Our Language Arts program integrates Reading, Grammar, Spelling, Composition and Handwriting into one program. This allows teachers to coordinate the skills in these programs and to enrich the classes with extended activities.
Reading instruction begins with a phonics-based approach, allowing the children to be successful readers at an early age. Through the 2nd grade, reading skills are emphasized as students gain greater mastery and confidence. In 3rd grade, students continue working on their skills but spend more time using reading as a vehicle to learning in other content areas.
At all levels, students are challenged to read at higher levels through the Accelerated Reader program. Classes read and study novels together, as well as students completing independent reading.
Reading teachers work with our librarian to inspire our students with a love of books and a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure and for knowledge.
Spelling skills are coordinated with our reading program in the younger grades and with vocabulary instruction in the older grades. Teachers in grades 1 to 3 utilize a Word Study approach to Spelling to assist the students with retention and utilization of the spelling skills learned.
Holy Cross Academy participates in both the local Spelling Bee hosted by the Free Lance-Star and the Diocese of Arlington Spelling Bee. In 2011, Holy Cross 8th grader, Megan Hellmann, placed first in the Diocesan Spelling Bee.
In 2008-2009, our teachers designed a comprehension Writing program to insure that students work on their Writing skills in a progressive manner. Students begin with writing simple sentences in kindergarten and 1st grade and finish with research papers, short novels and plays in the 8th grade. Student in each grade are taught to write clear complete sentences and to extend and correct their own writing. Teachers maintain samples of student writing each year to make their progress more visible.