VS Logo.png


Charlie Zizzo

Contact Information

czizzo@pps.net or 503-916-6120 x 71722


Learning and Credit Options: Virtual Scholars

School Year:


Course number: 1001OR1

Course title: English 1

Subject: Language Arts

Grade Level(s): 9

Course Description:

In English I, students take a journey through important concepts–the Unknown, Equality, Identity, Opportunity, and Understanding–to learn the foundations of communication and analysis. In each unit of the course, students explore a variety of STEM-related literature, including genre fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and speeches. Through the study of this writing, students hone their own skills in communication and analysis. To facilitate engagement and academic responsibility, students are encouraged to make choices at different points in the course. Most notable is the close reading and analysis of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” This practice gives ownership to the student and places each learner in a position to develop a deeper appreciation of reading.

Prerequisites: None

Priority Standards and Final Proficiencies:

This course is a standards-based course. All students will be exposed to CCSS or Oregon state 9 standards--below are the standards that mastery must be shown in order to earn credit.

ELA.9-10.RI.1 - Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

ELA.9-10.RI.2 - Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

ELA.9-10.SL.1c - Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

ELA.9-10.RL.1 - Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

ELA.9-10.RL.2 - Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

ELA.9-10.W.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

ELA.9-10.W.5 - Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grades 9-10 here.)

ELA.9-10.L.2 - Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Schedule of Units Covered:

Unit One:

Boot Camp
Equality for All
The Power of Words
The Structure of a Good Fight
Language in King's Letter
Structure in King's Letter
Discussion-Based Assessment

Unit Two:

Identity for All
Choosing Your Path
Discovery Through Questioning
Identity Shaped by Conflict
Moving Toward Identity
Discussion-Based Assessment

Unit Three

The Heart of the Journey PART A
Author's Tool Box Setting the Scene
Author's Tool Box Telling the Story PART A
Respond to a Writing Prompt
Captivate Your Audience
Organize Your Ideas
Discussion-Based Assessment

Unit Four

Developing Your Ideas
More Than the End
Discussion-Based Assessment
Revision Workshop
Edit Your Draft
The Right Word

Academic Vocabulary

This will be addressed in the course.

District-Adopted Materials


Supplemental Resources

As needed

Differentiation/Accessibility Strategies and Support (TAG, ELL,SpEd, other):

Accommodations based on IEP and 504 will be adhered to with guidance from case manager. Case manager approval is required for a student to take a VS course.


Instruction and assessments are created and delivered with a mind to multiple learning styles; it is with active cognition that teachers build material for students who learn in many different ways.

Career-Related Learning Experiences


Essential Skills and Required Work Samples:

Being a standards-based course, work will need to be scored at “Successful” or higher in order to earn credit.

Assessment/Evaluation/Grading Policy

Students are expected to submit work in each course weekly. Students can learn at their own pace; however, students must follow their course calendar and make progress in the course every week. Students are required to complete self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, projects, discussion-based assessments, and discussions. Students are expected to:

  • Make regular progress (follow course calendar)
  • Maintain regular contact with teachers

When teachers, students, and families work together, students are successful.


This course is a standards-based course.

Course lessons and assessments are targeted to a specific set of CCSS/Oregon state standards. Students will be expected to score at the “Successful” level or higher in order to be marked proficient in each assessment. Students are expected to complete all assessments in the course.


If a student scores “Work In Progress” on an assessment, they will be able to revise and resubmit it for re-scoring.

Final grades in Virtual Scholars are determined using the VS Proficiency Matrix.

Behavioral Expectations:

PLAGIARISM is strictly monitored.


From the PPS Student Acceptable Use Guide:

Students will not plagiarize works that they find on the Internet. Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they were original to the student.

Students will respect the rights of copyright owners. Copyright infringement occurs when an individual inappropriately reproduces a work that is protected by a copyright. If a work contains language that specifies appropriate use of that work, the student should follow the expressed requirements. If the student is unsure whether or not they can use a work, they should request permission from the copyright owner.


Students will adhere to the regulations outlined in the PPS Student Acceptable Usage guide

Safety Issues and Requirements