***Special Note on Uniforms***

Dear Families,

While we understand the school year is coming to a close, we need special attention paid to uniforms.  Skirt and shorts length, haircuts, and clean uniforms are simple expectations we have.  Unannounced uniform checks should be coming soon.

Thank you,

Middle School Team



Language and Literature- Mr. Schaefer



6th Grade Literature and Vocab–  Our study of The Giver has concluded and the children provided amazing discussion.  Since the book has an ambiguous ending, each student penned his or her own ending.  I look forward to reading how each of them chooses to end the book.  Next we will be covering mythology.  Every student needs to have his or her own copy of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  Please have this book at school when we come back from Easter vacation.

 7th Grade Literature and Vocab–  The seventh grade continue our trip to Amsterdam in the 1940s .  We have almost finished Anne Frank:  Diary of a Young Girl.  Each student had an opportunity to visit the Secret Annexe online one day in class through the virtual tour on the Anne Frank House website.  I encourage you to visit this website with your son or daughter.  We will do this one more time after we finish the book.  Every student needs to have his or her own copy of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Please have this book at school when we come back from Easter vacation.

 8th Grade Grammar and Vocab–  Now that we are done with pronouns we have moved into the fantastic world of phrases.  It’s so exciting that I need not say anymore!

Language and Literature- Mr. Maddock

6th Grade Grammar and Writing— The 6th graders will be working on personal narratives, due Friday the 18th, and so should be busy mining memories for something interesting to relate.  After that we’ll turn our attention to Pronouns. Pronoun errors account for the majority of 6th grade grammatical accidents- some of which are quite debilitating, socially. If they begin to correct your usage around the dinner table, they deserve an extra dessert!

7th Grade Grammar and Writing— It’s March now, and time for the annual Festival of Prepositions! We’ll be sharing our own family prepositional phrase-related traditions and customs, so make sure you speak to your student about those! We’ll also be discussing the work they’re undertaking on their 7th grade research papers.

8th Grade Literature and Writing— We’ll finish Treasure Island, and live to tell about it.  The kids will have a chance to write about some aspects of the novel using some of the literary terms they’ve been brandishing lately; then we’ll turn our attention to a couple of modern short stories to see if the same terms apply there.

Science- Mr. Short


6th Grade will be presenting their fantastic Science fair projects starting Monday.  The Science Fair night is Wednesday March 23rd from 6:30-7:30. After Easter break we will begin learning about  macro Biology.

7th Grade is discovering the exciting world of Chemistry. They been investigation various chemical reactions and learning about the period table of elements. For the next 2 weeks they will be learning about chemical bonds and balancing chemical equations. 7th graders are NOT going to the science fair this year.

8th Grade will be presenting their fantastic Science fair projects starting Monday.  The Science Fair night is Wednesday March 23rd from 6:30-7:30. After Easter break we will begin learning about  astronomy.


Language Acquisition- Madame Rooks


A big MERCI to everyone for remembering and making my leap year birthday very special !

6th grade:  Students are finishing up learning how to talk about health and what to tell the doctor if needed when in a French speaking country.   We will begin adding clothing to this unit of study.  Congratulations to all students for participating in the National French Contest!  Results will be available in the Spring.

7th grade:  The students did a wonderful job making power points and iMovies about France and conjugating regular –er verbs.  They are all very talented.  We will finish our unit on comparing daily activities before and after school in French speaking countries with the U.S.A. before Easter vacation.  This Monday and Tuesday, all 7th graders will be participating in the National French Contest, in class.

8th grade:  Your students have done a beautiful job learning all the skills they  need to travel by air to France or a French speaking country.  When they one day go to a Francophone country, the will be ready. Train travel is up next.

Monday and Tuesday, March 14th and 15th, all 8th graders will participate, in class, in the National French Contest.  On Friday, March 18th a new movie of Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince, is to be released in movie theatres.  But, don’t go that night because we have the Fish Fry!  And, please send in your field trip forms by March 18th.  Merci!


Mme Rooks

Language Acquisition- Senora Thompson


6th grade– We are almost finished with our first High School unit and the students are soaking in all the new vocabulary and sentence structures.  They can talk and write about themselves and others. They will have their first test next week and I know they are going to do great.  We were observed in one of the classes this week and students were wonderful.  It is such an honor sharing my love of the Spanish language with them.

7th grade– We are finishing up our Unit 5 on foods and practicing for the National Spanish Exam contest.  They will take the National Spanish Exam next Wednesday (vocabulary and grammar) and Thursday(reading and listening). They are working so hard and so many of them are coming in for extra practice.  I know they will rewarded for all their efforts.  Even if it’s just having a new website to practice Spanish, it has been well worth it.  We will have to review verbs and grammatical structures before we have the Unit 5 test in two weeks.

8th grade–  We just finished up Unit 9 and are learning how to write paragraphs in the preterite tense.  They are writing so beautifully in Spanish.  They never cease to amaze me!  Just when I think a concept will be too difficult for them, they meet and exceed my expectations.   They have also been working just as hard as the seventh grade (or maybe even more) practicing for the National Spanish Exam.  They will be taking the test next Wednesday (vocabulary and grammar) and Thursday (reading and comprehension).  I’m sure their scores will amaze us!

¡Hasta luego!

Math- Mrs. Dyer


The middle school students are very fortunate to have a valuable resource available to them.  The Math Lab is open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons in the Math classroom from dismissal until 4:00 pm.  Mrs. Dyer is encouraging all students to take advantage of this opportunity.  Parish volunteers have agreed to work with any middle school student who would like extra help with Math.  Please encourage your child to stop in whenever they feel the need!  Get help with homework, prepare for an upcoming quiz or test, catch up on work from an absence, conquer a concept that is a challenge, or make up an assignment to earn back homework points.  A St. Mary’s graduate, a former St. Mary’s mom and a St. Mary’s granddad are here to help.

Also, the math room and the hallway looks amazing with all of the Pi decorations!

Math- Mrs. Schiavo


Functions, what are they are what are they good for, have been occupying our time in Mathematics class.  Input, Relationship, Output, graphs, intercepts, slopes, domains, ranges and direct variation are a few of our favorite topics in this unit.  The students have been working hard graphing linear functions given various characteristics of the equation.  And of course, we used our knowledge of functions and their graphs to solve a favorite topic (not) real-world applications.

Algebra 1

We are graphing, factoring, looking at the zeroes of the equation and will complete the square as well as use the quadratic formula to solve QUADRATIC EQUATIONS.  Yes, Quadratic equations is the focus of our work this month.  Last year this topic was briefly introduced and the students struggled with factoring.   One year later of mathematical maturity, I am pleased to observe that they “get it” and have expressed how easy this section is. Also, the graphing calculator plays an important role in this chapter.  After the students have mastered the ability to manipulate the objectives of each section, we reexamine these objectives using the graphing calculator.  Why?  It challenges students to work out mathematical problems by visualizing them. They are then able to explore concepts and make connections to real-world mathematical situations.

Individuals and Societies- Mrs. Tuskey




6th Grade:

What was it like to be the first president of the United States? What precedents did President Washington establish?  How did the Washington Administration address the national debt and why are we in debt today? The sixth grade students have been exploring the answers to these questions and will be ready to show off their knowledge on the topics late next week on a test. They will then look at the highlights of the Adams and Jefferson administrations before Easter break. When they return to school it’s time to study James Madison’s presidency.

7th Grade:

The students will start the week with a test on WWII followed by a look at post war Europe and the Marshall Plan. From there it’s on to the Cold War. After they return from Easter break the 7th graders will study some of the historical highlights of the 1960’s through today as preliminary work for their research paper. More on that in the next newsletter! Please note that your child will be bringing home a permission slip for our April 8th field trip to the Virginia War Memorial. The signed form is due to me by Friday, March 18th.

8th Grade:

The 8th graders will continue their study of early and medieval African and Asian kingdoms and empires through the first full week of April, minus Easter break of course. Then they will explore the Byzantine Empire, also known as the other half of the Roman Empire. We will continue to discuss the presidential primaries as the election results are announced. Your children love talking politics!

Religion- Mrs. Slifka

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    • All grades:  If your child has not completed the Jesus Journal be certain to remind them that this will be a 4th quarter grade. I will be bringing this up in class as well.
    • The (in school) Net Retreat that we had today was loved by the children, (as usual). The focus was on HOPE- Please ask your child what they loved about it.

     Rice Bowls- If your family has chosen to help with this, please start passing in the change.  It will be much easier for us to count/bundle it all.  Here are some conversation starters to help focus on helping others:

    How are we called to bring God into our community?

    Where can we allow God to speak through us?

    As members of God’s family, do we recognize and live out our unique roles?

    Who has God put in our lives to help us grow?  Who are we called to help?


    • We are studying the Beatitudes and the Apostles Creed in class.  We are creating visual presentations like poster.



    • We are studying the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirits and they presentations are incredible.  Be sure to ask your child to see theirs.



    • We will take the ACRE test next week- to assess knowledge and perceptions of their catholic education.   We continue to use various forms of prayer and guided meditations.  We have been reviewing the Councils of the Church and the High Middle Ages.  Lots of great discussions here.


Design- Ms. Oliver


6th graders are completing their design cycle project on being a responsible digital citizen.

7th graders continue to learn Scratch and apply their creative talents to make their Scratch sprites come to life. Eventually the students will create a game to play on the computer.

8th graders are working on their community projects.

Music- Mrs. Taylor


6th grade will be attending “Music in America” by Richmond Symphony presented at Richmond’s Center Stage on Wed. March 16th. We have discussed concert etiquette and the music and composers featured in the program. Our students are working on material that will be presented in this year’s Spring Sing which will be held here in the church on Fri. April 29th at 11:30am. Please save the date!

8th grade recently finished their World Music Reports and we have begun work on their culminating project. The date of their production has been set for Thursday May 19th 7pm. Save the date, you won’t want to miss this show presented by this year’s graduating class.