grades K-5)
Read 180 Teachers (Grades 9-12)
Early Reading Intervention Assistants (Grades K-1)
Reading Interventionists (Grades K-5)
Literacy Support Specialists (Grades K-8)

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:
  • 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. 

©2020 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000


As stated in School Board Policy AC and GBA, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions, status as a veteran, genetic information, or other characteristic protected by law in its programs, activities and employment practices and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  

HCS also prohibits retaliation under School Board Policy GBAB for the purpose of interfering with a person’s rights and/or privileges under federal civil rights laws, which can include: (i) raising concerns with Division personnel about a civil rights violation; (ii) asserting a right or advocating for the rights of a student or employee under federal civil rights laws; or (iii) participating in a complaint investigation or related proceedings. 

All individuals are encouraged to promptly report any incident they believe to be discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of HCS School Board Policy.  All reports should be made to the HCS Compliance Officer, who also serves as the HCS Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX/ADA Coordinator.  Upon receiving a report of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the Compliance Officer shall promptly authorize an investigation into the complaint, determine whether the alleged act occurred, and determine whether any action must be taken to end or prevent further harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  For more information about this process, please review the Formal Resolution Process and/or Informal Resolution Process.    

Should you have any questions about these procedures or the contents of this notice, please contact:

Executive Director of Human Resources
Title IX and ADA Coordinator
Department of Human Resources
One Franklin Street
Hampton, VA 23669
(757) 727-2300



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.

Please note that some pages on the HCS website contain links to third-party sites.  HCS is not responsible for the content, facts, opinions or accessibility of third-party sites.


The majority of pages in our site are available in HTML format that can be deciphered by screen readers. Some documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF), which require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

  • To download this free program, visit the Adobe website.
  • To read PDF documents with a screen reader, please link to the Access Adobe website, which provides useful tools and resources.

Also, many popular browsers contain built-in accessibility tools, and there are other plug-ins that make websites more accessible.

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.


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.

Our continuing goal is for the HCS website to be accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute's implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

Good faith efforts are being made to ensure that our website complies with web accessibility standards. In addition to the federal regulations above, we are actively working to conform to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
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 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.