English Language Arts

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (“the standards”) represent the next generation of K–12 standards designed to prepare all students for success in college, career, and life by the time they graduate from high school.

The Common Core asks students to read stories and literature, as well as more complex texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas such as science and social studies. Students will be challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to what they’ve read. This stresses critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for success in college, career, and life.

The standards establish guidelines for English language arts (ELA) as well as for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Because students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, the standards promote the literacy skills and concepts required for college and career readiness in multiple disciplines.

The College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards form the backbone of the ELA/literacy standards by articulating core knowledge and skills, while grade-specific standards provide additional specificity. Beginning in grade 6, the literacy standards allow teachers of ELA, history/social studies, science, and technical subjects to use their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields.

It is important to note that the grade 6–12 literacy standards in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are meant to supplement content standards in those areas, not replace them. States determine how to incorporate these standards into their existing standards for those subjects or adopt them as content area literacy standards.

The skills and knowledge captured in the ELA/literacy standards are designed to prepare students for life outside the classroom. They include critical-thinking skills and the ability to closely and attentively read texts in a way that will help them understand and enjoy complex works of literature. Students will learn to use cogent reasoning and evidence collection skills that are essential for success in college, career, and life. The standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person who is prepared for success in the 21st century.


Wendy Bjork

6th Grade ELA/SS Yearbook

I have over two decades of teaching experience in multiple grade levels. I enjoy helping students practice the 5 Cs, with effective communication being a primary goal.

Adam Erickson

8th U.S. History, 7th Science, and ASB

I came to Rio Vista Middle School in the Fall of 2012, and deeply enjoy my profession. I always endeavor to assure my students are cared about and mentored through their middle school years, while also teaching lifelong, real-world academic and research skills.


  • B.A. – History & English, California Lutheran University (2009)
  • M.Ed. – Teacher & Curriculum Leadership, CLU (2011)
  • M.A. – History, CSU Northridge (2015)

Kim Fairchild

6th Grade ELA/SS

Born and raised in Oxnard & Ventura. I love reading, the outdoors, and spending time with family.

  • B.A in Political Science, CSUN
  • Multiple Subjects Credential, CLU
  • M.A. Education, CLU
  • Started my career in Rio in 1997

Mary Fleming

6th Grade Language Arts/SS
  • Teaching at Rio Vista since 2012
  • B.A. Liberal Studies: UCSB
  • Multiple Subject Credential: Western Governors University
  • I currently teach 6th grade language arts and social science. Connecting to each and every one of my students is my goal each year and I believe that using the arts is an excellent way to achieve this! My students inspire me to become a better teacher.

Maria Gutierrez

7th Grade ELA/ELD

Hello everyone! I am so fortunate to be here in California. I am originally from EL Paso, Texas. Born and raised a Tejana! I am going on my 32 year of teaching in middle school, and I enjoy sharing my love for English. I was able to complete my education at Oxnard College and Cal State University Northridge. I enjoy paiting and writing, and started my own garden in my back yard. My husband works for the US Navy, and we are proud to call Oxnard our home. I have 2 grown children who have successfully finished the Rio School District. This is a wonderful communtiy to be a part of.

  • B.A., Liberal Studies, CSUN
  • Multiple Subject (K-12)
  • CLAD and BCLAD
  • South Coast Writing Fellow, UCSB, June 1997.

Lisa Herrera

8th Grade ELA
  • Teaching at Rio School District for 25 years
  • B.A. English, UCSB
  • Single Subject English Teaching Credential, CSUN
  • Proud Graduate of the Rio School District-attended Rio Plaza, Rio Real, and Rio del Valle

I enjoy reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends.

Beth Lindley

6th Grade ELA/SS
  • MA- CSUN
  • BA – University of Montana
  • Southcoast Writing Project, UCSB, Fellowship

I have three grown sons and enjoy spending time outside hiking or at the beach and with my dog.

Teresa Ogella

6th/7th ELA and Math
  • 2nd year at Rio Vista
  • BA, Music, Minor in Spanish – UCSB
  • Studied abroad in Mexico & Spain
  • Taught private guitar lessons
  • Teaching credential – Antioch University, SB

I enjoy art, music, golf, hiking, comedy, traveling, and cat shelter volunteer.

Melanie Martin

7th Grade ELA
  • B.A. in English from Cal State University, Long Beach
  • Masters in creative writing from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
  • One of her passions is traveling, and she had the opportunity to study abroad in Galway, Ireland while completing her masters.

Ms. Martin comes from a family of educators including her dad and older sister, and she believes that public education, especially, is where teachers can truly make a positive impact on young lives. Prior to earning her credential in English in 2010, Ms. Martin taught English at community colleges in Southern California. She has had the pleasure of teaching 7th grade language arts at Rio Vista for 9 years and looks forward to many more.

Heriberto Rojas

6th Grade ELA/SS
  • 15 Yrs in Rio District
  • 10 Yrs at Rio Vista
  • B.A. History & Sociology, UCSB
  • Teaching Credential, CSUCI
  • M.A. with School Counseling Credential, APU

My goal as an educator is not only to teach students, but more importantly, to instill in them the desire to become lifelong learners!

ELA News

Student Work Highlight: Concert Evaluation
Concert Evaluation by a Rio Vista 7th grader Overall, I think I deserved a B+ because all the songs I did were satisfying but not perfect and I had some mistakes and confusions.  I did well in all the songs but “Echo Lake” because at the measures when I was…
English Language Arts, Music
Skip to content