March 1-5, 2021:

Hello 7th and 8th graders and families:

Welcome to the final week of the second trimester of the oddest school year any of us have ever seen. I’ve enjoyed seeing many of you for in-person instruction in my highly ventilated classroom.  Here are some things to keep in mind as the second trimester comes to a close on Friday:

  • The full, completed inquiry projects are coming due soon; the first presentations are scheduled for March 16. The signup for these presentations will be posted on Teams science pages at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 3. We’ll discuss this further in class.
  • If you have missing work, especially a missing research paper, please submit it no later than 4:00 PM on Thursday, March 4.
  • Everyone has checkpoint quizzes in science and algebra 1 on Friday, March 5. These quizzes will be your last assignments of the second trimester. Unlike as with other assignments, where I’m mildly tolerant of late turn-ins, quizzes have a hard deadline: 3:00 PM on Friday. If you forget to submit, or, Heaven forbid, to even take this quiz, it’s on you. If you subject yourself to this unfortunate minor stumble, treat it as a learning experience, not as an opportunity to send me a series of negotiation/excuse emails throughout the following weekend…

Once again, I’m happy to see many of you in person again, and look forward to seeing you again this week.

Yours in Christ,


Week of February 22, 2021

Hello 7th/8th grade students and families:

Welcome to the end of the first week of Lent; I hope you can find some time to use this time of reflection. I don’t know about you, but after this last year, I have quite a few things to think about….

Here are some things to keep in mind this week:

  • There will be checkpoint quizzes on Friday in 7th and 8th grade science and in algebra 1.
  • On March 10 or 11, depending on when you are on campus, be prepared to discuss your progress on your inquiry project in front of me and your classmates. This is totally informal and ungraded, but think about what you will say before the date arrives.
  • Inquiry presentations begin on March 16. A signup form will be posted early next week.

Have a nice week,

Sven Tice

Week of February 15, 2021

Happy Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday / Carnival / Pancake Tuesday / end of midwinter break to you all! Whether you frolicked in the snow, enjoyed it from a cozy distance, or avoided it altogether by getting out of town, we hope you were able to find time for rest and relaxation over the long weekend.
As we return to the classroom, it’s important to make decisions for the common good. Thank you to the families who informed us of your travel and subsequent quarantine plans! If your child is in the hybrid learning modality (two days on campus, three days online), please review, and abide by, the traveling and quarantine expectations set out by the school administration.

If you travel outside the state, you must quarantine. Though the CDC has issued new guidance on the number of days to quarantine following travel, the school will continue to use the standard set by our Governor and Public Health – Seattle & King County:  a 14-day quarantine after out-of-state travel.  Under special circumstances, a 10-day quarantine or a 7- day quarantine with a negative test may be considered.

If you were part of large gatherings over the long weekend, or in close contact with people outside of your usual bubble, please take extra precautions before returning to school – check for symptoms of illness, monitor communication for signs of illness from others at the gathering(s), and keep your children home if anyone in your household is sick.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out!

News, Events, and Expectations:

  • Wednesday, February 17th – Ash Wednesday

    • Prayer service available via the parish Facebook page


 Tips, Tricks, and Tools:

  • Confused? Review information and ask questions.
    • While this tip might seem obvious (and a throwback to an earlier update😎), it is still an important one to review…and use.
    • Given the amount of information we receive on a daily basis, it is easy to miss something. Despite the fact that it happens to all of us, many people, students and grown-ups alike, still feel ashamed, embarrassed, or angry when they find themself in this situation. And, as you may have experienced for yourself, staying stuck in those emotions rarely leads to meaningful learning or enlightenment and often ends up making a bad situation worse.
    • So, what can you do?
      • First, realize that you are human and to be so is to live a life of mistakes and, hopefully, learning from them. You can use your energy to be upset at the mistake, or to rejoice in the chance to learn – the choice is always  yours (which is pretty awesome, when you think about it).
      • Second, take some time to review information you’ve been given (NewsViews, updates, assignment descriptions on Teams, etc.) and see if that helps you resolve your confusion/frustration. Sometimes, in the midst of massive information downloads, we miss details big and small. Rereading is a simple and effective strategy to improve comprehension and pick up on something you missed in the first pass.
      • Third, if the documents don’t clear up your confusion (or, worst case scenario, make it worse😳), reach out to the source of the information (teacher, administrator, child, family member, business organization, etc.) and directly ask for help/clarification. Second and third-hand information can be interesting (Who doesn’t love the game “Telephone”?), but it causes more problems than it solves. The closer you are to the original source, the more likely your information is accurate, which is what you’re really after, right?


Curriculum Preview:

  • Science
    • In science, 7th graders will begin to learn about stars, including the sun. Also, please don’t forget that your Mars Mission slide show is due on Wednesday at 3:00 PM! Due to the short week, there will be no checkpoint quiz this week.
  • Social Studies
    • Sadly, we have no Social Studies classes due to the shortened schedule this week. Rest assured, we’ll be back in action next week!
  • Language Arts
    • In preparation for our novel study (Tangerine by Edward Bloor), students are completing short research projects on topics that play an important role in story. 7th graders were assigned one of the following topics last week: legal blindness, homeowners associations, sink holes, lightning, muck fires, citrus fruit freezes. Each student will conduct research, take notes, identify key vocabulary, and write a short informative article about their given topic. Students are expected to use the stoplight format for their paragraphs (introduced to them in 6th grade) and we will take some time this week and next to review the requirements and benefits of this structure.
    • Several students will present their T2 book talks this Thursday, February 18th. Please encourage your child to carefully review all of the requirements and expectations on Teams, and reach out if they have any questions or concerns!
    • Students have a quiz on their Latin root (nomen – name) tomorrow, Wednesday, February 17th. They should review their vocabulary 5-10 minutes a day.
  • Math
    • Regular –
      7th graders finished their Road Trip Project last week. Please check with your child that they have turned it in. We are now working on how to set up percents in a proportion form.
    • Zero Period –

      This week we will look at the percent of change and apply this to mark ups and discounts in the real world. 

  • Community / Religion
    • In community the 7th graders will be completing their reflection projects. It is really fun watching these come together- we have music compilations, art projects, digital media collages, poetry, and even some lists of shows to binge if you ever find yourself in a major pandemic again. The projects are creative and reflective, your students are processing a lot about what the past 11 months have been like for them.

As always, please reach out if you have any questions and have a shorter week working for the common good.

Week of February 8, 2021:

We’re excited to see 7th graders in the classroom this week😁. To ensure a smoother transition to the new hybrid model, we’ll use this week’s newsletter to review a few important details and procedures.
If any of the information below is a surprise to you, please review the materials we sent last week and reach out with any questions:
  • Student expectations when working from home
    • Log on to Teams and attend classes as usual
    • Remember to use the new schedule timing – see the new schedule in the sidebar.
  • Drop off and pick up
    • Arrival time is 8:40am and the tardy bell is at 8:50am

    • 7th graders go directly to their homeroom (through the NE door) AFTER they have been checked at one of the two Health Screening Stations (no need to wait on the playground)

    • Dismissal is promptly at 1:30pm and middle school students are asked to exit the campus at the conclusion of their day.

    • In order to maintain social and physical distancing while staggering the arrival of all students (K-8), please do not arrive to campus before the stated arrival/check in time, or after the dismissal.

  • Health Screening – at home AND at school
    • At home 
      • Fill out the Daily Health Form online here or use the QR code.
      • Please do not come to campus if you are experiencing any COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.
    • At school 
  • Materials to bring
    • Please review the supplies list sent to you last week.
    • Remember to bring a big lunch (no snack), water bottle, and appropriate clothing for the weather (recess is outside rain or shine).

Dates to note:

  • Monday, February 8th – First PURPLE day
  • Tuesday, February 9th – First GOLD day
  • Friday, February 12th – Staff Retreat – NO SCHOOL
    • No academic content will be provided
  • Wednesday, February 17th – Ash Wednesday

As always, thank you for reading, please reach out if you have any questions, and have a diverse week working for the common good!



Gwynedd Rzegocki and Sven Tice

7th grade homeroom teachers, AKA the Totally Tubular Team of Tutelage and Tranquility (and Sven)

Week of January 18:

Hello 7th/8th grade students and families:

I hope you have had a restful and reflective weekend to mark the MLK holiday. As I do every year, on Monday I watched Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It’s right up there with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and not only impresses me,  but inspires me to be a better human being.

Here’s what’s going on this week in the subjects that teach:

  • 7th graders continue to learn about our own moon, and the moons and planets of the solar system.
  • 8th graders will begin work on the behaviors of waves (reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference).
  • All 7th and 8th graders need to submit the hypothesis for their inquiry project on Wednesday, January 20.
  • Algebra 1 students will continue working on factoring this week, a necessary prelude to quadratic equations. This can be challenging for some students. I encourage students to reach out to me if they’re confused.

Several 8th graders will be coming to school this week and next for a chemistry lab; I very much look forward to working with these students in person.

Have a great week,

Sven Tice