Dear Parents,

We celebrated a wonderful Grandparents Day today with a packed house! It was nice to meet so many grandparents and to honor the role they play in your childrens’ formation.

One thing mentioned during Grandparents Day was the fact that we want to graduate students who are global citizens. We worked toward that end this week as we started our focus on civics in social studies class. We learned about John Locke’s theory of natural rights (the right to life, liberty, and property) and discussed what it might be like to live in a state of nature (without laws or government). The kids quickly reasoned that while that might be fun at first, it would quickly lead to chaos and destruction. We learned that we need social contracts – agreements humans make to live under a government and to give that government the power to make laws – so that we can protect our natural rights. The kids are enjoying this unit so far.

Speaking of global citizenship, we will have our Human Food Chain the Monday we return from Thanksgiving break. We have not received many food items, so please consider this over break and send in what you can. As the weather turns cold, the lines for Hope House’s food pantry are growing longer.

In literature we continued learning about characters and how they change during a novel. We completed some activities that asked us to talk about the changes in dynamic characters and to prove our answers by citing evidence from the text. Most kids are growing stronger at citing text evidence, and this makes their written and verbal responses more robust.

We spent most of our time in religion class working on writing the script to the Nativity play. We divided it into eight different scenes, then had groups write the details for the individual scenes. When we return from break, we will read through the play to be sure there is continuity. We will also start making our props. I haven’t received any large appliance boxes for the props, so if Santa is particularly good to you and comes with an early appliance, please send the box our way!

Fr. Moore continued his lessons on morality this week. He will be moving into some topics that involve human sexuality and has provided a letter to explain what this unit will entail. Please find the letter attached to this email.

I am also attaching two consent letters from Seattle Pacific University explaining about Christopher Merrifield’s video observations. He will be completing his first lesson video the week we return from break. As is stated in the letters, this video is viewed only by his supervisor and is not posted online. More complete details are provided in the letters attached.

I will see you at conferences on Monday and Tuesday. Please be sure to bring your child, as he/she will be leading the conference.

Have a great Thanksgiving break!



Dear Parents,  

We had a wonderful prayer service on Thursday to honor veterans in our community. It was a very special event and brought me to tears. My father was a WWII vet, wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, so I am especially grateful for those who put their lives on the line for our nation’s safety.  

We have been working hard to finish up a few things to share with you at conferences November 20-21. The kids will be doing some self-reflection next week about each of their subject areas and will be leading their conference. They will have some work samples to share with you and will set some goals for themselves based upon what we discuss. If you have not yet signed up for a conference slot, please do so soon. I will attach a Parent Conference Planning Sheet to this email, in case your child did not give you a hard copy on Thursday. Please take a moment to fill it out and email it back to me (or send a hard copy with your child) before Friday so that I can prepare for our time together. 

We continue to read our Salem witch trial novels. Since this is a short month, I told the kids that they may complete just one book report based upon their outside reading. The other book report can be about their Salem witch trial novel. These will be due the last school day of the month, although I recommend that they complete one before Thanksgiving break to relieve some of the end-of-month pressure. I ask the students for substantive work (as described on the “Outside Reading Requirements” sheet found on the 8th grade page under Resources) so they should not be surprised if they receive only half credit and are asked to re-do for more points. Please remind them that a reading log is due on Monday as well.  

In religion next week we will begin planning the Nativity play which will be the evening of December 14th this year. All students are required to participate in this very special performance. We will be in need of three to four appliance-sized boxes to make our props for the play. If you have any of these, or other sheets of large cardboard, please send them in Monday or Tuesday. Thanks!  

Service hours are part of your child’s religion grade. As a reminder, 18 service hours are due each semester. Your child has already earned 10 hours as part of their WeGrow Garden work. Students can earn service hours on Friday, November 17th by helping with PTC’s Movie Night. Students are needed at 6:30 (immediately following the girls’ basketball game) to begin setting up for Movie Night, which will begin at 7:00 PM. They can stay to help until 8:45PM.  

In social studies, we took our topic (chapter) test about the Revolutionary War. I will allow the kids to make corrections to this test this coming week. Our next focus is on the U.S. Constitution. This will be our entry point into a unit about civics. Our student teacher, Mr. Merrifield, has a degree in history, so it will be great for him to add his perspective to this unit.  

I hope you saw Steph Wolf’s email summarizing our D.C. fundraising opportunities. This is an amazing trip, and I know that we can all work together to make it affordable for all. Please be sure to sign up for areas to help.  

Una nota de Señora Anna- This week in Spanish, we had a quiz to demonstrate our knowledge of food vocabulary. We also learned about a food project we will be starting next week. 

And finally, please see this information below: 

Human Food Chain is Monday, November 27th  

Each year, we do a food drive for the Hope House to help stock their shelves before winter. This has always been a great tradition at Assumption. Starting this week and through November 21st, please bring non-perishable food items to the front entrance where there will be tubs to place the food. Please do not bring glass containers or beans (they have enough of these). Hope House has asked specifically for the following “open and eat” items to support a greater need in the homeless population:  

  1. tuna kits  
  1. beans and franks  
  1. fruit cups  
  1. granola bars  
  1. peanut butter crackers  
  1. individual bags of chips/cookies  
  1. fruit rolls  
  1. bottles of water  
  1. individually wrapped cookies  
  1. individual packages of beef jerky 

Have a great weekend! 



Dear Parents,

Next week we will be welcoming a student teacher to our classroom. Christopher Merrifield will be joining us for the remainder of the year. He will initially observe how I teach, then progress to teaching alongside me, and finally lead the teaching (in the spring). I will be with him the entire time and will still be your child’s teacher, but it will be a great opportunity to mentor someone who is taking up this calling. Please read the following introduction from Mr. Merrifield:

Dear Parents,

I’m thrilled to introduce myself as your child’s upcoming student teacher! My name is Christopher Merrifield, and I’m originally from Chico, California. I hold a bachelor’s degree in US History and a minor in Military Science which I obtained from UC Davis. I moved to Bellingham over 5 years ago after discovering, and subsequently falling in love with, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and specifically this wonderful town of ours! I am now in the process of pursuing my teaching certification at Seattle Pacific University.

In addition to my studies, I currently serve as an intelligence officer within the Army National Guard in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit, which has been an incredible source of inspiration for my teaching philosophy. It has instilled in me the values of teamwork, adaptability, and resilience, qualities that I am eager to pass on to the young minds I’ll have the privilege to work with.

Beyond education and my military service, I have a passion for painting miniatures, hiking, and learning more about history! I’m excited to bring my enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication to the classroom and to work alongside your child to help foster their growth and development. I’m looking forward to a rewarding partnership with you and your family during my student teaching experience at Assumption Catholic School!

Very Respectfully,
Christopher Merrifield

This week in language arts class we continued learning new vocabulary using our Latin roots. We also continued our verbs unit learning about the progressive tenses, irregular verbs, using consistent tenses, and subject/verb agreement (especially with compound nouns). We will finish this unit on Monday, then assess our learning.

The kids made headway in their Salem witch trial books and completed a variety of literature tasks associated with these books. After their first week and a half of reading in book groups, I gave them a self-evaluation sheet so that they could give me an honest assessment of how much energy and attention they think they are putting into their time together. We will look at these and other reading skills during conferences. Please remind them that a reading log is due on Monday.

We had a great All Saints Day liturgyWednesday. Your kids did a great job leading their Kindergarten buddies in this celebration. They processed in with their Kinder buddies dressed as saints and carried portraits of saints with the Mass, the saint’s name, feast day, symbol, and patronage. Fr. Moore spoke about how Jesus is the cornerstone on which we build our faith. I was excited, as this is the exact topic of one of our religion lessons this past week. I had just taught the song “Cornerstone” by Leon Patillo. I got a few glances from the kids as Father started talking about Jesus as the cornerstone, so I know they took the lesson to heart.

I will be teaching a Circle of Grace lesson this month. This lesson will replace the Virtus lesson about safety that used to be taught twice per year. I will send you a link so that you can check out the program. As always, if you do not wish for your child to receive the lesson, please let me know.

In social studies we finished learning about the Revolutionary War. We completed a timeline of the significant events during this time period. We also had many discussions that connect this chapter’s essential question “When is war justified?” to both the Revolutionary War and current conflicts. To prepare for our viewing of the musical “Hamilton” (permission slip to come – we are still a couple weeks out), we learned about the historical context of certain key songs. Kids shared their research about these contexts and we listened to these songs. It will be fun to view the whole musical with lots of background knowledge to get the full impact of its historical importance.

I hope you all received your “Take and Bake” order forms. Our D.C. fundraising volunteers are working tirelessly to provide ways for us to reduce the cost of our trip to Washington, DC. Thank you!

Have a great weekend!


© 2024 Assumption Catholic School | 2116 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: 360.733.6133 | Fax: 360.647.4372
Email: theoffice@school.assumption.org
Dashboard | Web design and development by Olywebdev.com