• Mrs. Meredith Ventimiglia   

    Voice Mail: 623-376- 4376    Email: meredith.ventimiglia@dvusd.org   

    Website: https://www.dvusd.org/sierraverde

    Course Description: Language arts is a unique category of academic study, supporting all other subject areas. In order to achieve success, students must be able to read and analyze complex text and demonstrate proficiency by communicating well-reasoned thoughts in varied written formats. The breadth of reading genres includes, but is not limited to: essays, speeches, periodicals, journals, articles, editorials, brochures, poems, short stories, and novels. Articulating understanding of text through writing primarily focuses on expository or informational writing, argumentative writing specifically addressing logical fallacies, and literary analysis. Additionally, due to many college requirements that students include a personal narrative, students will explore self-identity and craft an introspective narrative.


    Although this is a reading and writing intensive class, students will also be expected to enhance their speaking and listening skills through a variety of oral presentations and discussions. The course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation for future scholarship in all fields by ensuring that students have a strong grasp of the fundamental syntax, semantics, and rhetoric in all types of text. Students will engage in, and make a habit of, perfecting their ability to read and write effectively at the sentence and paragraph level. as well as verbally articulate well-reasoned discussions thus preparing students for any area of study. The ultimate goal of the program is to  enable all students with essential thinking skills in order to advocate for themselves regardless of the field of employment.




    Consistently apply MLA format

    Cite Sources

    Annotate text

    Apply appropriate transitions

    Consistently use appropriate writing conventions

    Use a variety of sentence structures to extend paragraph complexity and write a cohesive essay

    Acquire new vocabulary to improve word choice

    Summarize key elements and distinguish between central ideas and details

    Construct and develop a 3-pronged thesis statement

    Support thesis statements with evidence and elaboration

    Evaluate contrasting viewpoints

    Determine author’s purpose and tone

    Examine the effects of irony, juxtaposition, metaphor, and paradox

    Scrutinize implicit and explicit details leading to inferences, implications, and consequences

    Analyze the relationship between literary elements

    Compare and contrast a variety of mediums




    • Collections Textbook Grade 8 
    • The Book Thief, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, Ender's Game, Hunger Games, The Outsiders
    • Varied short stories, poems, expository text, argumentative text, and speeches.

    Academic Integrity:  Students are expected to respect the copyright laws and academic honesty. All district and school policies apply to plagiarism and academic integrity. Writing is randomly checked for plagiarized material throughout the year and if a student is unsure regarding if he or she is committing plagiarism, the best choice is to ask for a writing conference.


     Communication: Since the ELA course is online, students and parents can access all instructional materials, assignments, and the agenda on either Canvas or Google Drive. The login for both sites is your student’s DVUSD email account. If you are unable to access either account, please contact me as soon as possible Throughout the year, emails or phone calls  may be necessary in order to facilitate communication regarding reminders, grades, or behaviors. Specific appointments should be arranged for personal or sensitive issues that need to be discussed privately, but for general questions you can send an email or leave a message on the phone.

    Attendance: The expectation is that students are prepared for all classes.  When absent, students will use Canvas or the Google Drive to keep abreast of class progress. Due dates will be extended in accordance with the same number of days absent.  If the student needs additional time to complete missed work, students should conference with the teacher in order to discuss adjusted due dates.  

    Classroom Opportunities and Obligations:

    • Show mutual respect.
    • Listen to the comments and opinions of others.  Written and verbal criticism must be constructive.  
    • Never jeopardize the safety of others.
    • Enter the room quietly
    • Avoid distracting others. 
    • Discussions are limited to and focused on academic content.  
    • Students use a low volume, i.e. indoor speaking voice at all times..  
    • During writing conferences, all students will be silent and work independently
    • Everything has a place and needs to be returned to that place when class is over.
    • No gum, food, drinks are allowed in the classroom. Bottled water with a lid is acceptable.

    Rewards and Consequences:

    Disciplinary infractions are identified in the Deer Valley Unified Student’s Rights and Responsibilities Handbook and the Sierra Verde Handbook. Some of these violations include, but are not limited to, bullying, dangerous items, defiance/disrespect, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, endangerment, fighting, forgery, physical aggression, theft, threat/intimidation, vandalism, and weapons. In some instances inappropriate language and misuse of technology can also result in an immediate office referral. Consequences are based on the guidelines in the Student's Right and Responsibilities Handbook. 

    Grading Policies:

    Grades provides parents and students with a method to evaluate  mastery of the English Language Arts Arizona State Content Standards for eighth grade. Students are not graded on introductory work or nonacademic elements such as returning signed forms or behavior. If grades are a concern, it is important to set-up a time for a personal conference. Please remember that the objective is not to use grades as a punishment or reward, but to clearly assess student mastery. All homework, tests, quizzes, classwork, and projects will be graded in a singular category, although points on an assignment or test may vary. A single category eliminates the problem of unbalanced grades.



    Purposeful homework improves the clarity and depth of what student’s read and write. Formative assessments guide the assignment of outside work and work must be completed by a specific due date. Homework is due on the due date. Missing work will be graded at 25%. 




    Success on assessments is directly related to student attention and work during class. Students are unable to study for most reading and writing assessments since the test consists of a cold read (new material) and a comprehension quiz including a  writing prompt . Testing regarding material already discussed and reviewed only tests the student’s memory and not their ability to read and comprehend. Skills such as understanding theme, or recognizing the main idea in a reading passage, or incorporating transitions in writing are practiced daily in English Language Arts. The emphasis on foundational concepts, structures student's reasoning and thinking pushing them towards automaticity in complex reading and academic writing. Students who miss an assessment must arrange to take the assessment as soon as possible and, at the most, must complete the assessment within one week of the student's return to school. 


    Student misuse of technology may result in an inability to participate in projects, writing assignments, and presentations during the school day. The inability to access technology at school may increase a student’s homework obligations. Students are required to follow all district and school policies regarding the use of technology.



    NOTICE: The information in this packet includes the requirements and expectations specific to these classes/teachers and is in addition to DVUSD policies, DVUSD Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook and the Sierra Verde Student Handbook.



    Meredith Ventimiglia

    English Language Arts

    Sierra Verde STEM Academy

    A+ School of  Excellence

    Deer Valley School District



    "Sierra Verde students will think critically, respond digitally, communicate effectively - YES!"