• English Language Arts (ELA) 

    Course Description 

    English Language Arts includes the domains of reading, writing, listening, and speaking language, with an academic focus. Deer Valley Unified School District implemented the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, which ask students to read stories and literature, as well as more complex texts that provide facts and background knowledge. Students are challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to what they’ve read. This stresses critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for success in college, career, and life.

    We will follow a Reading/Writing Workshop format and incorporate technology with 1:1 Chromebook access in our studies.

    NOTE: Generative Artificial Intelligence Tools in Grades K-8 

    After careful consideration and in alignment with the developmental needs of our students and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), DVUSD has determined that the use of Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, is not suitable for students in grades K-8 (under 13 years of age) and will not be utilized or endorsed in academic contexts.



    2023 – 2024 School Year

    Instructor:  Ms. Clarke Email: janet.clarke@dvusd.org

    Phone:  (623) 445-4592

    Parent Teacher Student Conferences:

    Fall - October 12 & 13, 2023

    Spring - February 8 & 9, 2024

    Tutoring by appointment

    Course Overview:

    This course will serve as a foundation for continued study in the English Language Arts Reading and Writing curriculum and assist students in preparing for their academic and professional careers. We study the four domains of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening with class content learning objectives taken directly from Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. These standards are available at the following web address:


    Grade Seven English Language Arts maintains a rigorous curriculum throughout the year that emphasizes the integration of vocabulary, literature, reading strategies, composition, oral language skills, research and grammar. Literature, media and technology experiences become increasingly analytical as students study the elements of ELA. In teaching this course, I will make decisions involving differentiating the curriculum to meet the needs of individual students. Any student who has questions or concerns about an assignment, finds the work confusing or too challenging should seek advice from their teacher.


    This course will consist of analyzing texts for literary elements in order for students to comprehend the central ideas of the pieces. In writing, they will be honing their writing skills by developing personal narrative (writings about their own experiences), expository pieces (writings on various topics) and argumentative writing (writings about topics of opinion). The construction of an Interactive Notebook (INB) throughout the year will be an integral aspect of the curricula. Discussion, both speaking and listening, as well as working in collaboration with others will play a large role in class and will help to prepare students for the college and career world.

    Grading Policy: 

    3rd-12th Grades

    Students in 3rd through 12th grades will receive marks for their proficiency towards the grade level standards using the following scale. These marks are for information and do not calculate the student's overall course grade.

    4 = Highly Proficient

    3 = Proficient

    2 = Partially Proficient

    1 = Minimally Proficient

    Students in 3rd through 12th grades will receive marks for their overall performance in each course of study using the following letter grade scale. Overall course grades for students in grades 3-12 will be calculated from the average of the student’s assignment scores* (assessments, coursework). 

    A =  90-100% 

    B =  80-89%

    C =  70-79%

    D =  60-69%

    F =   0-59%

    These grades will include in-class assignments, homework, quizzes, Reading Fluency Gist statements, and CFA writing responses. Quarterly Final grades may include a test at the completion of each quarter.

    SBG Rubric

    Absences: Students who have missed assignments due to excused absences will not be penalized. It is the student’s responsibility to discuss with the teacher what assignments need to be completed and the due dates. Students with more than 10 unexcused absences may be referred to the CUTS program.



    Students will have homework. Refer to the Week at a Glance (WaaG) for a weekly Core assignment overview. It is very important that students complete homework in the time provided and turn it in on the correct due dates.



    Students have the opportunity to attend tutorials. Do not get behind or wait. Ask for help as soon as you think you need help. Students who access MobyMax modules at least three times a week are statistically more successful in ELA7 than those students who do not. Students should read a lot.


    Tardy Policy:

    If a student is tardy to class, they need to make sure they have a written excuse. After three unexcused tardies, students will be required to have lunch intervention. 

    Restroom Usage: Students may not leave class in the first or last ten minutes of the block. Upon obtaining teacher permission to use the restroom, students must sign out/in on the class Restroom Log. Students must have their Agenda Pass to document being out of class.

    IMPORTANT - Cell Phones/Electronics:

    Students are not allowed to use their cell phone or any other electronic on campus or in the class unless it is teacher directed and supervised. If a student has any electronics out without permission, it will be confiscated. The first time a phone is confiscated it is held in the classroom, documented for infraction and returned at the end of the day. For a second infraction the device will be brought to the main office, and the student will receive it back at the end of the day with a warning. Infractions after that, the parents are required to pick devices up from the office, and there will be administrative intervention.


    DSS/Differentiated Student Support (RTI-A; Exploratory) 

    Course Description
    We will follow a Reading/Writing Workshop format and incorporate technology with 1:1 Chromebook access for our studies. Students will be in flexible grouping and may be moved between the other three teachers instructing for DSS.

    DSS instruction involves assessing student knowledge in literacy, then using a variety of strategies to effectively create curriculum that is, in effect, individualized. We will study curriculum of varied complexity, using a variety grouping strategies, modifying outcomes and product expectations, tailoring delivery, and providing tiered projects as critical elements in differentiating instruction.