7th Grade Newsletter

December 21, 2018

Hello all,

Merry Christmas, and a happy new year!  We enjoyed our holiday party with the kids and they seemed to have a good time as well. Thanks to our volunteers for for the food sent in – we are grateful.

January 7th is Free Dress Food Drive. 7th grade is responsible for bringing in Bisquick and syrup. All donations are appreciated.

As promised, here are our curriculum blurbs.

In English Language Arts, students are focussing on intermediate poetry concepts, including forms like the major sonnets as well as the use of devices like meter and rhyme scheme. Students present their understanding of these concepts in culminating explication for a pre-1900 poem they selected. Next, we will review some parts of speech and begin reviewing sentence problems before starting Robinson Crusoe, with which we discuss the privilege of the narrators’ and their ties to cultural privilege.

In Social Studies, we continue studying the medieval civilizations of Asia, ending with Japan and India. We will finally study medieval Europe before transitioning to Washington State history. Students continue to exercise extensive primary source analysis in this class.

In Math, we continue to investigate how to build and evaluate expressions. Upon returning from break, we will expand our algebraic understanding to include building and solving equations.

In Spanish, we continue reading Esperanza, or “Hope,” a story that helps build our understanding of central American migrant culture and Spanish literacy.

In Art, students are currently working on advent candles. Upon returning from break, student will work on investigating three dimensional drawing with “Ribbon Mania,” a celebration of the new year.

In Religion, we are working in teams studying four saints: Teresa of Avila, Blessed Julian of Norwich, Saint Jerome, and Saint Paul and presenting their research in an interactive talk show format.

In Science, connections between igneous rocks and Earth events such as volcanoes and earthquakes are now our focus and will be upon our return as well.  We are nearing the end of our studies of Earth History and should wrap that up by the end of January. We will then move onto a study of Weather & Water, especially how those events shape and impact the Earth.

Upcoming Dates:

1/7 School resumes, Free Dress Food Drive (Bisquick and syrup)

1/11 Ski Bus begins

1/21 MLK Day, No school, no extended care

Enjoy the break!

Mitch and Tia

December 14, 2018

Hello families,

Only one week left to go until the holidays!

Today report cards were sent home electronically via Alma.

If you are leaving early for the holiday break, please fill out a preplanned absence form and turn it into the office as well as let your homeroom teacher know.  We do have regular classes right up through 3rd period on that last day of school (12/21) so if your child will be gone, they need to plan accordingly.

Today, we explained to our students the guidelines for our class gift exchange. We will be doing an optional gift exchange. Students are expected to bring a cool knick-knack or neat item in the range of $5-10 dollars, and we will exchange by drawing numbers.

Next week, we will include a curriculum summary to give you a heads up about what we will be covering as we return from break.

A note from Mrs. Conklin:

As we head into the last week before break, please continue to be mindful of our drop-off/pick-up procedures, parking, and traffic.  I’ve had multiple pictures sent in the last week of parent cars parked illegally and blocking neighbor’s driveways, reports of speeding, and picking up/dropping off in unapproved areas.  This is a safety issue and an issue of respect to the neighborhood.  Please be mindful and remember how it affects others when these procedures are not followed correctly.  Thank you for your attention to this.

See this link for information about an upcoming Children’s Film Festival.

Upcoming dates:

12/14 Report Cards Available via email

12/21 Christmas Break begins following noon dismissal

1/7 School Resumes


Mitch and Tia

December 7, 2018

Hello Families,

What an excellent wrap up to the week–two quizzes behind students as they walk into the weekend. Woohoo!

Today is the end of the trimester. Report cards will be available on Friday and shared electronically.

If you are leaving early for the holiday break, please fill out a preplanned absence form and turn it into the office as well as let your homeroom teacher know.  We do have regular classes right up through 3rd period on that last day of school (12/21) so if your child will be gone, they need to plan accordingly.

Upcoming Dates:

12/13 Christmas Concert 7 pm at St. Bridget

12/14 Report Cards Available via email

12/21 Christmas Break begins following noon dismissal

1/7 School Resumes

Tomorrow is the auction. Hope to see many of you there!

Mitch and Tia

November 30, 2018

Hello families,

What a week! It was great to see all these students after the break. We continue to be impressed with how diligent they are in transitioning back into school. We hope you had a great break.

Free dress food drive is Monday.  Please remind your child that sweats are not allowed on free dress days.  Some wild socks have been coming to school recently as well. Socks are to be red, white, or navy with minimal markings or the school Bulldog socks.  Please help enforce uniform standards at home so we can focus on instruction. See the Uniform Code on our website for more information.

Midterm is net Friday, December 7. Please encourage your child to check in on ALMA to make up any missing assignments. Report cards will be available electronically on the 14th.

We will not be doing a secret Santa at school – we will do a minor gift exchange at our class party on Dec. 21 (details to come).  In the spirit of inclusion, we are asking the kids not to start a secret Santa at school on their own.

7th grade Christmas giving will be to the Tri-Parish Food Bank in Burlington.  Details are in the Sign-Up Genius email you should have received Wednesday from Amy Corcoran earlier this week.  (Thank you for organizing, Amy!) Contact her if you did not get this email and would like to take part.

The auction is upcoming on December 8th. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Upcoming Dates

12/2 Start of Advent

12/3 Free Dress Food Drive – Instant Potato and Rice side dishes

12/7 End of Trimester I

12/8 ASB Auction

12/13 Christmas Concert 7 pm at St. Bridget

12/14 Report Cards Available via email

Enjoy the weekend,

Mitch and Tia

November 9, 2018

Happy Friday, 7th Grade Families!

The cold the last few days makes it feel like we are leaping from fall into winter!  The class has been busy and productive this week – a good follow up to conferences.

November is always such a fast month – remind the kids to be on top of academics so they finish the term strong.  Our homework page is almost always pretty accurate but if there is an absence this month, remember that there is a lot of learning in classes that also needs to be made up.  Students should email or meet with teachers about missed work and follow up when they return to school.

Please see the attached preview of the girl/boy class black and white pictures that are on sale for the auction.  You can purchase them through the link below.


Remember that the 7th grade wine glass project is also on sale – orders are due Nov. 13. Those are an order item through the Google form sent you by email from Amy Corcoran.  Contact her if you did not get it.

Consider supporting our middle school actors and get into the holiday spirit by attending the play!  The show runs from Th 11/15 to Sunday 11/18. Tickets can be purchased at:


Remember that Monday is a No School day in observance of Veterans Day.

Have a great three-day weekend!

Tia & Mitch

November 2, 2018

Hello families,

We enjoyed seeing so many of you during conferences. We highly value your commitment to educating the whole child.

Next Monday is Free Dress Food Drive. 7th grade is responsible for bringing ramen and Cup O’ Noodle. All donations, of course, are appreciated.

Please keep in mind that November is the last full month of the trimester – end of trimester is December 7.  Help support your children finish strong by returning to recommendations from conferences and your child’s goal sheet..

See below for an event opportunity regarding athleticism:

“Bishop Blanchet teacher and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Brett Hecko partnered with our new Feminism Club to recruit women who have been successful in all areas of athletics to come and speak to our students. As a father of a current Blanchet female athlete, Mr. Hecko has watched the opportunities and limitations his daughter has experienced. His daughter’s experience had differed greatly from his, a male collegiate basketball athlete. Mr. Hecko sought to change the narrative and speak to not only young women, but young men as well. We welcome all students and families to join us in our newest facilities, The Norcliffe Student Commons in our inaugural series. All are welcome! See below for more details!

The BBHS Athletic Department and the Feminism Club invite you to the Norcliffe Student Commons at 4:30 on Monday, November 5 to hear the first speaker in our “Women in Athletics” series. Our guest is Michelle Augustavo-Fisher, BBHS class of 2004 and current Assistant Basketball Coach at UW. Admission is free.”

Upcoming dates:

Monday 11/5 ` Free Dress Food drive (7th Graders bring ramen and Cup O’Noodle)

Monday 11/12 Veterans Day – No School

Thursday 11/15 – 17 Fall Play: A Christmas Carol

Wednesday 11/21 Grandparents Day

Thursday 11/22-23 Thanksgiving Break

Have a great weekend – enjoy the extra hour!


Mitch and Tia

October 26, 2018

Hello families,

With Halloween right around the corner, students are excited for next week. Given the cold and foggy weather this week, it’s clear autumn is officially here.

Alma gradebooks have been updated this week and are currently up to date. Please review the gradebook with your child before conferences.

Conferences are next week. Conferences are student led, so they should accompany their parents. Parents are encouraged to contact their homeroom teacher with whom they plan to meet and when they plan to attend. That way, teachers can give parents a heads up if a time slot is very busy.    Specialists are available for conferences and will be set up in the old 5B classroom.

Conferences occur in the following windows:

WEDNESDAY, October 31

THURSDAY, November 1

FRIDAY, November 2

Halloween is also next week. Students may dress up for the occasion, but some rules must be followed.

  • Students cannot have covered faces.

  • Student costume must be appropriate to the Catholic school environment. No weapons, face paint, drug/alcohol content, or too revealing clothes are allowed.

  • Students must have shoes that can be worn on the playground, be able to use the bathroom in their costumes, and be warm enough outside.

Messages from administration:

Remember to bring a few dollars in cash to the Halloween Carnival on Sunday, for the chance to win the giant teddy bears and to enter the raffle. These are the only activities at the event that require cash! So tell your parents, and see you Sunday at 4pm at St. Bridget’s.

Also, the winners of the door decorating contest will be announced at the Halloween spirit assembly on Monday. Great work, everyone!

Upcoming Dates to Note:

Tuesday 10/30 All Saints’ Day, Mass Uniform

Wednesday 10/31 Noon dismiss/conferences

Thursday 11/1   MASS UNIFORM for All Saints Day; noon dismiss/conferences

Friday 11/2   9:30 start; noon dismiss/conferences

Monday 11/5 ` Free Dress Food drive (7th Graders bring ramen and Cup o’Noodle)

Monday 11/12 Veteran’s Day

Looking forward to the weekend!

Mitch & Tia

October 19, 2018

Hello families,

Retreat was an enjoyable opportunity for teachers and students alike. Students were excellent in investing themselves in the activities. We are back at it now, and students have transitioned well.  We hope that some of the personal skills we worked on out at retreat continue to carry over to our day to day lives back here at school.

MAP test scores will be coming home today with your child.  Please ask to see them if they do not offer them. Questions can be addressed at conferences.

Conferences, as described in the email sent Wednesday, are upcoming. Conferences are student led, so they should accompany their parents. Parents are encouraged to contact their homeroom teacher with whom they plan to meet and when they plan to attend. That way, teachers can give parents a heads up if a time slot is very busy.

Conferences occur in the following windows:

WEDNESDAY, October 31

THURSDAY, November 1

FRIDAY, November 2

As we near midterm, we’ve included here brief curriculum descriptions for current units in each subject area.

In ELA, we are reading and responding to The Outsiders with both narrative and argumentative writing. Students engage the text with artistic projects and group discussions. Students read the text to understand the importance of own voice stories from marginalized communities as well as recognize how stories are valuable ways we engage empathy.

In Social Studies, we are learning about Medieval societies in Africa including the Bantu people, Mali Empire, and the trading center of Aksum. Students will right a brief research paper on a skilled worker to recognize how skills can operate as commodities. Students are also practicing sourcing, close reading, and corroborating primary sources.

In Science, we’ve just begun our new unit on deposition after a test this past Tuesday on weathering & erosion.  This unit should take us about two weeks with a test over it on 10/30 (if we stay on track). While the kids are doing a great job, a bit more time studying vocabulary regularly will help build knowledge for long term recall and use.  They have the definitions in their glossary and I create Quizlets for each unit. 5 minutes several times a week will beat out cramming everytime and we use the vocabulary as we move forward so really taking the time to know and understand the vocabulary will build success.  

In Religion, the students are working on an in-class group project called the “Fountain of Truth” where students are looking at the influence of scripture and tradition (church teachings, documents, prayers, and practices) on understanding the truth.

In Math, students are applying their familiarity of the number system to include fractions. Students are using concepts about positive and negative numbers in the context of fractions. Students continue to build familiarity with the order of operations.

In Spanish, students took quizzes on conjugating verbs the last 2 weeks.  They are all progressing towards mastery; if they have not yet shown proficiency and are confused about this topic, I expect them to set up a time to meet with me.  We will continue to assess on this topic throughout the year to assure it is committed to long term memory as it is a major grammar concept. We are starting How to Tell Time next week, and starting to read our novel, Esperanza, after conferences.  Esperanza is set in Guatemala, so if anyone has any experiences from Guatemala that you’d like to share with your children or the class, I’d love for them to hear multiple personal experiences!

In Music, students are using MixCraft to combine rhythms and tones to create applicable soundtracks to media they encounter in our lives, like movies and video games.

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday 10/24   Unity Day/Bullying Prevention  Wear orange!

Thursday 10/25   ASB Open House **7th grade tour guides wear full uniform please (they
know who they are)

Friday 10/26   Midterm reporting – Please sign onto ALMA and look at both standards &
traditional gradebooks for all classes

Wednesday 10/31 Noon dismiss/conferences

Thursday 11/1   MASS UNIFORM for All Saints Day; noon dismiss/conferences

Friday 11/2   9:30 start; noon dismiss/conferences

It looks like the nice weather will continue to go into the weekend.  Hope you all get a chance to enjoy it!

Mitch & Tia

October 4, 2018

Dear Seventh Grade Families –

What a full, busy, and productive week it has been!  We are truly into 7th grade work and the kids are working hard.  Excitement for the first dance is mounting as is anticipation for retreat next week.  Be sure to see the attachment to this email with details about retreat. The kids were give a hard copy of this on Wednesday.

Speaking of retreat, we missed getting the CYO behavior contract out earlier this week so the turn around on that will be very short.  The kids were given the sheet today – please take some time to read it and have both you and your child sign it this weekend. We’d like these back on Monday.  

Medications for retreat must come in with explicit written instructions and your signature.  Please try to hand these off adult to adult here at school. On Tuesday with the boys, that will be with Mr. Hostetter; for the girls on Wednesday, that will be Mr. Steve Dougherty.

Reminder that both Mrs. Birmingham and Mr. Hostetter will be at retreat all three days so if you have messages for the girls or the boys on their day having classes, those will need to go through the office to our sub.

Finally, a message from the principal:

An update on the retreat incident from Kathleen Conklin:  Officer Larry Cole from the Snohomish County Special Investigation Unit has been assigned to the case.  I spoke with Officer Cole this morning. He told me the following:

  • The individual in the incident was released on his own recognizance.  This basically means he was released while further investigation occurs and there are stipulations in place regarding where he can be and what he can do.  He is not allowed on CYO campuses or our school campus.
  • The charges have not been dropped, the prosecutor wants more information before going back to court.  The prosecutor is planning on contacting families of the girls involved.
  • Families are welcome to contact Officer Cole at his desk number, 425-388-6388

Upcoming Dates to Note:

10/9-10/10   7th Grade Boys Retreat

10/10-10/11 7th Grade Girls Retreat

10/12 Archdiocesan In-Service: No School/No Extended Care

10/16   Picture Day – Individual Photos (Free Dress)

10/19   Midterm

Have a great weekend!

Tia & Mitch

September 28, 2018

Hello families,

At this point in the year, we transition from welcoming back to pressing onward. We are in for the long haul, now, and we are so impressed with how your children are taking ownership of their responsibilities of seventh grade. Well done!

Retreat is right around the corner! We need all parents to complete their part in contributing palancas. These are essential to making the retreat successful. They are due on October 4th, the Thursday before retreat but we would love them earlier!  We need to sort and pack them away. Please mail them or drop them off at the office. If you must send them in with a student, send them in a very discreet envelope with their homeroom teacher’s name written on it.

We still need drivers who are willing to drive to Camp Don Bosco and prepare by being compliant with an a) updated driver insurance form, b) background check, and c) VIRTUS training. We can’t do it without you! The SignUp Genius is here. Boys are driven on October 9th and 10th, while girls are driven on the 10th and 11th.

Next week we have our free dress food drive. 7th grade is responsible for rice and or potato side dishes. Of course, all donations will be accepted.

There will be a high school information night on Tuesday, October 2 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.A general session in gym will be followed by individual school presentations. Blanchet, O’Dea, Holy Names, Seattle Prep, Archbishop Murphy, Eastside, Kennedy and Forest Ridge will be present.

As part of an ongoing effort to prevent child sexual abuse, ASB will be teaching the Seattle Archdiocesan curriculum Touching Safety during the month of October. Each student, grades K-8, will receive one age-appropriate lesson regarding personal safety within the context of their religion instruction. If you would like more information, you can review the attached Protecting God’s Children Guide. All ASB students will be automatically included in this lesson. If you do not want to take advantage of this opportunity for your child, please return the attached Opt-Out Letter to me by Friday, October 5th and we will arrange for your child to be out of the classroom during the lesson. Thank you!

Upcoming Dates

10/1 Free Dress Food Drive

10/2 Science MAP test

10/9 -10/10 Boy’s retreat

10/10 – 10/11 Girl’s retreat

10/12 No School (staff in-service)

10/16 Picture day (free dress)

To close, I, Mr. Hostetter, wanted to express my gratitude for your students dedication early on.  We completed a unit project mimicking a Constantinople market, and the seventh graders this year outperformed others. They were dedicated to learning and engaging fun, which made the project worthwhile to its fullest potential. Encourage them to keep it up!


Mitch and Tia

September 14, 2018

Hello families,

We had a good second week. It is clear that students are getting back into the swing of things–academically and socially. We’ve already covered so much.

Retreat is coming up. A sign up (likely through SignUp Genius) will be circulating soon asking for volunteer drivers. Consider driving boys on October 9th or 10th and girls on October 10th or 11th. It would be greatly appreciated. Remember that each year, you must turn in new driver insurance paperwork for the office and VIRTUS and background checks must be up-to-date.

Fall play auditions, callbacks, and practices continue. If your child is involved, please support them by encouraging them to manage assignments and plan ahead. A helpful link for you to bookmark:


MAP testing begins next week. Please try to schedule appointments outside testing hours. The schedule is as follows:


Sept 18




Sept 20




Sept 25




Oct 2



Help support your child by helping them get to sleep on time and eat breakfast.

We’ve got a private 7th grade Instagram account to share pics of our learning.  Follow it at @SeventhGradeASB if you desire. We will not follow you back (or your kids), your kids can follow if they do that kind of thing (not required), and no important information will be shared there that we won’t with you by email.

Upcoming Dates:

9.18 – 10.2 MAP Testing

9.19 Curriculum night, 7pm

9.23 7th leads parish Masses

10.9 – 10.11 Retreat (Boys 10/9-10/10, Girls 10/10-10/11)  Details to come…

10.12 No school, scheduled in-service

Have a great weekend. Go Bulldogs!


Mitch and Tia

September 7, 2018

Hello families,

It was a great first week! It is clear that the students are ready and prepared to begin seventh grade, a big step regarding organization, self direction, and academic rigor. We are excited for the great year that’s reflected so early on.

Please remember that students should not be dropped off prior to 8:20am. At 8:20, doors are open and students can come in, unpack, and get ready. However beforehand, the students are unsupervised, lending a significant safety risk. Thanks for your consideration!

Student Leadership Team is ready for an awesome year! We have an awesome core team made up of eight 7th & 8th graders, and we need to find our classroom reps! By September 17, each classroom (grades 4-8) will elect one representative to join the SLT for the 2018-19 school year.

Classroom Rep duties include:

  • Raise the flag every morning (2-4 times/month)

  • Organize the Free Dress Food Drive donations (1 time/month)

  • Participate in occasional SLT meetings (during lunch recess 2-4 times/year)

  • Bring ideas and suggestions to SLT

  • Communicate SLT activities/events back to their respective classrooms

Please consider joining the SLT and gaining valuable leadership skills! Our class elections will be held Friday, 9/14.

For Free Dress/Food Drive days:  The Pantry can always use Kleenex, Paper towels, Toothpaste, Deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies! None of these items can be purchased with food stamps. 7th graders are in charge this week for bringing cereal and oatmeal.

Dances!  7th graders get to attend neighboring school dances this year if they are interested in that.  Please refer to dance permission slips when they come home for guidelines and rules. The dates this year are:

September 28 – St. Catherine

October 5 – Blanchet

November 16 – St. John

January 11 – St. Matthew

March 1 – ASB

May 3 – Our Lady of the Lake

These are subject to change due to other schools’ schedules and there are no dances during Lent.

Upcoming dates:

Monday 9/10 Free Dress Food Drive (7th grade Boxed Cereal or Oatmeal)

Wednesday 9/19 Curriculum night 7pm (Bring parent summer homework with you!  Don’t know what this is? Email homeroom teacher)

Enjoy the weekend. Hope to catch some Bulldog games this Saturday.


Mitch and Tia