Dear Parents,

We survived this cold day but continue to pray for those who don’t have shelter, adequate clothing, or food today and through the weekend.

We completed an adjectives and a Latin unit and took tests on both. Please always ask your child to see their completed work on weekends. Another good idea, especially this close to the end of the semester (last day January 26th), is to sit down with your child and look at FACTS for any low grades or missing work. If it is within the two-week deadline, I always allow kids to re-do or make up missing work.

In literature we continue to read through Lord of the Flies. This is a challenging book and I spend a good amount of time reading aloud in class so that we can discuss what is happening and have a better understanding of literary elements like themes and symbolism. Some kids are still having trouble understanding the book. If this is the case for your child, you might consider doing some reading aloud at home. While this is a higher-level text, it is so rich in topics that tie to other subjects we are studying (abuse of power, bullying, nature of humans, and good versus evil), that I find it worth the challenge. I told the kids (and it was in last week’s parent letter) that they need to have one of their January book reports done by January 24th so that I can include it in this semester’s grades. The second book report is due on Wednesday, January 31st. Some kids are still not turning in their reading logs on Mondays. Please remind them of this so that they can get full credit.

We spent some religion time understanding bullying and harassment. We talked a lot about what motivates people to bully others and how important it is to report it. I also emphasized that reporting should never take on the term “snitching”, because it is not meant to get someone into trouble but out of trouble. Reporting helps protect the victim and also gets help for the bully (who is probably suffering in some way him/herself). Remember that we will have our Friday Mass next week at 10:30 rather than 8:20 so that we can honor our former principal, Bill Attebury. This will be his funeral Mass.  

You should have seen and returned the permission slip for your child to view “Hamilton”. I am still missing about half the class, so please be sure and return it next week. We have reached the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and are learning about the Bill of Rights (first ten) and other amendments to the Constitution. We talked a lot about citizens’ rights and responsibilities, and we all agree that if we have rights, we need to be responsible. The more we study the way our government was put together by our Founding Fathers, the more we realize how smart they were and how logical the system is.

We started working on our Legacy Projects in class this week by discussing what a legacy is and why it’s important. The kids used the notes they took from that conversation and wrote what will become the introduction to their ten-page biography about a relative. I will look at these paragraphs over the weekend and return them on Wednesday (don’t forget that we have both Monday and Tuesday with no school). They should be working on creating a family tree, finding or designing a family crest, and choosing a relative (grandparent, granduncle/aunt/cousin, or older). If they have decided on a relative, they should start finding as much as they can about that person in whatever ways possible. I had the kids create a Legacy Project folder on their desktops so that they have all the information, writing, links to resources, etc. gathered in one place.

Other News:


Una nota de Señora Anna- This week in Spanish, we practiced using family words in context and learned adjectives to describe our family members. We practiced the vocabulary with a game of adivina quién (Guess Who)! There will be a family and adjective quiz next Friday.

Advanced Orchestra: This week in orchestra we are…

  • Reviewing music we have learned so far this year
  • Beginning the learning of new music: Impulse and Appalachian Hymn
  • Focusing on bowing technique 

“Students in the ACS Band reviewed “Ode to Joy” in their “Measures of Success” Book, and discussed the ways in which band instruments, and the way they are played, emulate the human voice. We also reviewed music theory concepts in preparation for our end-of-semester music theory test.”

Have a warm weekend!


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