Hopewell City Schools supports the English goals for students as described by the Virginia Department of Education:
These goals are achieved through instruction of mandated strands for the English /Language Arts Curricula. The strand standards reflect a comprehensive instructional program and document a progression of expected achievement in each of the strands. This organization of standards also reflects the gradual progression in the development of skills.
Standards for kindergarten through third grade are organized in three related strands:
Oral Language, Reading, and Writing.
Standards for fourth through twelfth grades are organized in four related strands:
Reading, Writing, Research, and Communication (Speaking, Listening, Media Literacy).
At the elementary level, Hopewell uses a balanced literacy program for reading and writing instruction blocks. The five different components of balanced literacy, which are read aloud, guided reading, shared reading, independent reading, and word study, are integrated for a complete and effective literacy approach. The elementary (K-5) language arts program consists of daily instruction that ranges from 105 minutes to 150 minutes. Direct instruction, small group instruction, and center based learning allows students opportunities to learn and practice 21st century literacy skills that integrate reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In addition, manuscript handwriting is emphasized beginning in kindergarten, and instruction in cursive writing begins in second grade. Hopewell teaches the D’Nealian manuscript and cursive script.
Guided Reading, an instructional practice used in grades K-8, allows teachers to meet the needs of all students of varying levels of proficiency. The teacher works in a small group setting. Students quickly learn workable strategies to process and construct meaning of words. As their reading skills strengthen, students gradually move to more difficult reading with teacher guidance. Students in grades 6-8 receive guided reading instruction as needed. The middle school language arts blocks are year- long for 90 minutes daily.
In grades 9-12, students continue to strengthen strategies for comprehending and
analyzing selections that encompass all literary genres. They explore universal themes and become familiar with multiple authors and classic literary works. They read nonfiction from multiple sources and pursue their interests with informational texts. They read, research, write, and communicate in order to further build skills to succeed in future educational, occupational, and personal endeavors.
English instruction in kindergarten through high school is designed to meet students where they are and take them forward to their ultimate level of progress. Programs are in place for those who experience struggles (after-school tutoring by teachers, individualized software, targeted interventions, and instruction by reading specialists K-12). Accelerated secondary opportunities include advanced classes, and Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses.