• Class Syllabus/Class Overview Expectations


    1. Course Description:  The seventh-grade student will continue to develop oral communication skills and will become more knowledgeable of the effects of verbal and nonverbal behaviors in oral communication. The student will continue to read a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry while becoming more independent and analytical. The student will continue to refine written composition skills, with special attention to word choice, organization, style, and grammar. Written explanations will utilize informational writing skills. The student will continue vocabulary development through a study of figurative language and continuing study of roots, affixes, and cognates. Knowledge of the informative/persuasive techniques of media messages will be studied. The student will apply research techniques to gather, organize, and communicate information, properly citing sources. The student will also demonstrate correct use of language, spelling, and mechanics by applying grammatical conventions in writing and speaking. 


    1. Instructional Philosophy:  This classroom is an active learning environment. Students will learn together with their teacher serving as a facilitator or a guide to their learning. Most of the techniques and strategies used are based in the Inquiry method. Links to an external site.All students will experience the feeling of being an expert. The reason for this is that when a student feels like an expert over and over again, they develop the interest in becoming experts in all of their life’s persuits. As a teacher, I will assist students in finding an interest in each and every topic.
    2. Major Course Goals:  Students will learn how to be independent learners who take ownership of their education. Essential knowledge and skills students as required in the Virginia Standards of LearningLinks to an external site. will give a student the ability to use reasoning and thinking skills to learn and understand other curriculum objectives and prepare students for the next level of learning as well as success as life-long learners.


    1. Major Course Projects & Instructional Activities:  Students will create a variety of “work products'' that will serve as evidence that they have met course standards. All assignments and projects give students ample opportunity to demonstrate what they should know according to the Virginia Standards of Learning Links to an external site.for their grade level. The assignments and projects ask students to read and demonstrate an understanding of what was read. I will ask students to apply what they are learning to real world problems and situations.


    1. Course Assessment Plan (DPS Grading Scale and Tentative SOL Assessment Dates):  

    Academic Grade Reporting

    Student performance in Grades 6-8 will be reported by numerical grades on a 100-point grading scale. 

    Letter Grade

    Percent Grade










    below 60


    Grade Weights

    Summative Assessments (Gold Category) = 40%

    Minimum of 3 grades, 1 dropped (per 9 weeks)

    “Short-Cycle” Assessments (Silver Category) = 35%

    Minimum of 6 grades, 2 dropped (per 9 weeks)

    Classwork/Warm up (Bronze Category) = 25%

    Minimum of 7 grades, 2 dropped (per 9 weeks)

    Classroom Expectations: Students will adhere to the expectations outlined in the I.W. Taylor Virtual Academy Student handbookLinks to an external site. as well as my expectation as a teacher. My expectation is for the teacher and students to approach the adventure of the school year with kindness, patience and understanding of each other's unique experiences and viewpoints.

    Supplies and Materials Needed: An open mind, kind heart and dedication to being successful. 

    DPS Homework Policy: The homework policy will be the same policies adopted by the DPS School Board and included in the student handbook. 

    Extra Help:  Students are encouraged to email me specific questions and concerns regarding school work, grades. Students will use scheduled Taylor’d time (formerly known as support block) to work individually or in small groups with their teacher.

    Contact: To reach Mr. Ferraro, email dferraro@mail.dps.k12.va.us or call (434) 773- 8134 and I will respond within 24 hours. 


    School Address:


    I.W. Taylor Virtual Academy

    825 Piney Forest Road

    Danville, VA 24540