Language and Literature- Mr. Schaefer


6th Grade–  We are moving through The Lightning Thief and the class is really enjoying the story as it unfolds.  Their prior knowledge of mythology has helped them guess at many of the mysteries presented in the book.   There will be a quiz on what we’ve read on Wednesday.  They will have a spelling test on Unit 15 on Friday, May 8th.

 7th Grade–  The journey to get the dwarves’ gold back has gotten off to a terrible start.  The students are really getting into our discussion of The Hobbit.   There is a chance of a quiz on Thursday on what we’ve read.  They will have a spelling test on Unit 15 on Friday, May 8th.

 8th Grade–  The eighth graders are on their last unit in the grammar book.  Hopefully they will know everything they need to know about clauses before they head off to high school.  I have informed everyone who is exempt from my exam based on having above a 90 average for the first three quarters.  They will have their last spelling test ever on Unit 15 on Friday, May 8th!

Language and Literature- Mr. Maddock

6th grade Grammar and Writing– May Day!  We’ll begin the month with the traditional Festival of Prepositions.  Make sure your student has his/her costume back from the dry cleaners!

7th grade Grammar and Writing– May starts with the Short Story form, and the kids will be working on their own stories for the next  couple of weeks.

8th grade Literature and Language– This is the last month of St. Mary’s for this wonderful group of kids, and we’re going to begin it with White Fang protagonist finding his way through some gripping struggles.  See everyone at the Dinner Theatre!

Science- Mr. Short


6th grade: Last week I assigned a project where I asked the students to present a major system of the body. This is the first time I have tried this. To reduce any fears I told then it wasn’t worth many points. Despite that they did a fantastic job! The students took on the roll of teacher and ran with it. With very little guidance they brought in posters, PowerPoint, worksheets, quizzes, creative games and well rehearsed presentions.
7th grade: Next week we begin the dreaded reproduction chapter. Since we keep the in-class conversation scientific and post fertilization the students may have questions for you. Thank you for all of the field trip drivers. We actually have more than we need! I will be contacting you next week to confirm.
8th grade: We are winding their year down. They will be presenting a region of VA geology starting Monday.


Language Acquisition- Madame Rooks





No updates this week!


Language Acquisition- Senora Thompson


6th grade- We are finishing up our Unit 2 and will be having a test within the next two weeks.  At this time we are learning how to tell time in Spanish.  They should be reviewing their vocabulary and practicing telling time.  They will get a review sheet for the final exam and we will also be reviewing some in class.

7th grade- We are finishing up our Unit on the Family and will have a test within the next two weeks.  We will have a vocabulary quiz this week and a quiz on the verb “tener”.   They will be getting a review package for their final exam soon and we will also review in class.

8th grade-  We finished our Unit on travel and will have a test within the next two weeks.  They were given the last group of vocabulary words and last two verbs in our Spanish class.  Some of us had a tearful moment thinking about the end of SMS Spanish class. We’ve had some very special times together.  The final exam will be cumulative and they will receive a review package soon!


Math- Mrs. Koehler


NOTICE:   Math Lab continues to meet on Monday and Wednesday from 3:00-4:00 in the MS math room.

This is the time of year when there are many extra activities going on.  Please keep in mind the dates for assessments are tentative and subject to change.

Please review, sign, and return your student’s math interim by Monday, 5/4.

6th Grade:  The students did a fantastic job on the vocabulary stories.  I am still grading them so, my apologies, the grade is not on the interim reports.  We started Chapter 12 on measurement and have been very busy measuring our arms and feet with string while trying to estimate the dimensions of the classroom.  I am anticipating a metric/customary conversion quiz maybe on Friday, 5/8.

7th Grade:  As a result of Scantron testing and May Crowning, the Chapter 9 test was postponed.  The vocabulary quiz has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 5/6, and the chapter test to Thursday, 5/7.  The students enjoyed a rap video on the Pythagorean Theorem and then proved that the theorem really works by graphing 3 squares which formed a right triangle in the center.  Soon, we will be off to Geometry!

8th Grade:

Advanced Algebra (HS) – The students did a fantastic job on the Chapter 10 (Lessons 1-3) test on factoring.  We finished the remaining part of the chapter and there will be a test sometime next week.  I am hoping for Tuesday, 5/5, but this could move to Friday.   The test will include the vocabulary since there was very little for this chapter.  The students are busily preparing for the Dinner Theater which may possibly conflict with some of their class time.  Following this chapter, we will learn how to find roots of a quadratic using the quadratic equation.  The remaining part of the school year will be spent on radicals.

Algebra (HS) – We finished Chapter 9 with a test on which the students scored quite well. Be sure to take a look at their Communicator for the grade. We started Chapter 10 on factoring polynomials. Some students find this very challenging while others find it fairly easy to master.   It’s a bit like working a puzzle.   I am tentatively planning on a mid-chapter 10 test on Friday, 5/8.


Math- Mrs. Schiavo

We completed our unit on the study of two-dimensional Geometry by finding the area of irregular shapes.  I was impressed by the students’ keen eyes.  They quickly were able to recognize common shapes, divide the irregular figure into regular figures and find the area of each regular figure.  We will have a Chapter 10 test on Tuesday, May 5th. Then onward to polynomials.

Individuals in Societies- Mrs. Tuskey




No updates this week


Religion- Mrs. Slifka

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All Grades:

Family life lessons will continue- some grades are almost finished, others lost a class here or there due to Scantron or other interruptions, and need to continue.

The Prayer for April- May is the Hail Holy Queen.

6th and 7th grades- if you brought in a binder at the beginning of the year- we are using them now and will continue to need them next year. I have noticed that some students may have used this binder for other classes.  Please get a 1 ½-2 inch binder with pockets and dividers (at least 5-8).

6th Grade– We have reviewed study guides and our test will be Monday 5/4.  This was bumped from last week.

7th Grade

Continuing to explore maps from the time of Jesus and comparing to maps from now.  Also, learning more about the holy land now and then.  We had a wonderful visit with Father Mike and the questions they brought up were so interesting.  Quiz on Tuesday- study guide passed out Thursday April 30.

8th Grade

We continue with presentations of the various councils throughout our Church History and taking notes on the various councils.  We have continued to discuss moral ethical issues directed by the Matthew Kelly series.

I attended a Matthew Kelly seminar on Saturday 4/18 and shared that I use their dvds in my class.  I received a phone call last night from Dynamic Catholic asking me how and what we were doing.  They were very excited- so we are somewhat connected now.  I told them I would love to help develop/aid in a middle school dvd program.  This is not in their plans- but who knows?? J


 Design- Mrs. Clopton



NO updates for design.

PE- Coach Spicer




The 6th grade has begun to improve their backhand and forehand throws.  They have just started to play small-sided games of Ultimate Frisbee, integrating the rules and spirit of the game.

The 7th grade has done well with the basic throws and defensive strategies used in Ultimate Frisbee.  They have started to self-officiate the games, as is tradition with this sport; it has been impressive to see the students settle disputes and make fair judgment calls.

The 8th grade has moved quickly reviewing the rules of Ultimate Frisbee, as well as the backhand and forehand throws.  They have focused on ways to work with their classmates on the best strategies to move the Frisbee down the field.  They have been making progress with their passing efficiency.

Music- Mrs. Taylor



6th grade:  Congratulate your 6th graders for their work during Spring Sing!  They were excellent role models for the younger kids.



8th grade: The Dinner Theater production date has been set as Wed. May 6th at 6-8:30pm—PLEASE SAVE THE DATE you will not want to miss this culminating event. Each student has a unique and specific role to play within the production. We try to have all production elements, as well as rehearsal happen during school time (busy after school schedules for all involved). Thank you for your support of this project.  See you all on Wednesday night!

Art- Mrs. Dunham


Thank you for your help making this year’s Art Show a success!

No updates this week